New Ordinance Amendments re Owner Move-In and Relative Move-In Evictions

Effective August 27, 2017, the Rent Ordinance was amended to increase protections for tenants who receive an owner move-in or relative move-in (“OMI”) eviction notice. While some of the amendments take effect immediately on August 27th, most of the amendments take effect on January 1, 2018.

Summary of OMI Ordinance Amendments Taking Effect on 8/27/17

37.9(a)(8)(v): Clarifies what kind of evidence is relevant towards proving that a landlord did not perform an OMI eviction in good faith.

37.9(f): Extends the statute of limitations for a wrongful eviction lawsuit following an OMI eviction from one to five years.

37.9B(a): Limits the initial rent the landlord may charge a new tenant for a five-year period following service of an OMI notice to no more than that which the displaced tenant would have paid had the displaced tenant remained in occupancy.

37.10A(h) and (i): Strengthens existing law regarding misdemeanor prosecutions by the District Attorney.

37.11A(a): Allows a tenant who was charged excess rent during the five-year period following an OMI notice to sue the landlord for treble damages and/or injunctive relief.

37.11A(b): Permits non-profit San Francisco tenant rights organizations to sue for wrongful eviction and collection of excess rent following an OMI eviction. The statute of limitations for such actions is three years, and monetary awards for rent overpayments may be doubled rather than trebled.

Summary of OMI Ordinance Amendments Taking Effect on 1/1/18

Prior to 1/1/18, landlords are not required to report to the Rent Board regarding the use of a rental unit following an OMI eviction and the Rent Board is not required to take any action after an OMI notice is filed with the Board, except to record a notice of constraints with the County Recorder pursuant to Section 37.9B(e). The August 27, 2017 OMI Ordinance Amendments create the following new requirements that go into effect ONLY for OMI notices served on or after 1/1/18:

37.9(a)(8)(v): Requires the landlord to attach a blank change of address form to an OMI eviction notice that the tenant can use to advise the Rent Board of any change of address. The required form will be available on the Rent Board’s website by 1/1/18.

37.9(a)(8)(v): Requires the landlord to include in an OMI eviction notice a declaration executed by the landlord under penalty of perjury stating that the landlord intends to recover possession of the unit in good faith for use as the principal residence of the landlord or relative for a period of at least 36 continuous months.

37.9(a)(8)(vii): Requires the landlord to file a “Statement of Occupancy” form with the Rent Board within 90 days after the date of service of an OMI notice, and an updated Statement of Occupancy every 90 days thereafter until the landlord recovers possession, and then once a year for five years after recovery of possession of the unit. The required form will be available on the Rent Board’s website by 1/1/18.

37.9(a)(8)(vii): Requires the landlord or relative who claims to be occupying the unit as that person’s principal residence to attach at least two forms of supporting documentation to the Statement of Occupancy to show that the unit is being occupied as that person’s principal residence.

37.9(a)(8)(vii): Requires the Rent Board to send a copy of each periodic and annual Statement of Occupancy to the displaced tenant, or a notice that the landlord did not file the required Statement of Occupancy.

37.9(a)(8)(vii): Requires the Rent Board to assess administrative penalties on any landlord who fails to file a required Statement of Occupancy and supporting documentation – $250 for first failure, $500 for second failure and $1,000 for every subsequent failure.

37.9B(e): Requires the Rent Board to send a notice to the affected unit that states the maximum rent for the unit within thirty days after the effective date of an OMI notice, and to send an updated notice to the unit annually for five years thereafter.

37.6(k): Requires the Rent Board to transmit a random sampling of 10% of all Statements of Occupancy to the District Attorney on a monthly basis. Also requires the Rent Board to send the District Attorney a list of all units for which the required Statement of Occupancy was not filed.

37.9B(b)(2): Extends from three to five years the time period after an OMI notice during which a landlord who intends to re-rent the unit must first offer the unit to the displaced tenant. The offer must be filed with the Rent Board within fifteen days. The tenant has thirty days from receipt of the offer to notify the landlord of acceptance or rejection of the offer and, if accepted, forty-five days to reoccupy the unit.