Rent Board Fee Frequently Asked Questions
ATTENTION PROPERTY OWNERS:
- Requesting a Rent Board Fee exemption does not satisfy Rent Board Housing Inventory reporting requirements.
- Reporting into the Rent Board Housing Inventory does not satisfy requesting an exemption of the Rent Board Fee.
Why did I receive a 2023 Rent Board Fee Informational Notice?
You own residential property in San Francisco. The City and County of San Francisco imposes a per-unit fee on owners of residential property to carry out the Rent Ordinance. In prior tax years, the fee was collected as a charge on the property owner’s tax bill. Beginning in tax year 2022, the Rent Board is now required to invoice owners directly for the Fee. Because the use of a residential unit can change at any time, the Rent Board cannot assume whether the property is owner-occupied, rented to a tenant, vacant, or used in some other way that may qualify it from an exemption from payment of the Fee (click here for more information regarding properties that are exempt from payment of the Rent Board Fee).
How can I request an exemption from the 2023 Rent Board Fee?
If you think your unit should not be subject to the 2023 Rent Board Fee, you can request an exemption via the Rent Board’s secure online Portal. Certain dwelling units are exempt from payment of the Rent Board Fee, including owner-occupied units where no tenants reside with the owner in the unit. You must complete an exemption request in the Portal by December 19, 2022. You will receive an email to let you know if the exemption request was granted, denied, or incomplete. You will also be able to look up the status of your exemption request in the Portal. If the exemption request is granted, you will not have to pay the 2023 Fee assessed for that unit. If the request is not granted, you will be required to pay the fee by March 1, 2023. If you do not request an exemption from the 2023 Fee, you will be invoiced in January 2023.
While property owners are strongly encouraged to use the Rent Board's web Portal to submit exemption requests, a paper form is also available. Note that submission of a paper exemption request form may cause a significant delay in processing your request. If your exemption request is still pending at the time the Rent Board Fee becomes due, you must pay the Fee to avoid late penalties. If your exemption request is granted after payment has been made, you will receive a refund. However, refunds may take up to six months or longer to be issued.
What if I take no action after receiving a 2023 Rent Board Fee Informational Notice?
If you take no action, you will be invoiced the assessed amount shown on the Informational Notice.
I lost my 2023 Informational Notice and I want to request an exemption. How do I get a new PIN?
Please call the 311 Customer Support Center by dialing 3-1-1 or (415) 701-311 from outside of San Francisco to get a new PIN.
A 2023 Informational Notice was mailed to me, but I don’t own the property anymore.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading: "Rent Board Fee: Change of Ownership," and include the property address and the APN (Assessor's Parcel Number) with all information you have that documents the change of ownership.
A 2023 Rent Board Fee Informational Notice was mailed to me and I am an owner, but I don’t deal with the property’s business, and I shouldn’t be receiving notices.
Please log into the Portal using the PIN provided on the Informational Notice and update the primary contact and mailing address for the property.
Some of my units are vacant, why am I still being assessed this fee?
The Rent Board is still required to charge the fee, even if the unit is vacant.
I keep getting billed for this fee every year, how do I make it stop?
You must request an exemption during that year’s Rent Board Fee exemption request period. Approval of an exemption request for one year does not guarantee that the property owner will not be asked for this information again in subsequent years.
I did not pay the 21-22 Rent Board Fee for my property, and I want to pay now. How do I pay?
The regular 21-22 Rent Board Fee cycle has closed for the year. You will be invoiced for the 2023 Fee in January 2023. If you still owe the 21-22 Fee, you should have received a Notice of Delinquent 21-22 Rent Board Fee. The deadline to pay your delinquent fee with penalties was November 2, 2022. Any outstanding 21-22 Rent Board Fee obligation will now be forward to the City’s Bureau of Delinquent Revenue for collections.
I did not pay the 21-22 Rent Board Fee for my property because I recently sold it. Why do I still owe the 21-22 Rent Board Fee?
If you owned the property on the March 1, 2022 Rent Board fee payment due date, you still owe the 21-22 Rent Board Fee. In addition to making payment, please also email email@example.com with the subject heading: "Rent Board Fee: Change of Ownership," and include the property address and the APN (Assessor's Parcel Number) with all information you have that documents the change of ownership. Please include a copy of the Annual Notice (bill) in the email.
I did not pay the 21-22 Rent Board Fee for my property and I think my unit should be exempt. How do I request an exemption?
The exemption period for the 21-22 Rent Board fee has passed. If you want to claim an exemption for the 2023 Rent Board fee cycle, look out for mail in early November 2022 that explains how to request an exemption via the Rent Board’s online web Portal.
I did not pay the 21-22 Rent Board Fee for my property, and I don’t think I should have to. What will happen?
If you receive a Notice of Delinquent 21-22 Rent Board Fee and don’t pay your delinquent Fee obligation after 30 days, the obligation will be referred to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenue at the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector (the collection agency for the City and County of San Francisco).
What happens if I don’t pay the Rent Board fee?
The Rent Board Fee must be paid no later than March 1 of each year. A 5% penalty will be added to the amount of the fee if it has not been paid by March 1, an additional 5% if the fee has not been paid by April 1, and an additional 5% if the fee has not been paid by May 1 (for a penalty total of 15%). If the fee remains outstanding as of June 1, the Rent Board will mail you a Notice of Delinquent Rent Board Fee, and you will have 30 days to pay your outstanding Fee obligation. If you still do not pay, the Rent Board will refer the matter to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenue (the collection agency for the City and County of San Francisco). A commission will be placed on top of the outstanding Fee obligation. If the fee remains unpaid, your credit might be adversely affected.
Can I pass on the cost of the fee to my tenants?
For the 2023 tax year, the per-unit fee is $59.00 per dwelling unit and $29.50 per residential hotel room. A landlord may collect 50% of the fee from tenants, which is $29.50 per dwelling unit and $14.75 per residential hotel room. More information can be found here.
I paid a greater Rent Board Fee than was the final assessed amount and believe I should receive a partial or full refund for 21-22.
In some limited situations an owner may be entitled to a refund of the fee for 21-22, including if an exemption was granted after payment was made, or if the Rent Board adjusted the unit count after payment was made. In these situations, the owner is not required to take any affirmative steps to request a refund. The Rent Board will issue automatic refunds for those who are eligible. While refunds will be issued automatically, this may take several months to process. Reaching out to the Rent Board or 311 will not expedite this process. You can check the Rent Board's web Portal to verify the amount you paid and compare it to your total obligation.
I was incorrectly billed for the Rent Board Fee in past years, how do I get a refund?
You cannot get a refund for fees billed and paid in years prior to 21-22. You can only seek an exemption for the 2023 fee.
My property is a tenancy in common (TIC). Either I didn’t get a Rent Board notice or I got it but a co-owner at our property did not get it.
There is one primary contact for each property. Whoever is in charge of managing the entire property should email firstname.lastname@example.org and the Rent Board’s records will be updated with a primary owner. If you are an additional owner and would like a copy of a Rent Board notice, please email email@example.com.
The Site Address of my property in the Portal is not the right one for the residential unit(s) in my building. I want this fixed.
The system is anchored by parcel (Assessor’s Parcel Number – the block and lot). If no additional data has been entered into the system by Rent Board staff or the property owner, the lowest building address in the range of building addresses for the property functions as the system default. For some properties with multiple condominium unit numbers, the unit number may not appear. Rent Board staff can correct the record, but as long as the APN is correct, your payment will be properly credited.
Why is the photo of my property in the Portal not my property?
The photo associated with your property is an image the system automatically pulls from Google Maps based on the geolocation of the parcel number. The Rent Board does not have control over the accuracy of the picture.
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