Understanding Rent and Eviction Control In San Francisco, CA.

by TobenerLaw on August 30, 2012

Residential units in San Francisco built before June 13, 1979 have protects against evictions and annual rent increases. This applies to buildings with two or more units, and often excludes condominiums and single family homes. If a building has an in law unit that was built prior to 1979 it is considered a second unit in the eyes of the rent control laws. If a landlord is renting individual rooms in a single family home like in the case of a boarding house there is eviction protection and rent control.

In certain circumstances leases of condominiums and single family homes are covered under the San Francisco rent control and eviction protections laws. These circumstances include if the home or condo was rented prior to January 1, 1996, if rented after January 1,1996 only eviction protection is covered. A landlord can increase th rent to whatever they want as long as they give an adequate notice and is not doing so in retaliation.

There are many distinctions that determine if a unit is covered by the San Francisco Rent Ordinance. Always have your situation reviewed by a qualified tenant lawyer or the San Francisco Rent Board. Many lawyers offer free consultations to determine whether your situation requires further actions.

Landlords are only allowed to increase rent by 60% of the Bay Area Consumer Price Index annually. Additionally landlords are required to provide at least 30 days written notice of the increase. If a unit becomes vacant landlords are allowed to increase rent to present market value. This can be referred to as vacancy decontrol.

The San Francisco Rent Ordinance has an eviction protection portion. This prevents a landlord from evictiong without cause. There are a total of 15 reasons to evict a tenant in San Francisco the more common are:

  1. Non-payment
  2. Nuisance
  3. Breach of lease
  4. Owner’s move-in – OMI
  5. Demolition
  6. Ellis act
  7. Capital improvements

The master tenants of a unit is required to have one of these reasons to evict a subtenant. That is unless they have a written and signed agreement with the subtenant at move-in that they reserve the right to evict for no cause.

This information is sourced from the Tobener Law Center in San Francisco California.

With over a decade of experience Joseph Tobener draws on his specialized legal expertise to provide caring, easy-to-understand and aggressive assistance to a tenants in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Tobener Law Center has counseled thousands of Bay Area residents on housing, personal injury and estate planning issues. He worked several years as an estate planning attorney for boutique Silicon Valley and Marin County law firms. He has also worked as an adjunct professor of law at UC Hastings Law School and San Francisco State University.

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