Rent Board Fee Frequently Asked Questions
Rent Board Fee Frequently Asked Questions
UPDATE - Beginning on June 1, 2022, property owners are no longer able to pay delinquent Rent Board fees online, by mail, or in person. If you have a delinquent fee obligation, you will receive a letter that will be sent out in June by the Bureau of Delinquent Revenue with further instructions.
Why am I getting this Rent Board Fee Annual Notice (bill)?
The City and County of San Francisco imposes a per-unit fee on owners of residential property to fund the services and administrative cost of running the Rent Board. In prior tax years the fee was collected as a charge on owner’s property tax bill. Beginning in tax year 2021-2022 the Rent Board fee is invoiced separately. You can only begin to make payment once you have received your Rent Board Fee Annual Notice. If you own multiple properties, you may not receive all your Rent Board Fee Annual Notices at the same time.
What is the Portal?
The Rent Board has created an online Portal where owners can access their property information and make a payment [not available after May 31, 2022]. You must use an email address to register an account. The Portal is best accessed using the most updated versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers. A guide to the Portal can be found here.
What is the PIN on the Annual Notice (bill)?
There is a PIN associated with each property address. This PIN will be on the Annual Notice (bill) and is required to make payment on the Portal [not available after May 31, 2022].
I lost my Annual Notice and I want to pay my bill. How do I get a new PIN?
Please call 311 (415-701-2311 from outside San Francisco) to have your PIN reset.
This Annual Notice (bill) was mailed to me, but I don’t own the property anymore.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading: "Rent Board Fee: Change of Ownership," and include the property address and the APN (Assessor's Parcel Number) with all information you have that documents the change of ownership. Please include a copy of the Annual Notice (bill) in the email.
This Annual Notice (bill) was mailed to me and I am an owner, but I don’t deal with the property’s business and I shouldn’t be receiving notices.
Please log into the Portal using the PIN provided on the Annual Notice (bill) and update the primary mailing address for the property.
I filed my exemption request on time, but haven’t heard anything. What’s going on?
If you filed your exemption request in the Portal, check your email. You should have received an email saying that your request was received. After that, you will receive an email saying that your request is granted, denied, or that the Rent Board needs more information. If you do not find an email from the Rent Board, then log in to the Portal to check the status of your request. If you filed your exemption request on paper and did not receive a letter granting your request, please wait until the middle of February to inquire. It could take 30 days or more for your exemption request to be processed.
I filed my exemption request and I got an email saying that the Rent Board needs more information. What do I do?
Log back into the Portal and leave a comment or attach documents that respond to the information requested. You must do this by March 1, 2022 or your request will be denied.
I filed my exemption request and it was granted. Do I have to do anything now to make sure that I am not billed the fee for that unit?
No. Once your exemption request is granted, you will not be billed the fee for that unit. If there is just one unit in your property and you filed an exemption request by December 15, 2021, and you were granted an exemption for that unit, you should not receive an Annual Notice in January.
I think I got this bill in error, how do I get the bill rescinded?
Certain dwelling units are exempt from payment of the Rent Board Fee. You can log into the Portal to submit a late exemption request by March 1, 2022.
What if it’s after December 15 and I have not filed my exemption request?
Please log into the Portal and submit a late exemption request by March 1, 2022.
What happens if I don’t pay the Rent Board fee?
The Rent Board Fee must be paid no later than March 1 of each year. A 5% penalty will be added to the amount of the fee if it has not been paid by March 1, an additional 5% if the fee has not been paid by April 1, and an additional 5% if the fee has not been paid by May 1 (for a penalty total of a 15%). If the fee remains outstanding as of June 1, the Rent Board will refer the matter to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenue (collection agency for the City and County of San Francisco).
Can I pass on the cost of the fee to my tenants?
For the 2021-2022 tax year, the rental unit fee is $59.00 per apartment unit and $29.50 per residential hotel room. A landlord may collect 50% of the fee from tenants, which is $29.50 per apartment unit and $14.75 per residential hotel room. More information can be found here.
I keep getting billed for this fee every year, how do I make it stop?
You must request an exemption. The late exemption deadline is March 1, 2022. Approval of an exemption request for one year does not guarantee that the property owner will not be asked for this information again in subsequent years.
I paid a greater Rent Board Fee than was the final assessed amount and believe I should receive a partial or full refund for this year.
In some limited situations an owner may be entitled to a refund of the fee for this year, including if an exemption was granted after payment was made, or if the Rent Board adjusted the unit count after payment was made. In these situations, the owner is not required to take any affirmative steps to request a refund. The Rent Board will issue automatic refunds for those who are eligible. While refunds will be issued automatically, this will take several months. Reaching out to the Rent Board or 311 will not expedite this process. You can check the Portal to verify the amount you paid and compare it to your total obligation.
I was incorrectly billed for this fee in past years, how do I get a refund?
You cannot get a refund for fees billed and paid in past years. You can only seek an exemption for the current year’s fee.
Some of my units are vacant, why am I still being charged this fee?
The Rent Board is still required to charge the fee, even if the unit is vacant.
I want to pay my bill by check.
You can pay by check by mailing the bill into the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office. Include the bill stub in the self-addressed envelope that has been included with the bill. Or, you can walk into the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office in City Hall, Room 140 to pay by check or cash during business hours [not available after May 31, 2022].
I mailed in my check weeks ago but I can’t figure out if the system shows I paid.
It may take some time for your check to be processed. If you mailed your check in before receiving your Annual Notice, it could take 30 days or more to show up in the system. Make sure the check was cashed. If your check was cashed, your payment should have been credited in the system. If you want confirmation that the payment shows up in the system, call 311 for assistance (415-701-2311 from outside San Francisco).