Changes to Rent Board Services due to COVID-19
The San Francisco Rent Ordinance (SF Administrative Code, Chapter 37) was enacted on June 13, 1979 by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by the Mayor as emergency legislation to ease the city's housing crisis.
The law applies to about 170,000 rental units in San Francisco. Among other things, it limits the amount a landlord can raise a tenant's rent and the reasons a landlord may evict a tenant.
The Rent Board (Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board) was created as part of the law. We help tenants and landlords understand the law and resolve disputes.
We are a special fund department, completely funded through the collection of rental unit fees. We have no general fund contributions in our budget.
We protect tenants from excessive rent increases and unjust evictions while assuring landlords fair and adequate rents.
Amongst other things, we can help by:
- Conducting hearings and mediations to resolve rent disputes under our rent control laws
- Investigating wrongful eviction claims
- Providing counseling (by phone and in-person) on subjects covered by the Rent Ordinance
- Provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediation to San Francisco tenants, landlords, roommates, property managers and neighbors to help resolve their housing-related disputes.
What we don't do
We cannot arbitrate matters that are not part of the Rent Ordinance, including:
- Alleged breaches of a rental agreement (which must be decided in court)
- Cases of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation (contact the San Francisco Human Rights Commission for these issues)
We cannot give legal advice. We will let you know when your question is one that should be answered by a lawyer.
Senior staff and important phone numbers
Executive Director: Christina Varner
Senior Administrative Law Judges: Connie Brandon and Joseph (Joey) Koomas
Rent Board Supervisors: Jennifer Rakowski and Anita Pandhoh
Chief Information Officer: Amir Omidvari
Operations and Finance Manager: Catherine Xu
Counseling: Drop-in Hours
Phone Counseling: (415) 252-4600 (current phone counseling hours are described here)
Other Important Phone Numbers:
Administrative Offices Only: 415-252-4600
Rent Board Hearing Coordinator: 415-252-4629
Rent Board Appeals Clerk: 415-252-4644
Tags: Topic 012