List of Topics
- General Lease Issues
- Resolving Problems With Your Landlord or Tenant
- Landlord Access to a Unit
- Handling Repair Problems
- Minimum Heat Requirements
- Noise Problems
- Buyout Agreements
- Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
- Disclosure Requirements for Online Rental Advertisements
- Charging Additional Rent For New Housing Services
- Charging for Additional Occupants Prohibited
- Parking and Storage Spaces as Housing Services
- Temporary Rent Reduction Agreements
- Renting an Illegal Unit
- Uniform Hotel Visitor Policy
- Good Samaritan Tenancy Information
- Information on Hoarding and Cluttering
1. General Lease Issues
Certain information must be disclosed to the tenant in writing, whether the lease is oral or written. Landlords must disclose the name, telephone number and address of any person authorized to manage the premises and/or act on behalf of the landlord for purposes of receiving rent, service of process, notices and demands. Learn more about general lease issues here.
2. Resolving Problems With Your Landlord or Tenant
If you are having problems with your unit or your landlord or tenant is doing something you do not like, the first thing you should do is to contact the other person and discuss the problem. Parties can often resolve a problem once it is brought to their attention. Whether you are a tenant, an owner or a person responsible for the building. Read more about how to resolve issues here.
3. Landlord Access to a Unit
Under state law, a landlord may enter a tenant’s rental unit only in certain limited circumstances. Read more about this topic here.
4. Handling Repair Problems
If a landlord fails to respond to repair requests, we recommend using the procedures described here.
5. Minimum Heat Requirements
Heat is an essential housing service that a landlord is required by law to provide to all tenants. The San Francisco Housing Code establishes minimum heating requirements for residential rental units. Read more about this topic here.
6. Noise Problems
Landlords should be notified when there is a substantial noise problem so that the matter can be investigated. If the landlord fails to investigate the noise problem or take appropriate action, the tenant may file a Tenant Petition at the Rent Board for a rent reduction based on a substantial decrease in housing services. Read more about this topic here.
7. Buyout Agreements
A “buyout agreement” is an agreement wherein a tenant is paid money or given other consideration (for example, a waiver of rent) to vacate a rental unit. San Francisco law requires a landlord to comply with certain procedures before engaging in any discussions or bargaining with a tenant concerning the possibility of entering into a buyout agreement (whether the discussion is in writing or verbal). Read more about this topic here.
8. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also called secondary units, in-law units, or cottages, are units added to existing and new residential buildings. Although ADUs are often constructed in the common areas of a tenant-occupied building, San Francisco law prohibits a landlord from removing or reducing certain common-area amenities from a tenancy, such as storage, parking, or laundry facilities, without a just cause. Read more about this topic here.
9. Disclosure Requirements for Online Rental Advertisements
The Rent Ordinance requires landlords to include a written disclosure in all online listings for residential rental units. Read more about this topic here.
10. Charging Additional Rent For New Housing Services
A landlord may charge a reasonable amount of additional rent for a new housing service agreed to by the tenant, such as parking or storage. Read more about this topic here.
11. Charging for Additional Occupants Prohibited
The Rent Ordinance prohibits landlords from charging more rent solely because a tenant has added an additional occupant to an existing tenancy, including a newborn child. This constitutes an unlawful rent increase, even if the lease or rental agreement specifically permits a rent increase for additional occupants. Read more about this topic here.
12. Parking and Storage Spaces as Housing Services
Landlords are required to have a “just cause” reason to remove or sever specified housing services from a tenancy, including parking and storage. Read more about this topic here.
13. Temporary Rent Reduction Agreements
Rent board decisions have consistently held that where a landlord agrees to temporarily reduce a tenant’s rent due to genuine financial hardship specific to the tenant, the landlord may restore the prior base rent at any time after giving written notice to the tenant. Read more about this topic here.
14. Renting an Illegal Unit
A rental unit that is not a legal unit with the City is still subject to the Rent Ordinance. To determine if a unit is legal, you will need to review the relevant public records at the Department of Building Inspection. Read more about this topic here.
15. Uniform Hotel Visitor Policy
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors created the Single Room Occupancy Hotel Safety and Stabilization Task Force, also known as the “SRO Task Force”, in order to approve a uniform visitor policy for residential hotels. Read more about this topic here.
16. Good Samaritan Tenancy Information
A Good Samaritan Tenancy is a temporary rental for a maximum period of 24 months, after which the tenant may have to move out or pay higher rent, at the landlord’s option. Read more about this topic here.