Back in April, I wrote about the case of Pakdel v. City and County of SF, involving the Ninth Circuit decision appealed to the Supreme Court which upheld a San Francisco ordinance that required persons converting rental property into condominiums to offer a lifetime lease to any renter occupying a unit of the property as a condition of the conversion permit.
The basic facts are that the Pakdels, residents of a midwestern city still of working age, bought an undivided interest in a six-unit apartment building in San Francisco, and entered into a contract with the co-owers to seek to convert the property to condominiums pursuant to a specific San Francisco ordinance in effect at the time of their purchase. The contract provided that in the event of such conversion, a particular apartment unit in the building would become an individually owned condominium unit belonging to the Pakdels who planned to move to San Francisco when they retired.
The politicians running San Francisco then changed the condominium conversion ordinance. The new ordinance required that any persons seeking to convert an apartment building into a condominium, as a condition of obtaining the permit, had to offer a lease for the lifetime of the tenant to any person who was occupying a rental unit in the building prior to the conversion taking place. The unit of the Pakdel’s building that was assigned to them in their contract with the other co-owners was occupied by a tenant at the time they applied for the conversion permit. Pursuant to the new ordinance, the Pakdels were required to offer that person a lifetime lease to live in their retirement home — and the renter might just outlive them. The renter wanted the lifetime lease.
The Pakdels brought suit in federal court in San Francisco on the grounds that the San Francisco ordinance was an unconstitutional “taking” of their property by the City and County of San Francisco without just compensation.
The district court ruled against the Pakdels on procedural grounds — they hadn’t brought their action at an appropriate juncture in the conversion process, and
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