Learn about rent increases

Learn how a landlord can increase a tenant’s rent for a rent-controlled unit and by how much.

List of Topics

  1. General Information
  2. Current allowed rent increase
  3. A landlord must be licensed to increase rent
  4. When to increase rent
  5. Banked increases
  6. Landlord Petitions and Passthroughs
  7. No Increase allowed for additional occupants
  8. Giving notice

1. General Information

There is no limit on how much rent a landlord may first charge a tenant when renting an empty unit that is covered by rent control.

Once a unit becomes rented, the landlord may only increase the tenant’s rent by a certain percentage once every 12 months.

The Rent Board calculates the allowed rent increase percentage each year. 

Effective July 1, 2022 (or March 1, 2023 for condominiums and buildings with 1-9 residential units), a landlord must obtain a rent increase "license" before imposing annual allowable and/or banked rent increases on a tenant. 

2. Current allowed rent increase

This year, the allowed rent increase percentage is 2.3%. The percentage is effective March 1, 2022 through February 28, 2023. This amount is based on 60% of the increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the Bay Area. To calculate the dollar amount of the 2.3% annual rent increase, multiply the tenant's base rent by .023. For example, if the tenant's base rent is $2,000.00, the annual increase would be calculated as follows: $2,000.00 x .023 = $46.00. The tenant's new base rent would be $2,046.00 ($2,000.00 + $46.00).

Effective March 1, 2023 through February 29, 2024, the allowable annual increase amount is 3.6%. 

See previous years' allowable annual rent increase amounts.

Landlords must calculate the rent increase on the tenant’s base rent only. Base rent includes rent paid for any housing services such as parking or storage, but does not include any temporary passthroughs or fluctuating charges.  

Rent increases cannot be rounded up to the nearest dollar.

3. A landlord must be licensed to increase rent

A landlord may increase a tenant’s rent by the allowed amount once a year provided they've obtained a current rent increase license by complying with the City's Housing Inventory requirements. 

4. When to increase rent

A landlord may impose the first annual increase 12 months after the date the tenant’s lease began. 

Once a landlord has increased a tenant’s rent, the date of the increase becomes known as the tenant’s “anniversary date.” They may not increase the rent again until at least 12 months later. 

If the landlord increases the tenant’s rent more than 12 months later, the effective date of the increase becomes the tenant’s new anniversary date. The landlord must wait at least 12 months to increase the rent again.

5. Banked increases

If the landlord does not increase a tenant’s rent on their anniversary date, the landlord can save (or “bank”) the increase and add it later. 

Learn how banked rent increases work.

7. No Increase allowed for additional occupants

San Francisco's rental law does not allow a landlord to charge additional rent simply because a new (or additional) roommate has moved into a unit with the existing tenant. This constitutes an unlawful rent increase, even if the lease or rental agreement provides for the additional charge. 

8. Giving notice

The landlord must give the tenant a: 

  • 30-day written notice of the proposed rent increase
  • 90-day written notice if the increase (either by itself or combined with another increase in the same year) is more than 10%

If the notice is mailed, the landlord must give the tenant 5 more days.

The rent increase notice should include the:

  • Dollar amount of the increase
  • Percentage amount of the increase
  • Date the increase will go into effect

The landlord should use the percentage that will be in effect on the date of the increase, not the percentage in effect on the date they serve the notice.

Tags: Topic 051; Topic 052

Last updated November 17, 2022

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