SF's Ensconced Tenant Protections
San Francisco has some of the most elaborate rent control rules anywhere. These regulations delineate between rent regulations and eviction rules, and they are aplenty.
The first question we ask is when the property was built, or in legalese, when was the first Certificate of Occupancy issued? If after June 13, 1979, there is no rent control, no eviction control, no protected tenants, and no relocation payments are required. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and so you should not take that to the bank without proper counsel.
If there is any doubt whether a property is subject to rent regulation or “just cause” eviction rules, we've provided a cheat sheet here. Having said that, the preponderance of rental units in San Francisco are subject to rent control.
If the property is subject to rent control, the landlord can only raise the rent to prescribed amounts. Effective March 1, 2019, through February 29, 2020, the allowable annual increase amount is 2.6%.
Landlords endeavoring to evict a tenant from a rental unit covered by the Rent Ordinance must have one of 15 just cause reasons for eviction.
Tenant buyouts whereby the tenant agrees to voluntarily vacate the premises in exchange for compensation are highly regulated and demand the utmost of transparency.
No-fault evictions occur when the tenant is transplanted through no fault of their own are especially cumbersome transactions. We hasten to say that some vulnerable groups cannot be transitioned out of the unit through an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction, and at any rate, displaced tenants will be entitled to hefty relocation payments.
Of course, tight housing supply, coupled with a rising disparity between fair market rent and rents controlled under the Ordinance has made for a perfect storm for landlord-tenant disputes. The San Francisco Rent Stabilization, known more commonly as the Rent Board, is an administrative agency tasked with airing out these grievances.
Whether defending landlords against SF Rent Board petitions lodged against them, or initiating petitions for landlords to advance their ownership rights, you can count on Bornstein Law for proper counsel.
With a glut of illegal in-law units in San Francisco, there are unique concerns for sellers and buyers alike on how to bring these clandestine units into the light of day and remove potential liability that can result from having a stake in this shadow inventory.
More info & resources on San Francisco Rent Control