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 Annual Notice (bill)?
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. You cannot pay the Rent Board fee until after the Annual Notice (bill) is received. If you own multiple properties, you may receive all of your Rent Board Fee Annual Notices at different times.
What is the Portal?
The Rent Board has created an online Portal where owners can access their property information and make a payment. You must use an email address to register an account. The Portal is best accessed using the most updated versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers.
What is the PIN on the Annual Notice (bill)?
There is a PIN associated with each property, which is different from the APN (Assessor’s Parcel Number, or block/lot). This PIN will be on the Annual Notice (bill) and is required to make payment on the Portal.
I lost my 2023 Annual Notice and I want to pay the bill. How do I get a new PIN?
Please call 311 (415-701-2311 from outside San Francisco) to have your PIN reset.
A 2023 Annual Notice (bill) was mailed to me, but I don’t own the property anymore.
Send an email to email@example.com with the subject heading: "Rent Board Fee: Change of Ownership," and include the property address and the APN with all information you have that documents the change of ownership.
A 2023 Annual Notice (bill) 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 Annual Notice and update the primary contact and mailing address for the property.
I filed my exemption request on time but haven’t heard anything. What’s going on?
If you filed your exemption request in the Portal, check your email. You should have received an email saying that your request was received. After that, you will receive an email saying that your request is granted, denied, or that the Rent Board needs more information. If you do not find an email from the Rent Board, then log in to the Portal to check the status of your request. If you filed your exemption request on paper and did not receive a letter via email or mail granting your request, please wait until the middle of February to inquire. It could take 30 days or more for your exemption request to be processed.
I filed my exemption request and I got an email saying that the Rent Board needs more information. What do I do?
Log back into the Portal and leave a comment or attach documents that respond to the information requested. You must do this by March 1, 2023 or your request will be denied.
I filed my exemption request and it was granted. Do I have to do anything now to make sure that I am not billed the fee for that unit?
No. Once your exemption request is granted, you will not be billed the fee for that unit. If there is just one unit in your property and you filed an exemption request by December 19, 2022, and you were granted an exemption for that unit, you should not receive an Annual Notice in January 2023.
I think I got this bill in error, how do I get the bill rescinded?
Certain dwelling units are exempt from payment of the Rent Board Fee. As stated on the Informational Notice that was mailed to property owners in November of 2022, the deadline to submit an exemption request for the 2023 Rent Board fee was December 19, 2022. The deadline to file an exemption has now passed. If you did not file a timely exemption request, you must pay the amount stated in your 2023 Rent Board fee Annual Notice.
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 total penalty 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.
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 apartment unit and $29.50 per residential hotel room. A landlord who has paid the Rent Board fee in full 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 keep getting billed for this fee every year, how do I make it stop?
You must request an exemption. The exemption deadline for the 2023 Fee cycle was December 19, 2022. 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 was incorrectly billed for this fee in past years, how do I get a refund?
You cannot get a refund for fees billed and paid in prior tax years.
Some of my units are vacant, why am I still being charged this fee?
The Rent Board is still required to charge the fee, even if the unit is vacant.
I want to pay my bill by check.
You can pay by check by mailing the payment with bill stub to:
San Francisco Rent Board
P.O Box 7429
San Francisco, CA 94120-7429
Or, you can walk into the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office in City Hall, Room 140 to pay by check or cash during business hours. No payments are accepted at the Rent Board’s Office.
I mailed in my check, but I can’t tell if my payment was received.
It may take some time for your check to be processed. If your bank indicates that your check was cashed, your payment should have been credited in the system. If your payment does not appear in the Portal and you need confirmation of payment, please call 311 for assistance (415-701-2311 from outside San Francisco).
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 is closed. 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 has now been forwarded to the City’s Bureau of Delinquent Revenue for collections.
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.
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 contact. 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/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 is set 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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