Costa Hawkins Amendments to Rent Ordinance Become Law July 2, 2000 - 7/2/00

 

Costa Hawkins Amendments to Rent Ordinance Become Law July 2, 2000

 

The following is a complete version of the Ordinance, No. 116-00, as adopted by the Board of Supervisors to conform the Rent Ordinance with State Legislative amendments known as the Costa-Hawkins amendments. The legislative digest is followed by the Ordinance as amended, with additions underlined and deletions are in ((double parenthesis)).

 

These amendments become effective July 2, 2000.

LEGISLATIVE DIGEST

FILE NO. 991315

 

[Conform to Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act; Clarify Rent Ord. Fee Provisions]

AMENDING san francisco administrative code CHAPTER 37 "RESIDENTIAL RENT STABILIZATION AND ARBITRATION ORDINANCE" BY AMENDING §37.2 AND §37.3 In order to IMPLEMENT AND CONFORM TO THE COSTA-HAWKINS RENTAL HOUSING ACT (CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE §§1954.50, et seq.), BY REMOVING THE RENTAL RATES OF MOST SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES AND CONDOMINIUMS FROM RENT CONTROL AFTER SPECIFIED DATES, AND BY AUTHORIZING rent increases in rent controlled units UPON SPECIFIED SUBLETTING OR ASSIGNMENT. however, SPECIFIED UNITS WITH SERIOUS LONG-TERM HEALTH, SAFETY, FIRE OR BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS are excluded; UNLESS A TENANT WHO IS PARTY TO A RENT/LEASE AGREEMENT NOTIFIES THE OWNER IN WRITING, AN OWNER"S ACCEPTANCE OF RENT DOES NOT WAIVE THE OWNER"S RIGHT TO

ESTABLISH INITIAL RENT or to ENFORCE A SUBLEASE/ASSIGNMENT PROHIBITION;

TERMINATION OR NONRENEWAL OF AN OWNER"S CONTRACT OR RECORDED AGREEMENT WITH A GOVERNMENT AGENCY THAT PROVIDES RENT LIMITATIONS FOR QUALIFIED TENANT(S) REQUIRES 90 DAYS WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE TENANT(S), AND THE OWNER MAY NOT SET THE INITIAL RENT FOR THE AFFECTED UNIT FOR THREE YEARS EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED. ALSO, amending san francisco administrative code chapter 37A "Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Fee" BY AMENDING §37a.1 TO provide THAT THE FEES REMAIN APPLICABLE TO DEFINED UNITS THAT ARE EXEMPT FROM THE RENT control PROVISIONS but not FROM THE OTHER PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 37.

 

Pursuant to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act ("Costa-Hawkins," California Civil Code §§1954.50 et seq.), most single-family homes and condominiums are no longer subject to the rent control provisions of the San Francisco "Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance" (Administrative Code Chapter 37).

 

The California Legislature recently amended Costa-Hawkins through passage of Senate Bill 1098, which has now been signed by the Governor. These amendments will take effect January 1, 2000. ("SB1098," Stats. 1999, Ch. 590, amending Civil Code §1954.53 and adding §1954.535.)

 

This legislation would conform the Administrative Code to Costa-Hawkins, including the 1999 amendments, and implement pertinent provisions.

 

Administrative Code Chapter 37 would be amended through Sections 1 and 2 of this legislation. Section 1 would amend the definition of "rental units" in §37.2(r)(5) and (7) to identify and recognize Costa-Hawkins, together with the implementing provisions in §37(d). Section 2 would amend §37.3 to further recognize and implement Costa-Hawkins, as follows:

 
  • §37.3(d)(1), which parallels pertinent provisions of Civil Code §1954.52, would provide that an owner may establish the initial and all subsequent rental rates for most single family homes and condominiums, without observing the rent increase limitations otherwise provided under Chapter 37. Exceptions to this rent decontrol include --
 
  • Units with a pre-January 1, 1996 tenant, as defined; and,
  • Units with serious long-term health, safety, fire or building code violations, as defined.
 
  • §37.3(d)(2), which parallels pertinent provisions of Civil Code §1954.53, would authorize rent increases in rent controlled units upon specified subletting or assignment, although such increases might not otherwise be permitted under Chapter 37. However, unless a tenant who is party to a rent/lease agreement notifies the owner in writing, an owner"s acceptance of rent alone does not waive the owner"s right to establish initial rent upon sublease/assignment or to enforce a sublease/assignment prohibition. Exceptions to allowable rent increases upon subletting/assignment include:
 
  • Units with a pre-January 1, 1996 tenant, as defined; and,
  • Units with serious long-term health, safety, fire or building code violations, as defined.
 
  • §37.3(d)(3), which parallels the SB1098 amendments to Civil Code §1954.53(a)(1)(A) and (B) and the addition of Civil Code §1954.535, would provide that if an owner terminates or does not renew a contract or recorded agreement with a government agency that provides rent limitations for qualified tenants (such as a Section 8-type contract), then such tenants are entitled to 90 days written notice of the contract/agreement termination/nonrenewal. Further, the owner may not then set the initial rent for an affected unit for three years (that is, such a unit is subject to the rent control provisions of Chapter 37), except that in limited situations the rent may be governed by a subsequent government contract/agreement.
 

Section 3 of this legislation would amend §37A.1 of Administrative Code Chapter 37A "Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Fee," to provide that the fees remain applicable to defined units exempted by Costa-Hawkins from the rent increase limitation provisions (but not from the other provisions) of Chapter 37.

 

This legislation also includes technical non-substantive amendments to conform renumbering.

 

[Conform to Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act; Clarify Rent Ord. Fee Provisions]

AMENDING san francisco administrative code CHAPTER 37 "RESIDENTIAL RENT STABILIZATION AND ARBITRATION ORDINANCE" BY AMENDING §37.2 AND §37.3 In order to IMPLEMENT AND CONFORM TO THE COSTA-HAWKINS RENTAL HOUSING ACT (CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE §§1954.50, et seq.), BY REMOVING THE RENTAL RATES OF MOST SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES AND CONDOMINIUMS FROM RENT CONTROL AFTER SPECIFIED DATES, AND BY AUTHORIZING rent increases in rent controlled units UPON SPECIFIED SUBLETTING OR ASSIGNMENT. however, SPECIFIED UNITS WITH SERIOUS LONG-TERM HEALTH, SAFETY, FIRE OR BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS are excluded; UNLESS A TENANT WHO IS PARTY TO A RENT/LEASE AGREEMENT NOTIFIES THE OWNER IN WRITING, AN OWNER"S ACCEPTANCE OF RENT DOES NOT WAIVE THE OWNER"S RIGHT TO ESTABLISH INITIAL RENT or to ENFORCE A SUBLEASE/ASSIGNMENT PROHIBITION; TERMINATION OR NONRENEWAL OF AN OWNER"S CONTRACT OR RECORDED AGREEMENT WITH A GOVERNMENT AGENCY THAT PROVIDES RENT LIMITATIONS FOR QUALIFIED TENANT(S) REQUIRES 90 DAYS WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE TENANT(S), AND THE OWNER MAY NOT SET THE INITIAL RENT FOR THE AFFECTED UNIT FOR THREE YEARS EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED. ALSO, amending san francisco administrative code chapter 37A "Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Fee" BY AMENDING §37a.1 TO provide THAT THE FEES REMAIN APPLICABLE TO DEFINED UNITS THAT ARE EXEMPT FROM THE RENT control PROVISIONS but not FROM THE OTHER PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 37.

 

Note: Additions are underlined; deletions are in ((double parentheses)).

 

Be it ordained by the People of the City and County of San Francisco:

 

Section 1. Chapter 37 of the San Francisco Administrative Code is hereby amended by amending Section 37.2 to read as follows:

 

SEC. 37.2.  DEFINITIONS.

(a) Base Rent.

(1) That rent which is charged a tenant upon initial occupancy plus any rent increase allowable and imposed under this Chapter; provided, however, that base rent shall not include increases imposed pursuant to Section 37.7 below or utility passthroughs or general obligation bond passthroughs pursuant to Section 37.2(q) below. Base rent for tenants of RAP rental units in areas designated on or after July 1, 1977, shall be that rent which was established pursuant to Section 32.73-1 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. Rent increases attributable to the Chief Administrative Officer"s amortization of a RAP loan in an area designated on or after July 1, 1977, shall not be included in the base rent.

(2) From and after the effective date of this Ordinance, the base rent for tenants occupying rental units which have received certain tenant-based or project-based rental assistance shall be as follows:

(A) With respect to tenant-based rental assistance:

(i) For any tenant receiving tenant-based rental assistance as of the effective date of this Ordinance (except where the rent payable by the tenant is a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 certificate program and the rental subsidy program for the HOPWA program), and continuing to receive tenant-based rental assistance following the effective date of this Ordinance, the base rent for each unit occupied by such a tenant shall be the rent payable for that unit under the Housing Assistance Payments contract, as amended, between the San Francisco Housing Authority and the landlord (the "HAP Contract") with respect to that unit immediately prior to the effective date of this Ordinance (the "HAP Contract Rent").

(ii) For any tenant receiving tenant-based rental assistance (except where the rent payable by the tenant is a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 certificate program and the rental subsidy program for the HOPWA program), and commencing occupancy of a rental unit following the effective date of this Ordinance, the base rent for each unit occupied by such a tenant shall be the HAP Contract Rent in effect as of the date the tenant commences occupancy of such unit.

(iii) For any tenant whose tenant-based rental assistance terminates or expires, for whatever reason, following the effective date of this Ordinance, the base rent for each such unit following expiration or termination shall be the HAP Contract Rent in effect for that unit immediately prior to the expiration or termination of the tenant-based rental assistance.

(B) For any tenant occupying a unit upon the expiration or termination, for whatever reason, of a project-based HAP Contract under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 USC §1437f, as amended), the base rent for each such unit following expiration or termination shall be the "contract rent" in effect for that unit immediately prior to the expiration or termination of the project-based HAP Contract.

(C) For any tenant occupying a unit upon the prepayment or expiration of any mortgage insured by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), including but not limited to mortgages provided under Sections 221(d)(3), 221(d)(4) and 236 of the National Housing Act (12 USC §1715z-1), the base rent for each such unit shall be the "basic rental charge" (described in 12 USC 1715z-1(f), or successor legislation) in effect for that unit immediately prior to the prepayment of the mortgage, which charge excludes the "interest reduction payment" attributable to that unit prior to the mortgage prepayment or expiration.

(b) Board. The Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board.

(c) Capital Improvements. Those improvements which materially add to the value of the property, appreciably prolong its useful life, or adapt it to new uses, and which may be amortized over the useful life of the improvement of the building.

(d) CPI. Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers for the San Francisco-Oakland Metropolitan Area, U.S. Department of Labor.

(e) Energy Conservation Measures. Work performed pursuant to the requirements of Article 12 of the San Francisco Housing Code.

(f) Hearing Officer. A person, designated by the Board, who arbitrates rental increase disputes.

(g) Housing Services. Housing Services. Services provided by the landlord connected with the use or occupancy of a rental unit including, but not limited to: repairs; replacement; maintenance; painting; light; heat; water; elevator service; laundry facilities and privileges; janitor service; refuse removal; furnishings; telephone; parking; rights permitted the tenant by agreement, including the right to have a specific number of occupants, whether express or implied, and whether or not the agreement prohibits subletting and/or assignment; and any other benefits, privileges or facilities.

(h) Landlord. An owner, lessor, sublessor, who receives or is entitled to receive rent for the use and occupancy of any residential rental unit or portion thereof in the City and County of San Francisco, and the agent, representative or successor of any of the foregoing.

(i) Member. A member of the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board.

(j) Over FMR Tenancy Program. A regular certificate tenancy program whereby the base rent, together with a utility allowance in an amount determined by HUD, exceeds the fair market rent limitation for a particular unit size as determined by HUD.

(k) Payment Standard. An amount determined by the San Francisco Housing Authority that is used to determine the amount of assistance paid by the San Francisco Housing Authority on behalf of a tenant under the Section 8 Voucher Program (24 CFR Part 887).

(l) RAP. Residential Rehabilitation Loan Program (Chapter 32, San Francisco Administrative Code).

(m) RAP Rental Units. Residential dwelling units subject to RAP loans pursuant to Chapter 32, San Francisco Administrative Code.

(n) Real Estate Department. A city department in the City and County of San Francisco.

(o) Rehabilitation Work. Any rehabilitation or repair work done by the landlord with regard to a rental unit, or to the common areas of the structure containing the rental unit, which work was done in order to be in compliance with State or local law, or was done to repair damage resulting from fire, earthquake or other casualty or natural disaster.

(p) Rent. The consideration, including any bonus, benefits or gratuity, demanded or received by a landlord for or in connection with the use or occupancy of a rental unit, or the assignment of a lease for such a unit, including but not limited to monies demanded or paid for parking, furnishing, food service, housing services of any kind, or subletting.

(q) Rent Increases. Any additional monies demanded or paid for rent as defined in item (p) above, or any reduction in housing services without a corresponding reduction in the monies demanded or paid for rent; provided, however, that (1) where the landlord has been paying the tenant"s utilities and cost of those utilities increase, the landlord"s passing through to the tenant of such increased costs does not constitute a rent increase; and (2) where there has been a change in the landlord’s property tax attributable to a ballot measure approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998, the landlord’s passing through of such increased costs in accordance with this Chapter does not constitute a rent increase.

(r) Rental Units. All residential dwelling units in the City and County of San Francisco together with the land and appurtenant buildings thereto, and all housing services, privileges, furnishings and facilities supplied in connection with the use or occupancy thereof, including garage and parking facilities. The term "rental units" shall not include:

(1) Housing accommodations in hotels, motels, inns, tourist houses, rooming and boarding houses, provided that at such time as an accommodation has been occupied by a tenant for 32 continuous days or more, such accommodation shall become a rental unit subject to the provisions of this Chapter; provided further, no landlord shall bring an action to recover possession of such unit in order to avoid having the unit come within the provisions of this Chapter. An eviction for a purpose not permitted under Section 37.9(a) shall be deemed to be an action to recover possession in order to avoid having a unit come within the provisions of this Chapter;

(2) Dwelling units in nonprofit cooperatives owned, occupied and controlled by a majority of the residents or dwelling units solely owned by a nonprofit public benefit corporation governed by a board of directors the majority of which are residents of the dwelling units and where it is required in the corporate by-laws that rent increases be approved by a majority of the residents;

(3) Housing accommodation in any hospital, convent, monastery, extended care facility, asylum, residential care or adult day health care facility for the elderly which must be operated pursuant to a license issued by the California Department of Social Services, as required by California Health and Safety Chapters 3.2 and 3.3; or in dormitories owned and operated by an institution of higher education, a high school, or an elementary school;

(4) Except as provided in Subsections (A) and (B), dwelling units whose rents are controlled or regulated by any government unit, agency or authority, excepting those unsubsidized and/or unassisted units which are insured by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; provided, however, that units in unreinforced masonry buildings which have undergone seismic strengthening in accordance with Building Code Chapters 14 and 15 shall remain subject to the Rent Ordinances to the extent that the ordinance is not in conflict with the seismic strengthening bond program or with the program"s loan agreements or with any regulations promulgated thereunder;

(A) For purposes of Sections 37.2, 37.3(a)(10)(A), 37.4, 37.5, 37.6. 37.9, 37.9A, 37.10A, 37.11A and 37.13, and the arbitration provisions of Sections 37.8 and 37.8A applicable only to the provisions of Section 37.3(a)(10)(A), the term "rental units" shall include units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance where the tenant-based rental assistance program does not establish the tenant’s share of base rent as a fixed percentage of a tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 voucher program and the "Over-FMR Tenancy" program defined in 24 CFR §982.4;

(B) For purposes of Sections 37.2, 37.3(a)(10)(B), 37.4, 37.5, 37.6, 37.9, 37.9A, 37.10A, 37.11A and 37.13, the term "rental units" shall include units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance where the rent payable by the tenant under the tenant-based rental assistance program is a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income; such as in the Section 8 certificate program and the rental subsidy program for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids ("HOPWA") program (42 U.S.C. §12901 et seq., as amended).

(5) Rental units located in a structure for which a certificate of occupancy was first issued after the effective date of this ordinance, except as provided ((in)) for certain categories of units and dwellings by Section 37.3(d) and Section 37.9A(b) of this Chapter;

(6) Dwelling units in a building which has undergone substantial rehabilitation after the effective date of this ordinance; provided, however, that RAP rental units are not subject to this exemption.

(7) Dwellings or units otherwise subject to this Chapter 37, to the extent such dwelling or units are partially or wholly exempted from rent increase limitations by the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (California Civil Code Sections 1954.50, et seq.) and/or San Francisco Administrative Code Section 37.3(d).

(s) Substantial Rehabilitation. The renovation, alteration or remodeling of residential units of 50 or more years of age which have been condemned or which do not qualify for certificates of occupancy or which require substantial renovation in order to conform the building to contemporary standards for decent, safe and sanitary housing. Substantial rehabilitation may vary in degree from gutting and extensive reconstruction to extensive improvements that cure substantial deferred maintenance. Cosmetic improvements alone such as painting, decorating and minor repairs, or other work which can be performed safely without having the unit vacated do not qualify as substantial rehabilitation.

(t) Tenant. A person entitled by written or oral agreement, sub-tenancy approved by the landlord, or by sufferance, to occupy a residential dwelling unit to the exclusion of others.

(u) Tenant-Based Rental Assistance. Rental assistance provided directly to a tenant or directly to a landlord on behalf of a particular tenant, which includes but shall not be limited to certificates and vouchers issued pursuant to Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended (42 U.S.C. §1437f) and the HOPWA program.

(v) Utilities. The term "utilities" shall refer to gas and electricity exclusively.

Section 2. Chapter 37 of the San Francisco Administrative Code (Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance) is hereby amended by amending Section 37.3 to read as follows:

 

SEC. 37.3.  RENT LIMITATIONS.

(a) Rent Increase Limitations for Tenants in Occupancy. Landlords may impose rent increases upon tenants in occupancy only as provided below and as provided by Subsection 37.3(d):

(1) Annual Rent Increase. On March 1st of each year, the Board shall publish the increase in the CPI for the preceding 12 months, as made available by the U.S. Department of Labor. A landlord may impose annually a rent increase which does not exceed a tenant"s base rent by more than 60 percent of said published increase. In no event, however, shall the allowable annual increase be greater than seven percent.

(2) Banking. A landlord who refrains from imposing an annual rent increase or any portion thereof may accumulate said increase and impose that amount on the tenant"s subsequent rent increase anniversary dates. A landlord who, between April 1, 1982, and February 29, 1984, has banked an annual seven percent rent increase (or rent increases) or any portion thereof may impose the accumulated increase on the tenant"s subsequent rent increase anniversary dates.

(3) Capital Improvements, Rehabilitation, and Energy Conservation Measures. A landlord may impose rent increases based upon the cost of capital improvements, rehabilitation or energy conservation measures provided that such costs are certified pursuant to Sections 37.7 and 37.8B below; provided further that where a landlord has performed seismic strengthening in accordance with Building Code Chapters 14 and 15, no increase for capital improvements (including but not limited to seismic strengthening) shall exceed, in any 12-month period, 10 percent of the tenant"s base rent, subject to rules adopted by the Board to prevent landlord hardship and to permit landlords to continue to maintain their buildings in a decent, safe and sanitary condition. A landlord may accumulate any certified increase which exceeds this amount and impose the increase in subsequent years, subject to the 10 percent limitation. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to supersede any Board rules or regulations with respect to limitations on increases based upon capital improvements whether performed separately or in conjunction with seismic strengthening improvements pursuant to Building Code Chapters 14 and 15.

(4) Utilities. A landlord may impose increases based upon the cost of utilities as provided in Section 37.2(q) above.

(5) Charges Related to Excess Water Use. A landlord may impose increases not to exceed 50 percent of the excess use charges (penalties) levied by the San Francisco Water Department on a building for use of water in excess of Water Department allocations under the following conditions:

(A) The landlord provides tenants with written certification that the following have been installed in all units: (1) permanently installed retrofit devices designed to reduce the amount of water used per flush or low- flow toilets (1.6 gallons per flush); (2) low-flow showerheads which allow a flow of no more than 2.5 gallons per minute; and (3) faucet aerators (where installation on current faucets is physically feasible); and

(B) The landlord provides the tenants with written certification that no known plumbing leaks currently exist in the building and that any leaks reported by tenants in the future will be promptly repaired; and

(C) The landlord provides the tenants with a copy of the water bill for the period in which the penalty was charged. Only penalties billed for a service period which begins after the effective date of the ordinance [April 20, 1991] may be passed through to tenants. Where penalties result from an allocation which does not reflect documented changes in occupancy which occurred after March 1, 1991, a landlord must, if requested in writing by a tenant, make a good-faith effort to appeal the allotment. Increases based upon penalties shall be prorated on a per-room basis provided that the tenancy existed during the time the penalty charges accrued. Such charges shall not become part of a tenant"s base rent. Where a penalty in any given billing period reflects a 25 percent or more increase in consumption over the prior billing period, and where that increase does not appear to result from increased occupancy or any other known use, a landlord may not impose any increase based upon such penalty unless inspection by a licensed plumber or Water Department inspector fails to reveal a plumbing or other leak. If the inspection does reveal a leak, no increase based upon penalties may be imposed at any time for the period of the unrepaired leak.

(6) Property Tax. A landlord may impose increases based upon a change in the landlord’s property tax resulting from the repayment of general obligation bonds of the City and County of San Francisco approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998 as provided in Section 37.2(q) above. The amount of such increase shall be determined for each tax year as follows:

(A) The Controller and the Board of Supervisors will determine the percentage of the property tax rate, if any, in each tax year attributable to general obligation bonds approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998, and repayable within such tax year.

(B) This percentage shall be multiplied by the total amount of the net taxable value for the applicable tax year. The result is the dollar amount of property taxes for that tax year for a particular property attributable to the repayment of general obligation bonds approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998.

(C) The dollar amount calculated under Subsection (B) shall be divided by the total number of all units in each property, including commercial units. That figure shall be divided by twelve months, to determine the monthly per unit costs for that tax year of the repayment of general obligation bonds approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998.

(D) Landlords may pass through to each unit in a particular property the dollar amount calculated under this Subsection (6). This passthrough may be imposed only on the anniversary date of each tenant’s occupancy of the property. This passthrough shall not become a part of a tenant’s base rent. The amount of each annual passthrough imposed pursuant to this Subsection (6) may vary from year-to-year, depending on the amount calculated under Subsections (A) through (C). Each annual passthrough shall apply only for the twelve-month period after it is imposed. A landlord may impose the passthrough described in this Subsection (6) for a particular tax year only with respect to those tenants who were residents of a particular property on November 1 of the applicable tax year. A landlord shall not impose a passthrough pursuant to this Subsection (6) if the landlord has filed for or received Board approval for a rent increase under Section 37.8(e)(4) for increased operating and maintenance expenses in which the same increase in property taxes due to the repayment of general obligation bonds was included in the comparison year cost totals.

(E) The Board will have available a form which explains how to calculate the passthrough.

(F) Landlords must provide to tenants, at least thirty (30) days prior to the imposition of the passthrough permitted under this Subsection (6), a copy of the completed form described in Subsection (E). This completed form shall be provided in addition to the Notice of Rent Increase required under Section 37.3(b)(5). A tenant may petition for a hearing under the procedure described in Section 37.8 where the tenant alleges that a landlord has imposed a charge which exceeds the limitations set forth in this Subsection (6). In such a hearing, the burden of proof shall be on the landlord. Tenant petitions regarding this passthrough must be filed within one year of the effective date of the passthrough.

(G) The Board may amend its rules and regulations as necessary to implement this Subsection (6).

(7) RAP Loans. A landlord may impose rent increases attributable to the Chief Administrative Officer"s amortization of the RAP loan in an area designated on or after July 1, 1977, pursuant to Chapter 32 of the San Francisco Administrative Code.

(8) Additional Increases. A landlord who seeks to impose any rent increase which exceeds those permitted above shall petition for a rental arbitration hearing pursuant to Section 37.8 of this Chapter.

(9) A landlord may impose a rent increase to recover costs incurred for the remediation of lead hazards, as defined in San Francisco Health Code Article 26. Such increases may be based on changes in operating and maintenance expenses or for capital improvement expenditures as long as the costs which are the basis of the rent increase are a substantial portion of the work which abates or remediates a lead hazard, as defined in San Francisco Health Code Article 26, and provided further that such costs are approved for operating and maintenance expense increases pursuant to Section 37.8(e)(4)(A) and certified as capital improvements pursuant to Section 37.7 below.

When rent increases are authorized by this Subsection 37.3(a)(9), the total rent increase for both operating and maintenance expenses and capital improvements shall not exceed 10 percent in any 12-month period. If allowable rent increases due to the costs of lead remediation and abatement work exceed 10 percent in any 12-month period, a hearing officer shall apply a portion of such excess to approved operating and maintenance expenses for lead remediation work, and the balance, if any, to certified capital improvements, provided, however, that such increase shall not exceed 10 percent. A landlord may accumulate any approved or certified increase which exceeds this amount, subject to the 10 percent limit.

(10) With respect to units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance:

(A) If the tenant’s share of the base rent is not calculated as a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 voucher program and the Over-FMR Tenancy Program, then:

(i) If the base rent is equal to or greater than the Payment Standard, the rent increase limitations in Sections 37.3(a)(1) and (2) shall apply to the entire base rent, and the arbitration procedures for those increases set forth in Section 37.8 and 37.8A shall apply.

(ii) If the base rent is less than the Payment Standard, the rent increase limitations of this Chapter shall not apply; provided, however, that any rent increase which would result in the base rent being equal to or greater than the Payment Standard shall not result in a new base rent that exceeds the Payment Standard plus the increase allowable under Section 37.3(a)(1).

(B) If the tenant’s share of the base rent is calculated as a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 certificate program and the rental subsidy program for the HOPWA program, the rent increase limitations in Section 37.3(a)(1) and (2) shall not apply. In such circumstances, adjustments in rent shall be made solely according to the requirements of the tenant-based rental assistance program.

(b) Notice of Rent Increase for Tenants in Occupancy. On or before the date upon which a landlord gives a tenant legal notice of a rent increase, the landlord shall inform the tenant, in writing, of the following:

(1) Which portion of the rent increase reflects the annual increase, and/or a banked amount, if any;

(2) Which portion of the rent increase reflects costs for increased operating and maintenance expenses, rents for comparable units, and/or capital improvements, rehabilitation, or energy conservation measures certified pursuant to Section 37.7;

(3) Which portion of the rent increase reflects the passthrough of charges for gas and electricity, or bond measure costs described in Section 37.3(a)(6) above, which charges shall be explained in writing on a form provided by the Board as described in Section 37.3(a)(6)(E);

(4) Which portion of the rent increase reflects the amortization of the RAP loan, as described in Section 37.3(a)(7) above.

(5) Nonconforming Rent Increases. Any rent increase which does not conform with the provisions of this Section shall be null and void.

(6) With respect to rental units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance, the notice requirements of this Subsection (b) shall be required in addition to any notice required as part of the tenant-based rental assistance program.

(c) Initial Rent Limitation for Subtenants. A tenant who subleases his or her rental unit may charge no more rent upon initial occupancy of the subtenant or subtenants than that rent which the tenant is currently paying to the landlord.

(d) Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Civil Code Sections 1954.50, et seq.). Consistent with the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (California Civil Code Sections 1954.50, et seq.) and regardless of whether otherwise provided under Chapter 37:

(1) Property Owner Rights to Establish Initial and All Subsequent Rental Rates for Separately Alienable Parcels.

(A) An owner of residential real property may establish the initial and all subsequent rental rates for a dwelling or a unit which is alienable separate from the title to any other dwelling unit or is a subdivided interest in a subdivision as specified in subdivision (b), (d), or (f) of Section 11004.5 of the California Business and Professions Code. The owner’s right to establish subsequent rental rates under this paragraph shall not apply to a dwelling or unit where the preceding tenancy has been terminated by the owner by notice pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1946 or has been terminated upon a change in the terms of the tenancy noticed pursuant to California Civil Code Section 827: in such instances, the rent increase limitation provisions of Chapter 37 shall continue to apply for the duration of the new tenancy in that dwelling or unit.

(B) Where the initial or subsequent rental rates of a Subsection 37.3(d)(1)(A) dwelling or unit were controlled by the provisions of Chapter 37 on January 1, 1995, the following shall apply:

(i) A tenancy that was in effect on December 31, 1995 remains subject to the rent control provisions of this Chapter 37, and the owner may not otherwise establish the subsequent rental rates for that tenancy.

(ii) On or after January 1, 1999 an owner may establish the initial and all subsequent rental rates for any tenancy created on or after January 1, 1996.

(C) An owner’s right to establish subsequent rental rates under Subsection 37.3(d)(1) shall not apply to a dwelling or unit which contains serious health, safety, fire or building code violations, excluding those caused by disasters, for which a citation has been issued by the appropriate governmental agency and which has remained unabated for six months or longer preceding the vacancy.

(2) Conditions for Establishing the Initial Rental Rate Upon Sublet or Assignment. Except as identified in this Subsection 37.3(d)(2), nothing in this Subsection or any other provision of law of the City and County of San Francisco shall be construed to preclude express establishment in a lease or rental agreement of the rental rates to be applicable in the event the rental unit subject thereto is sublet, and nothing in this Subsection shall be construed to impair the obligations of contracts entered into prior to January 1, 1996, subject to the following:

(A) Where the original occupant or occupants who took possession of the dwelling or unit pursuant to the rental agreement with the owner no longer permanently reside there, an owner may increase the rent by any amount allowed by this Subsection to a lawful sublessee or assignee who did not reside at the dwelling or unit prior to January 1, 1996. However, such a rent increase shall not be permitted while:

(i) The dwelling or unit has been cited in an inspection report by the appropriate governmental agency as containing serious health, safety, fire, or building code violations, as defined by Section 17920.3 of the California Health and Safety Code, excluding any violation caused by a disaster; and,

(ii) The citation was issued at least 60 days prior to the date of the vacancy; and,

(iii) The cited violation had not been abated when the prior tenant vacated and had remained unabated for 60 days or for a longer period of time. However, the 60-day time period may be extended by the appropriate governmental agency that issued the citation.

(B) This Subsection 37.3(d)(2) shall not apply to partial changes in occupancy of a dwelling or unit where one or more of the occupants of the premises, pursuant to the agreement with the owner provided for above (37.3(d)(2)), remains an occupant in lawful possession of the dwelling or unit, or where a lawful sublessee or assignee who resided at the dwelling or unit prior to January 1, 1996, remains in possession of the dwelling or unit. Nothing contained in this Subsection 37.3(d)(2) shall be construed to enlarge or diminish an owner"s right to withhold consent to a sublease or assignment.

(C) Acceptance of rent by the owner shall not operate as a waiver or otherwise prevent enforcement of a covenant prohibiting sublease or assignment or as a waiver of an owner"s rights to establish the initial rental rate unless the owner has received written notice from the tenant that is party to the agreement and thereafter accepted rent.

(3) Termination or nonrenewal of a contract or recorded agreement with a government agency limiting rent. An owner who terminates or fails to renew a contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant, shall be subject to the following:

(A) The tenant(s) who were beneficiaries of the contract or recorded agreement shall be given at least 90 days" written notice of the effective date of the termination and shall not be obligated to pay more than the tenant"s portion of the rent, as calculated under that contract or recorded agreement, for 90 days following receipt of the notice of termination or nonrenewal.

(B) The owner shall not be eligible to set an initial rent for three years following the date of the termination or nonrenewal of the contract or agreement.

(C) The rental rate for any new tenancy established during the three-year period in that vacated dwelling or unit shall be at the same rate as the rent under the terminated or nonrenewed contract or recorded agreement, plus any increases authorized under this Chapter 37 after the date of termination/nonrenewal.

(D) The provisions of Subsections 37.3(d)(3)(b) and (c) shall not apply to any new tenancy of 12 months or more duration established after January 1, 2000, pursuant to the owner"s contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant unless the prior vacancy in that dwelling or unit was pursuant to a nonrenewed or canceled contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant.

(4) Subsection 37.3(d) does not affect the authority of the City and County of San Francisco to regulate or monitor the basis or grounds for eviction.

(5) This Subsection 37.3(d) is intended to be and shall be construed to be consistent with the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Civil Code Sections 1954.50, et seq.).

((d)) (e) Effect of Deferred Maintenance on Passthroughs for Lead Remediation Techniques.

(1) When lead hazards, which have been remediated or abated pursuant to San Francisco Health Code Article 26, are also violations of State or local housing health and safety laws, the costs of such work shall not be passed through to tenants as either a capital improvement or an operating and maintenance expense if the hearing officer finds that the deferred maintenance, as defined herein, of the current or previous landlord caused or contributed to the existence of the violation of law.

(2) In any unit occupied by a lead-poisoned child and in which there exists a lead hazard, as defined in San Francisco Health Code Article 26, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that violations of State or local housing health and safety laws caused or created by deferred maintenance, caused or contributed to the presence of the lead hazards. If the landlord fails to rebut the presumption, that portion of the petition seeking a rent increase for the costs of lead hazard remediation or abatement shall be denied. If the presumption is rebutted, the landlord shall be entitled to a rent increase if otherwise justified by the standards set forth in this Chapter.

(3) For purposes of the evaluation of petitions for rent increases for lead remediation work, maintenance is deferred if a reasonable landlord under the circumstances would have performed, on a regular basis, the maintenance work required to keep the premises from being in violation of housing safety and habitability standards set forth in California Civil Code Section 1941 and the San Francisco Municipal Code. In order to prevail on a deferred maintenance defense, a tenant must show that the level or repair or remediation currently required would have been lessened had maintenance been performed in a more timely manner.

 
 
 

Section 3. Chapter 37A of the San Francisco Administrative Code "Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Fee," is hereby amended by amending Section 37A.1 to read as follows:

 

SEC. 37A.1.  SCOPE. This Chapter is applicable to all residential units in the City and County of San Francisco, including residential units which are exempt from the rent increase limitation provisions (but not other provisions) of Chapter 37 pursuant to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Civil Code §§1954.50, et seq.) and/or San Francisco Administrative Code §37.3(d). For purposes of this Chapter, "residential units" are dwelling units and guest rooms as those terms are defined in Sections 400 and 401 of the San Francisco Housing Code. The term shall not include:

(a) Guest rooms exempted or excluded from regulation under Chapter 41 of this Code;

(b) Dwelling units in nonprofit cooperatives owned, occupied and controlled by a majority of the residents or dwelling units solely owned by a nonprofit public benefit corporation governed by a board of directors the majority of which are residents of the dwelling units and where it is required in the corporate by-laws that rent increases be approved by a majority of the residents;

(c) Housing accommodations in any hospital, convent, monastery, extended care facility, asylum, residential care or adult day health care facility for the elderly which must be operated pursuant to a license issued by the California Department of Social Services, as required by California Health and Safety Code Chapters 3.2 and 3.3, or in dormitories owned and operated by an institution of higher education, a high school, or an elementary school;

(d) Dwelling units whose rents are controlled or regulated by any government unit, agency or authority, excepting those units which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board. However, Section 8 certificate, voucher and related programs administered by the San Francisco Housing Authority, which are subject in whole or in part to the jurisdiction of the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board shall remain exempt from the fee;

(e) Any dwelling unit for which the owner has on file with the Assessor a current homeowner"s exemption;

(f) Any dwelling unit which is occupied by an owner of record on either a full-time or part-time basis and which is not rented at any time, provided that the owner file with the Tax Collector an affidavit so stating;

(g) Dwelling units located in a structure for which a certificate of final completion and occupancy was first issued by the Bureau of Building Inspection after June 13, 1979;

(h) Dwelling units in a building which, after June 13, 1979, has undergone substantial rehabilitation as that term is defined in Chapter 37 of this Code.

 
 
 

Section 4. SEVERABILITY. If any part or provision of this Ordinance, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this Ordinance, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, provisions of this Ordinance are severable.