Section 37.9 Evictions

 

Sec. 37.9     Evictions.

[Amended by Ord. No. 295-79, effective June 22, 1979; Ord. No. 358-80, effective August 24, 1980; Ord. No. 539-80, effective December 11, 1980; Ord. No. 4-82, effective February 7, 1982; Ord. No. 268-82, effective July 10, 1982; Ord. No. 498-82, effective November 11, 1982; Ord. No. 438-83, effective October 2, 1983; Ord. No. 425-84, effective November 17, 1984; Ord. No. 193-86, effective June 29, 1986; Ord. No. 7-87, effective February 14, 1987; Ord. No. 30-91, effective February 21, 1991; Ord. No. 192-91, effective June 30, 1991; Ord. No. 405-96, effective November 21, 1996; Ord. No. 109-97-4, effective January 30, 1998; Ord. No. 239-98, effective August 16, 1998; Ord. No. 250-98, effective August 30, 1998; Ord. No. 293-98, effective November 1, 1998; amended by Proposition G, December 18, 1998; amended by Ord. No. 237-99, effective September 29, 1999; Ord. No. 347-99, effective January 29, 2000; Ord. No. 348-99, effective January 29, 2000; Ord. No. 135-01, effective September 4, 2001; Ord. No. 186-01, effective October 27, 2001; Ord. No. 23-02, effective March 24, 2002; Ord. No. 57-02, effective June 2, 2002; revised by Bullard v. San Francisco Rent Board (2003) 106 Cal.App. 4th 488, and Baba v. CCSF (2004) 124 Cal.App. 4th 504; amended by Ord. No. 99-04, effective July 5, 2004; Ord. No. 282-04, effective January 2, 2005; Ord. No. 21-05, effective February 20, 2005; amended by Proposition H, effective December 22, 2006; Ord. No. 92-07, effective May 27, 2007; Ord. No. 33-08, effective April 16, 2008; Ord. No. 28-09, effective March 22, 2009; Ord. No. 33-10, effective March 14, 2010; Ord. No. 72-11, effective May 27, 2011; annotated sections 37.9(a)(11) and 37.9(a)(14) to reference California Civil Code Section 1947.9, which went into effect on January 1, 2013; amended by Ord. No. 1-14, effective February 14, 2014; Ord. No. 44-14, effective May 18, 2014; amended by Ord. No. 218-14, operative February 1, 2015; Ord. No. 171-15, effective November 9, 2015; Ord. No. 17-16, effective March 19, 2016; Ord. No. 55-16, effective May 22, 2016, enjoined by San Francisco Superior Court in San Francisco Apartment Association v. CCSF on August 31, 2016 (Case No. CPF-16-515087)[1]; amended by Ord. No. 160-17, effective August 27, 2017]

            Notwithstanding Section 37.3, this Section 37.9 shall apply as of August 24, 1980, to all landlords and tenants of rental units as defined in Section 37.2(r).

            (a)  A landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit unless:

                        (1)  The tenant:

                                    (A)  Has failed to pay the rent to which the landlord is lawfully entitled under the oral or written agreement between the tenant and landlord:

                                                (i) Except that a tenant's nonpayment of a charge prohibited by Section 919.1 of the Police Code shall not constitute a failure to pay rent; and

                                                (ii) Except that, commencing August 10, 2001, to and including February 10, 2003, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover or recover possession of rental unit for failure of a tenant to pay that portion of rent attributable to a capital improvement passthrough certified pursuant to a decision issued after April 10, 2000, where the capital improvement passthrough petition was filed prior to August 10, 2001, and a landlord shall not impose any late fee(s) upon the tenant for such non-payment of capital improvement costs; or

                                    (B)  Habitually pays the rent late; or

                                    (C)  Gives checks which are frequently returned because there are insufficient funds in the checking account; or

                        (2)  The tenant has violated a lawful obligation or covenant of tenancy other than the obligation to surrender possession upon proper notice or other than an obligation to pay a charge prohibited by Police Code Section 919.1, the violation was substantial, and the tenant fails to cure such violation after having received written notice thereof from the landlord.

                                    (A)  Provided that notwithstanding any lease provision to the contrary, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit as a result of subletting of the rental unit by the tenant if the landlord has unreasonably withheld the right to sublet following a written request by the tenant, so long as the tenant continues to reside in the rental unit and the sublet constitutes a one-for-one replacement of the departing tenant(s).  If the landlord fails to respond to the tenant in writing with a description of the reasons for the denial of the request within 14 days of receipt of the tenant's written request, the tenant's request shall be deemed approved by the landlord.

                                    (B)  Provided further that where a rental agreement or lease provision limits the number of occupants or limits or prohibits subletting or assignment, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit as a result of the addition to the unit of a tenant's child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, brother or sister, or the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in Administrative Code Sections 62.1 through 62.8) of such relatives, or as a result of the addition of the spouse or domestic partner of a  tenant, so long as the maximum number of occupants stated in Section 37.9(a)(2)(B)(i) and (ii) is not exceeded, if the landlord has unreasonably refused a written request by the tenant to add such occupant(s) to the unit.  If the landlord fails to respond to the tenant in writing with a description of the reasons for the denial of the request within 14 days of receipt of the tenant's written request, the tenant's request shall be deemed approved by the landlord. A landlord's reasonable refusal of the tenant's written request may not be based on the proposed additional occupant's lack of creditworthiness, if that person will not be legally obligated to pay some or all of the rent to the landlord.  A landlord's reasonable refusal of the tenant's written request may be based on, but is not limited to, the ground that the total number of occupants in a unit exceeds (or with the proposed additional occupant(s) would exceed) the lesser of (i) or (ii):

                                                (i) Two persons in a studio unit, three persons in a one-bedroom unit, four persons in a two-bedroom unit, six persons in a three-bedroom unit, or eight persons in a four-bedroom unit; or,

                                                (ii) The maximum number permitted in the unit under state law and/or other local codes such as the Building, Fire, Housing and Planning Codes.

                                    (C)  Provided further that where a rental agreement or lease provision limits the number of occupants or limits or prohibits subletting or assignment, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit as a result of the addition by the tenant of additional occupants to the rental unit, so long as the maximum number of occupants does not exceed the lesser of the amounts allowed by Subsection (i) or Subsection (ii) of this Section 37.9(a)(2)(C), if the landlord has unreasonably refused a written request by the tenant to add such occupant(s) to the unit.  If the landlord fails to respond to the tenant in writing with a description of the reasons for the denial of the request within 14 days of receipt of the tenant’s written request, the tenant’s request shall be deemed approved by the landlord.  A landlord’s reasonable refusal of the tenant’s written request may not be based on either of the following: (1) the proposed additional occupant’s lack of creditworthiness, if that person will not be legally obligated to pay some or all of the rent to the landlord, or (2) the number of occupants allowed by the rental agreement or lease.  With the exception of the restrictions stated in the preceding sentence, a landlord’s reasonable refusal of the tenant’s written request may be based on, but is not limited to, the ground that the landlord resides in the same unit as the tenant or the ground that the total number of occupants in a unit exceeds (or with the proposed additional occupant(s) would exceed) the lesser of (i) or (ii):

                                                (i)  Two persons in a studio unit, three persons in a one-bedroom unit, four persons in a two-bedroom unit, six persons in a three-bedroom unit, or eight persons in a four-bedroom unit; or

                                                (ii)  The maximum number permitted in the unit under state law and/or other local codes such as the Building, Fire, Housing, and Planning Codes.

                                                (iii)  This Subsection 37.9(a)(2)(C) is not intended by itself to establish a direct landlord-tenant relationship between the additional occupant and the landlord or to limit a landlord’s rights under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, California Civil Code Section 1954.50 et seq. (as it may be amended from time to time).

                                                (iv)  For the purposes of this Subsection 37.9(a)(2)(C), the term “additional occupant” shall not include persons who occupy the unit as a Tourist or Transient Use, as defined in Administrative Code Section 41A.5.

                                    (D)  Before endeavoring to recover possession based on the violation of a lawful obligation or covenant of tenancy regarding subletting or limits on the number of occupants in the rental unit, the landlord shall serve the tenant a written notice of the violation that provides the tenant with an opportunity to cure the violation in 10 or more days.  The tenant may cure the violation by making a written request to add occupants referenced in Subsection (A), (B), or (C) of Section 37.9(a)(2) or by using other reasonable means to cure the violation, including, without limitation, the removal of any additional or unapproved occupant.  Nothing in this Section 37.9(a)(2)(D) is intended to limit any other rights or remedies that the law otherwise provides to landlords; or

                        (3)  The tenant is committing or permitting to exist a nuisance in, or is causing substantial damage to, the rental unit, or is creating a substantial interference with the comfort, safety or enjoyment of the landlord or tenants in the building, the activities are severe, continuing or recurring in nature, and the nature of such nuisance, damage or interference is specifically stated by the landlord in the writing as required by Section 37.9(c).

                        (3.1)  Eviction Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault or Stalking:

                                    (A)  It shall be a defense to an action for possession of a unit under Subsection 37.9(a)(3) if the court determines that:

                                                (i)  The tenant or the tenant’s household member is a victim of an act or acts that constitute domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking; and

                                                (ii)  The notice to vacate is substantially based upon the act or acts constituting domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking against the tenant or a tenant’s household member, including but not limited to an action for possession based on complaints of noise, disturbances, or repeated presence of police.

                                    (B)  Evidence Required.  In making the determination under Section 37.9(a)(3.1)(A) the court shall consider evidence, which may include but is not limited to:

                                                (i)  A copy of a temporary restraining order or emergency protective order issued pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 6240) or Part 4 (commencing with Section 6300) or Part 5 (commencing with Section 6400) of the Family Code, Section 136.2 of the Penal Code, Section 527.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or Section 213.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, that protects the tenant or tenant’s household member from further domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. And/or,

                                                (ii)  A copy of a written report by a peace officer employed by a state or local law enforcement agency acting in his or her official capacity, stating that the tenant or tenant’s household member has filed a report alleging that he or she is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. And/or

                                                (iii)  Other written documentation from a qualified third party of the acts constituting domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking.

                                    (C)  Mutual Allegations of Abuse Between Parties.  If two or more co-tenants are parties seeking relief under Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1)(A), and each alleges that he or she was a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking perpetrated by another co-tenant who is also a party, the court may determine whether a tenant acted as the dominant aggressor in the acts constituting a domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking offense. In making the determination, the court shall consider the factors listed in Section 13701(b)(1) of the Penal Code. A tenant who the court determines was the dominant aggressor in the acts constituting a domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking offense is not entitled to relief under Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1)(A).

                                    (D)  Limitations on Relief.  Unless the tenant or the tenant’s household member has obtained a protective order against the alleged abuser to vacate or stay from the unit as a result of acts constituting domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking against the tenant or tenant’s household member, the tenant may not obtain relief under Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1) if:

                                                (i)  The tenant was granted relief under Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1) in an action for possession of the unit within the previous five years; and

                                                (ii)  A subsequent action for possession of the unit has now been filed; and

                                                (iii)  The notice to vacate in this subsequent action for possession is substantially based upon continuing acts constituting domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking by the same person alleged to be the abuser in the previous action for possession.

                                    (E)  Nothing in this Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1) shall be construed to affect the tenant’s liability for delinquent rent or other sums owed to the landlord, or the landlord’s remedies in recovering against the tenant for such sums.

                                    (F)  The provisions of Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1) are intended for use consistent with Civil Code Section 1946.7.

                        (3.2)  Confidentiality of Information Received from Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault or Stalking.  A landlord shall retain in strictest confidence all information that is received in confidence from a tenant or a tenant’s household member who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking, regarding that domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking, except to the extent that such disclosure (A) is necessary to provide for a reasonable accommodation for the victim, or (B) is otherwise required pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law. The victim may authorize limited or general release of any information otherwise deemed confidential under this Subsection 37.9(a)(3.2).

                        Or,

                        (4)  The tenant is using or permitting a rental unit to be used for any illegal purpose, provided however that a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit solely:

                                    (A)  as a result of a first violation of Chapter 41A that has been cured within 30 days written notice to the tenant; or,

                                    (B)  because the illegal use is the residential occupancy of a unit not authorized for residential occupancy by the City.  Nothing in this Section 37.9(a)(4)(B) prohibits a landlord from endeavoring to recover possession of the unit under Section 37.9(a)(8) or (10) of this Chapter.

                        (5)  The tenant, who had an oral or written agreement with the landlord which has terminated, has refused after written request or demand by the landlord to execute a written extension or renewal thereof for a further term of like duration and under such terms which are materially the same as in the previous agreement; provided, that such terms do not conflict with any of the provisions of this Chapter; or

                        (6)  The tenant has, after written notice to cease, refused the landlord access to the rental unit as required by state or local law; or

                        (7)  The tenant holding at the end of the term of the oral or written agreement is a subtenant not approved by the landlord; or

                        (8)  The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith, without ulterior reasons and with honest intent;

                                    (i)  For the landlords use or occupancy as his or her principal residence for a period of at least 36 continuous months;

                                    (ii)  For the use or occupancy of the landlords grandparents, grandchildren, parents, children, brother or sister, or the landlords spouse or the spouses of such relations, as their principal place of residency for a period of at least 36 months, in the same building in which the landlord resides as his or her principal place of residency, or in a building in which the landlord is simultaneously seeking possession of a rental unit under 37.9(a)(8)(i).  For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8)(ii), the term “spouse” shall include Domestic Partners as defined in Administrative Code Chapter 62.1 through 62.8.

                                    (iii)  For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8) only, as to landlords who become owners of record of the rental unit on or before February 21, 1991, the term landlord shall be defined as an owner of record of at least 10 percent interest in the property or, for Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) only, two individuals registered as Domestic Partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 62.1-62.8 whose combined ownership of record is at least 10 percent.  For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8) only, as to landlords who become owners of record of the rental unit after February 21, 1991, the term landlord shall be defined as an owner of record of at least 25 percent interest in the property or, for Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) only, two individuals registered as Domestic Partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 62.1-62.8 whose combined ownership of record is at least 25 percent.

                                    (iv)  A landlord may not recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(8) if a comparable unit owned by the landlord is already vacant and is available, or if such a unit becomes vacant and available before the recovery of possession of the unit.  If a comparable unit does become vacant and available before the recovery of possession, the landlord shall rescind the notice to vacate and dismiss any action filed to recover possession of the premises.  Provided further, if a non-comparable unit becomes available before the recovery of possession, the landlord shall offer that unit to the tenant.  It shall be evidence of a lack of good faith if a landlord times the service of the notice, or the filing of an action to recover possession, so as to avoid moving into a comparable unit, or to avoid offering a tenant a replacement unit. 

                                    (v)  Commencing January 1, 2018, the landlord shall attach to the notice to vacate a form prepared by the Rent Board that the tenant can use to keep the Rent Board apprised of any future change in address, and shall include in the notice a declaration executed by the landlord under penalty of perjury stating that the landlord seeks to recover possession of the unit in good faith, without ulterior reasons and with honest intent, for use or occupancy as the principal residence of the landlord or the landlord’s relative (identified by name and relation to the landlord), for a period of at least 36 continuous months, as set forth in subsections 37.9(a)(8)(i) and (ii). Evidence that the landlord has not acted in good faith may include, but is not limited to, any of the following: (1) the landlord has failed to file the notice to vacate with the Rent Board as required by Section 37.9(c), (2) the landlord or relative for whom the tenant was evicted did not move into the rental unit within three months after the landlord recovered possession and then occupy said unit as that person’s principal residence for a minimum of 36 consecutive months, (3) the landlord or relative for whom the tenant was evicted lacks a legitimate, bona fide reason for not moving into the unit within three months after the recovery of possession and/or then occupying said unit as that person’s principal residence for a minimum of 36 consecutive months, (4) the landlord did not file a statement of occupancy with the Rent Board as required by Section 37.9(a)(8)(vii), (5) the landlord violated Section 37.9B by renting the unit to a new tenant at a rent greater than that which would have been the rent had the tenant who had been required to vacate remained in continuous occupancy and the rental unit remained subject to this Chapter 37, and (6) such other factors as a court or the Rent Board may deem relevant. Nothing in this Section 37.9(a)(8)(v) is intended to alter or diminish any other right to relief that a tenant may have based on a landlord’s failure to comply with this Chapter 37.

                                    (vi)  Once a landlord has successfully recovered possession of a rental unit pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8)(i), then no other current or future landlords may recover possession of any other rental unit in the building under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i).  It is the intention of this section that only one specific unit per building may be used for such occupancy under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) and that once a unit is used for such occupancy, all future occupancies under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) must be of that same unit, provided that a landlord may file a petition with the Rent Board, or at the landlords option, commence eviction proceedings, claiming that disability or other similar hardship prevents him or her from occupying a unit which was previously occupied by the landlord.

                                    (vii)  A landlord who has recovered possession of a unit pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8) on or after January 1, 2018 must complete a statement of occupancy under penalty of perjury on a form to be prepared by the Rent Board that discloses whether the landlord has recovered possession of the unit. The landlord shall file the statement of occupancy with the Rent Board within 90 days after the date of service, and shall file an updated statement of occupancy every 90 days thereafter, unless the statement of occupancy discloses that the landlord is no longer endeavoring to recover possession of the unit, in which case no further statements of occupancy need be filed. If the statement of occupancy discloses that the landlord has already recovered possession of the unit, the landlord shall file updated statements of occupancy once a year for five years, no later than 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, 48 months and 60 months after the recovery of possession of the unit. Each statement of occupancy filed after the landlord has recovered possession of the unit shall disclose the date of recovery of possession, whether the landlord or relative for whom the tenant was evicted is occupying the unit as that person’s principal residence with at least two forms of supporting documentation, the date such occupancy commenced (or alternatively, the reasons why occupancy has not yet commenced), the rent charged for the unit if any, and such other information and documentation as the Rent Board may require in order to effectuate the purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8). The Rent Board shall make all reasonable efforts to send the displaced tenant a copy of each statement of occupancy within 30 days of the date of filing, or a notice that the landlord did not file a statement of occupancy if no statement of occupancy was filed. In addition, the Rent Board shall impose an administrative penalty on any landlord who fails to comply with this subsection (a)(8)(vii), in the amount of $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for every subsequent violation. The procedure for the imposition, enforcement, collection, and administrative review of the administrative penalty shall be governed by Administrative Code Chapter 100, “Procedures Governing the Imposition of Administrative Fines,” which is hereby incorporated in its entirety.

                                    (viii)  If any provision or clause of this Section 37.9(a)(8) or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional or to be otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect other chapter provisions, and clauses of this chapter are held to be severable; or

                        (9)  The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to sell the unit in accordance with a condominium conversion approved under the San Francisco subdivision ordinance and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent; or

                        (10)  The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to demolish or to otherwise permanently remove the rental unit from housing use and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent; provided that a landlord who seeks to recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(10) shall pay relocation expenses as provided in Section 37.9C except that a landlord who seeks to demolish an unreinforced masonry building pursuant to Building Code Chapters 16B and 16C must provide the tenant with the relocation assistance specified in Section 37.9A(e) below prior to the tenant's vacating the premises; or

                        (11)  The landlord seeks in good faith to remove temporarily the unit from housing use in order to be able to carry out capital improvements or rehabilitation work and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent.  Any tenant who vacates the unit under such circumstances shall have the right to reoccupy the unit at the prior rent adjusted in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.  The tenant will vacate the unit only for the minimum time required to do the work.  On or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, the landlord shall advise the tenant in writing that the rehabilitation or capital improvement plans are on file with the Central Permit Bureau of the Department of Building Inspection and that arrangements for reviewing such plans can be made with the Central Permit Bureau.  In addition to the above, no landlord shall endeavor to recover possession of any unit subject to a RAP loan as set forth in Section 37.2(m) of this Chapter except as provided in Section 32.69 of the San Francisco Administrative Code.  The tenant shall not be required to vacate pursuant to this Section 37.9(a)(11), for a period in excess of three months; provided, however, that such time period may be extended by the Board or its Administrative Law Judges upon application by the landlord.  The Board shall adopt rules and regulations to implement the application procedure.  Any landlord who seeks to recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(11) shall pay relocation expenses as provided in Section 37.9C. [However, effective January 1, 2013, the amount of relocation payments for temporary displacement of a tenant household under Section 37.9(a)(11) for less than 20 days is governed by California Civil Code Section 1947.9 and not by Section 37.9C.]; or

                        (12)  The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to carry out substantial rehabilitation, as defined in Section 37.2(s), and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent.  Notwithstanding the above, no landlord shall endeavor to recover possession of any unit subject to a RAP loan as set forth in Section 37.2(m) of this Chapter except as provided in Section 32.69 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. Any landlord who seeks to recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(12) shall pay relocation expenses as provided by Section 37.9C; or

                        (13)  The landlord wishes to withdraw from rent or lease all rental units within any detached physical structure and, in addition, in the case of any detached physical structure containing three or fewer rental units, any other rental units on the same lot, and complies in full with Section 37.9A with respect to each such unit; provided, however, that guestrooms or efficiency units within a residential hotel, as defined in Section 50519 of the Health and Safety Code, may not be withdrawn from rent or lease if the residential hotel has a permit of occupancy issued prior to January 1, 1990, and if the residential hotel did not send a notice of intent to withdraw the units from rent or lease (Administrative Code Section 37.9A(f), Government Code Section 7060.4(a)) that was delivered to the Rent Board prior to January 1, 2004; or

                        (14)  The landlord seeks in good faith to temporarily recover possession of the unit solely for the purpose of effecting lead remediation or abatement work, as required by San Francisco Health Code Articles 11 or 26. The tenant will vacate the unit only for the minimum time required to do the work. The relocation rights and remedies, established by San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 72, including but not limited to, the payment of financial relocation assistance, shall apply to evictions under this Section 37.9(a)(14). [However, effective January 1, 2013, the amount of relocation payments for temporary displacement of a tenant household under Section 37.9(a)(14) for less than 20 days is governed by California Civil Code Section 1947.9.]

                        (15)  The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to demolish or to otherwise permanently remove the rental unit from housing use in accordance with the terms of a development agreement entered into by the City under Chapter 56 of the San Francisco Administrative Code.

                        (16)  The tenant’s Good Samaritan Status (Section 37.2(a)(1)(D)) has expired, and the landlord exercises the right to recover possession by serving a notice of termination of tenancy under this Section 37.9(a)(16) within 60 days after expiration of the Original and any Extended Good Samaritan Status Period.

            (b)  A landlord who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant may evict said tenant without just cause as required under Section 37.9(a) above.

            (c)  A landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit unless at least one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b) above is (1) the landlord's dominant motive for recovering possession and (2) unless the landlord informs the tenant in writing on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given of the grounds under which possession is sought, and for notices to vacate under Sections 37.9(a)(8), (9), (10), (11), and (14), state in the notice to vacate the lawful rent for the unit at the time the notice is issued before endeavoring to recover possession.  The Board shall prepare a written form that (1) states that a tenant’s failure to timely act in response to a notice to vacate may result in a lawsuit by the landlord to evict the tenant, and that advice regarding the notice to vacate is available from the Board; and (2) includes information provided by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development regarding eligibility for affordable housing programs.  The Board shall prepare the form in English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Russian and make the form available to the public on its website and in its office.  A landlord shall attach a copy of the form that is in the primary language of the tenant to a notice to vacate before serving the notice, except that if the tenant’s primary language is not English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog or Russian, the landlord shall attach a copy of the form that is in English to the notice.  A copy of all notices to vacate except three-day notices to pay rent or quit and a copy of any additional written documents informing the tenant of the grounds under which possession is sought shall be filed with the Board within 10 days following service of the notice to vacate.  In any action to recover possession of the rental unit under Section 37.9, the landlord must plead and prove that at least one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b) and also stated in the notice to vacate is the dominant motive for recovering possession.  Tenants may rebut the allegation that any of the grounds stated in the notice to vacate is the dominant motive.

            (d)  No landlord may cause a tenant to quit involuntarily or threaten to bring any action to recover possession, or decrease any services, or increase the rent, or take any other action where the landlord's dominant motive is retaliation for the tenant's exercise of any rights under the law.  Such retaliation shall be a defense to any action to recover possession.  In an action to recover possession of a rental unit, proof of the exercise by the tenant of rights under the law within six months prior to the alleged act of retaliation shall create a rebuttable presumption that the landlord's act was retaliatory.

            (e)  It shall be unlawful for a landlord or any other person who willfully assists the landlord to endeavor to recover possession or to evict a tenant except as provided in Section 37.9(a) and (b).  Any person endeavoring to recover possession of a rental unit from a tenant or evicting a tenant in a manner not provided for in Section 37.9(a) or (b) without having a substantial basis in fact for the eviction as provided for in Section 37.9(a) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject, upon conviction, to the fines and penalties set forth in Section 37.10A.  Any waiver by a tenant of rights under this Chapter 37 shall be void as contrary to public policy.

            (f)  Whenever a landlord wrongfully endeavors to recover possession or recovers possession of a rental unit in violation of Sections 37.9 and/or 37.10A as enacted herein, the tenant or Rent Board may institute a civil proceeding for injunctive relief, money damages of not less than three times actual damages (including damages for mental or emotional distress as specified below), and whatever other relief the court deems appropriate.  If the landlord has recovered possession pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8), such action shall be brought no later than five years after (1) the date the landlord files the first statement of occupancy with the Rent Board under Section 37.9(a)(8)(vii) or (2) three months after the landlord recovers possession, whichever is earlier. In the case of an award of damages for mental or emotional distress, said award shall only be trebled if the trier of fact finds that the landlord acted in knowing violation of or in reckless disregard of Section 37.9 or 37.10A herein.  The prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable attorney's fees and costs pursuant to order of the court.  The remedy available under this Section 37.9(f) shall be in addition to any other existing remedies which may be available to the tenant or the Rent Board.

            (g)  The provisions of this Section 37.9 shall apply to any rental unit as defined in Sections 37.2(r)(4)(A) and 37.2(r)(4)(B), including where a notice to vacate/quit any such rental unit has been served as of the effective date of Ordinance No. 250-98, but where any such rental unit has not yet been vacated or an unlawful detainer judgment has not been issued as of the effective date of Ordinance No. 250-98.

            (h)  With respect to rental units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance, the notice requirements of this Section 37.9 shall be required in addition to any notice required as part of the tenant-based rental assistance program, including but not limited to the notice required under 24 CFR 982.311(e)(2)(ii).

            (i)  The following additional provisions shall apply to a landlord who seeks to recover a rental unit by utilizing the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a)(8):

                        (1)  A landlord may not recover possession of a unit from a tenant under Section 37.9(a)(8) if the landlord has or receives notice, any time before recovery of possession, that any tenant in the rental unit:

                                    (A)  Is 60 years of age or older and has been residing in the unit for 10 years or more; or

                                    (B)  Is disabled within the meaning of Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(i) and has been residing in the unit for 10 years or more, or is catastrophically ill within the meaning of Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(ii) and has been residing in the unit for five years or more:

                                                (i)  A disabled tenant is defined for purposes of this Section 37.9(i)(1)(B) as a person who is disabled or blind within the meaning of the federal Supplemental Security Income/California State Supplemental Program (SSI/SSP), and who is determined by SSI/SSP to qualify for that program or who satisfies such requirements through any other method of determination as approved by the Rent Board;

                                                (ii)  A catastrophically ill tenant is defined for purposes of this Section 37.9(i)(1)(B) as a person who is disabled as defined by Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(i), and who is suffering from a life threatening illness as certified by his or her primary care physician.

                        (2)  The foregoing provisions of Sections 37.9(i)(1)(A) and (B) shall not apply where there is only one rental unit owned by the landlord in the building, or where each of the rental units owned by the landlord in the same building where the landlord resides (except the unit actually occupied by the landlord) is occupied by a tenant otherwise protected from eviction by Sections 37.9(i)(1)(A) or (B) and where the landlord's qualified relative who will move into the unit pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8) is 60 years of age or older.

                        (3)  The provisions established by this Section 37.9(i) include but are not limited to, any rental unit where a notice to vacate/quit has been served as of the date this amendment takes effect but where the rental unit has not yet been vacated or an unlawful detainer judgment has not been issued.

                        (4)  Within 30 days of personal service by the landlord of a written request, or, at the landlords option, a notice of termination of tenancy under 37.9(a)(8), the tenant must submit a statement, with supporting evidence, to the landlord if the tenant claims to be a member of one of the classes protected by Section 37.9(i).  The written request or notice shall contain a warning that a tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected by Section 37.9(i).  The landlord shall file a copy of the request or notice with the Rent Board within ten days of service on the tenant.  A tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected by Section 37.9(i).  A landlord may challenge a tenant’s claim of protected status either by requesting a hearing with the Rent Board or, at the landlord’s option, through commencement of eviction proceedings, including service of a notice of termination of tenancy.  In the Rent Board hearing or the eviction action, the tenant shall have the burden of proof to show protected status.  No civil or criminal liability under 37.9(e) or (f) shall be imposed upon a landlord for either requesting or challenging a tenant’s claim of protected status.

                        (5)  This Section 37.9(i) is severable from all other sections and shall be of no force or effect if any temporary moratorium on owner/relative evictions adopted by the Board of Supervisors after June 1, 1998 and before October 31, 1998 has been invalidated by the courts in a final decision.

            (j)         The following additional provision shall apply to a landlord who seeks to recover a rental unit by utilizing the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a)(8):

                        (1)  It shall be a defense to an eviction under Section 37.9(a)(8) if any tenant in the rental unit has a custodial or family relationship with a child under the age of 18 who is residing in the unit, the tenant with the custodial or family relationship has resided in the unit for 12 months or more, and the effective date of the notice of termination of tenancy falls during the school year. The term “school year” as used in this Section 37.9(j) means the first day of instruction for the Fall Semester through the last day of instruction for the Spring Semester, as posted on the San Francisco Unified School District website for each year.

                        (2)  The foregoing provision Section 37.9(j)(1) shall not apply where there is only one rental unit owned by the landlord in the building, or where the owner who will move into the unit pursuant to a Section 37.9(a)(8) eviction has a custodial or family relationship with a child under the age of 18 who will reside in the unit with the owner.

                        (3)  Within 30 days of personal service by the landlord of a written request, or, at the landlord’s option, a notice of termination of tenancy under Section 37.9(a)(8), the tenant must submit a statement with supporting evidence to the landlord, if the tenant claims to be a member of the class protected from eviction by Section 37.9(j). The landlord’s written request or notice shall contain a warning that a tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected from eviction by Section 37.9(j). The landlord shall file a copy of the landlord’s request or notice with the Rent Board within 10 days of service on the tenant. A tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected from eviction by Section 37.9(j). A landlord may challenge a tenant’s claim of protected status either by requesting a hearing with the Rent Board or, at the landlord’s option, through commencement of eviction proceedings, including service of a notice of termination of tenancy. In the Rent Board hearing or the eviction action, the tenant shall have the burden of proof to show protected status. No civil or criminal liability under Section 37.9(e) or (f) shall be imposed upon a landlord for either requesting or challenging a tenant’s claim of protected status.

                        (4)  For purposes of this Section 37.9(j), the term “custodial relationship” means that the person is a legal guardian of the child, or has a court-recognized caregiver authorization affidavit for the child, or that the person has provided full-time custodial care of the child pursuant to an agreement with the child’s legal guardian or court-recognized caregiver and has been providing that care for at least one year or half of the child’s lifetime, whichever is less. The term “family relationship” means that the person is the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle of the child, or the spouse or domestic partner of such relations.

(k)        Disclosure of Rights to Tenants Before and After Sale of Rental Units Subject to Section 37.9. 

            (1)       Disclosure to Tenants By Seller of the Property.  Before property containing rental units subject to Section 37.9 may be sold, the owner/seller shall disclose to tenants of the property the rights of tenants during and after the sale of the property.  This disclosure shall be in writing and shall include:

                        (A)       A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that tenants cannot be evicted or asked to move solely because a property is being sold or solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

                        (B)       A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that tenants cannot have their rent increased above that permitted by Chapter 37 solely because a property is being sold or solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

                        (C)       A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that the rental agreements of tenants cannot be materially changed solely because a property is being sold or solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

                        (D)       A statement that the owner’s right to show units to prospective buyers is governed by California Civil Code section 1954, including a statement that tenants must receive notice as provided by Section 1954, and a statement that a showing must be conducted during normal business hours unless the tenant consents to an entry at another time.

                        (E)       A statement that tenants are not required to complete or sign any estoppel certificates or estoppel agreements, except as required by law or by that tenant’s rental agreement.  The statement shall further inform tenants that tenant rights may be affected by an estoppel certificate or agreement and that the tenants should seek legal advice before completing or signing an estoppel certificate or agreement.

                        (F)       A statement that information on these and other tenants' rights are available at the San Francisco Rent Board, 25 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, California, and at the counseling telephone number of the Rent Board and at its web site.

            (2)       Disclosure to Tenants by Purchaser of the Property.  Within 30 days of acquiring title to rental units subject to Section 37.9, the new purchaser/owner shall disclose to tenants of the property the rights of tenants following this sale of the property.  This disclosure shall be in writing and shall include:

                        (A)       A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that tenants cannot be evicted or asked to move solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

                        (B)       A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that tenants cannot have their rent increased above that permitted by Chapter 37 solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

                        (C)       A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that the rental agreements of tenants cannot be materially changed solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

                        (D)       A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that any tenants, sub-tenants or roommates who were lawful occupants at the time of the sale remain lawful occupants.

                        (E)       A statement in bold type of at least 12 points:  that tenants' housing services as defined in Section 37.2(r) first paragraph cannot be changed or severed from the tenancy solely because a new owner has purchased that property; and that tenants' housing services as defined in Section 37.2(r) second paragraph that were supplied in connection with the use or occupancy of a unit at the time of sale (such as laundry rooms, decks, or storage space) cannot be severed from the tenancy by the new purchaser/owner without just cause as required by Section 37.9(a).

            (l)  Hearings on Alleged Wrongful Endeavor to Recover Possession Through Tenant Harassment.

                        (1)  Upon receipt of a tenant report alleging wrongful endeavor to recover possession of the tenant’s unit through harassment, the Board through its Executive Director shall send a notice acknowledging receipt of the report and summarizing the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants regarding possession of, and eviction from, residential rental units. Upon consideration of such report, the Executive Director may schedule an investigative hearing on the allegations before a Board Administrative Law Judge, where both the tenant and the landlord may appear and make oral and/or written presentations, including presentation of other witnesses. Following such hearing, the Administrative Law Judge shall provide the Board with a summary of evidence produced at the hearing.

                        (2)  Upon review of the evidence, the Board shall consider whether to undertake any further proceedings such as, but not limited to, civil litigation pursuant to Section 37.9(f), or referral to the District Attorney (see Section 37.9(e)).

                        (3)  For purposes of this Subsection 37.9(l), harassment includes but is not limited to the types of harassment defined in Section 37.10B(a)(1) – (6) and (8) – (14).

            (m)  Implementation of California Civil Code Section 1947.9(a)(1)(A). Notwithstanding any other provision of Administrative Code Chapter 37, and consistent with California Civil Code Section 1947.9, the daily compensation payment specified in Civil Code Section 1947.9(a)(1)(A) for a tenant household temporarily displaced for less than 20 days, shall increase annually, rounded to the nearest dollar, at the rate of increase in the “rent of primary residence” expenditure category of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Region for the preceding calendar year, as that data is made available by the United States Department of Labor and published by the Board. This increase shall be calculated as of March 1 each year, commencing March 1, 2014.

 

[1] The City is not enforcing Ordinance 55-16. The full text of Ordinance 55-16 is available at www.sfbos.org, but is not included here.