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Jerky Landlord Tells Tenants to Make $100K a Year or GTFO

Scott Lucas | May 6, 2014 | Story Real Estate

Update 5/7: The landlord has reportedly rescinded the letter.

As reported in the Chronicle, a Lower Haight landlord recently slipped a note under tenants' doors informing them that unless they make $100,000 a year, they shouldn't be living in the building. San Francisco, welcome to the city that you live in.

The worst part is that while this little threat is probably illegal and certainly unethical, it's also—depending on the exact building—pretty much an accurate estimate of the neighborhood's affordability.

The note, which was first reported by Hoodline, reads as follows:

"The building policy/requirement of a current apartment applicant/resident is that they are able to establish that their minimum annual income is at least $100,000 - additionally required is a minimum FICO credit score of 725. We are not able to accept in our minimum income calculation any form of 'guarantor' or similar form of 'guarantee' offered of account of the apartment/resident applicant, by a friend of family member nor any other person or legal entity. Of course, more is required to qualify an apartment/resident/applicant, than income and credit score; but a minimum income and credit score requirement is a basic starting point."

Sara Shortt, head of the non-profit Housing Rights Committee, told the Chronicle, "They certainly cannot evict anyone if they do not meet their income requirements. It definitely reads like a harassment tactic to me, banking on the tenants not knowing their rights and self-evicting."

It's true: A minimum income threshold is not among the legal reasons that a landlord may evict a tenant in San Francisco. But, it's also clear that whoever wrote the letter, while an asshole, isn't wrong about how much you should be making to live in the neighborhood.

We ran a little back of the envelope calculation.

After income taxes, a $100,000 income leaves around $80,000 a year, which is about $6,600 a month. If you spend no more than a third of income on rent, that gives you $2,200 to play around with. That'll get you in to some, but not all the one bedrooms on Craigslist for Lower Haight or maybe let you split a two bedroom.

So, like we said, total lame. Potentially a harassment of the tenants. Certainly bad karma. And on the mark on the math.

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