The Mission of the Rent Board

The San Francisco Rent Ordinance (SF Administrative Code, Chapter 37) was enacted effective June 13, 1979 by the Board Of Supervisors and signed by the Mayor as emergency legislation to alleviate the city's housing crisis. The Ordinance created the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board "in order to safeguard tenants from excessive rent increases and, at the same time, to assure landlords fair and adequate rents consistent with Federal Anti-Inflation Guidelines."

The Ordinance applies to approximately 170,000 rental units in the city and, among other things, places limits on the amount of rent increases which can be charged by the landlord and on the reasons for evicting a tenant. The Rent Board is a special fund department, completely funded through the collection of rental unit fees and has no general fund contributions in its budget.

The Rent Board has the authority to:

  • promulgate Rules and Regulations to effectuate the purposes of the Rent Ordinance;
  • hire staff, including administrative law judges; and
  • conduct rental arbitration hearings, mediations and investigatory hearings on Reports of Alleged Wrongful Eviction.