New Ordinance Amendments Extending Eviction Controls to New Construction and Sub Rehab Units

Effective January 20, 2020, the Rent Ordinance was amended pursuant to Ord. No. 296-19 to extend eviction controls to (a) units that were newly constructed after June 13, 1979 (including live-work units), and (b) units that have undergone substantial rehabilitation. 

Previously, these units were entirely exempt from the Rent Ordinance, including both the eviction controls and the rent regulations, as well as payment of the Rent Board fee. Under the new legislation, these units remain exempt from rent regulations, but are now covered by the Rent Ordinance for all other purposes. Accordingly, for buildings constructed after June 13, 1979 or where a substantial rehabilitation petition was previously approved, the landlord must comply with the notice and procedural requirements of the Rent Ordinance and Rules and Regulations in order to evict a tenant, including the requirement that a landlord have one of the allowable "just cause" reasons to terminate the tenancy. For eviction purposes, the rules that apply to these newly covered units are now identical to those for pre-1979 units, i.e., the landlord must pay relocation costs for certain types of "no-fault" evictions, a copy of Rent Board Form 1007 must be attached to the eviction notice, and where the landlord is temporarily evicting the tenant to perform capital improvement or rehabilitation work, the landlord must file a Petition for Extension of Time to Complete Capital Improvements if the landlord knows or should know that the work will require the removal of the tenant for more than three months. In addition, the buyout procedures contained in Ordinance Section 37.9E are now applicable to these units. Tenants in newly covered units may file a Report of Alleged Wrongful Eviction with the Rent Board if they believe an eviction or attempted eviction is in violation of the Rent Ordinance. However, the Rent Board cannot accept a landlord or tenant petition requesting an upward or downward adjustment of rent for these units since they remain exempt from the rent regulations of the Rent Ordinance.

Since newly constructed units and units that have undergone a substantial rehabilitation are now covered by San Francisco’s local eviction controls, these units are not covered by the less protective “just-cause” requirements of AB 1482 (the “California Tenant Protection Act of 2019”). Also note that some units remain exempt from San Francisco's eviction controls regardless of when they were built, such as commercial units and certain units where rents are controlled or regulated by another government agency. 

Amendments were made to Chapter 37A.1 of the San Francisco Administrative Code (the Rent Board Fee Ordinance), and the following sections of the Rent Ordinance: 37.2, 37.3, 37.9A, 37.9D, 37.10A, and 37.10B. A copy of the legislation is available here [Ord No. 296-19].