Thousands of tenants across the state of California have been evicted due to a state law known as the Ellis Act, which allows landlords to take units off the market and remove any current tenants.

Now, in the face of their unexpected evictions, many tenants have gathered in San Francisco to protest the act's existence, according to Mission Local.

Under the Ellis Act, landlords can evict tenants without cause by informing them 120 days beforehand, or a year if the tenant is disabled or elderly. The landlord must then pay tenants a relocation cost of $5,157.27 – $8,595.44 for disabled or senior tenants – and keep the unit empty for at least five years.

The tenants that are worst affected by the Ellis Act are generally those who can least afford the consequences, such as disabled residents, seniors and low-income immigrants. The tenants are ousted from their homes and forced to submit rental applications to apartments across the state, with tenants in San Francisco in particular suffering from an inability to find affordable rent.