Section 37.10A Misdemeanors and Other Enforcement Provisions
[Added by Ord. No. 20-84, effective February 18, 1984; amended by Ord. No. 293-98, effective November 1, 1998; Ord. No. 347-99, effective January 29, 2000; Ord. No. 57-02, effective June 2, 2002; revised by Baba v. CCSF (2004) 124 Cal.App. 4th 504; amended by Proposition B, approved on June 6, 2006; amended by Ord. No. 160-17, effective August 27, 2017; amended by Ord. No. 005-19, effective February 25, 2019]
(a) It shall be unlawful for a landlord to increase rent or rents in violation of the decision of an Administrative Law Judge or the decision of the board on appeal pursuant to the hearing and appeal procedures set forth in Section 37.8 of this chapter. It shall further be unlawful for a landlord to charge any rent which exceeds the limitations of this chapter. Any person who increases rents in violation of such decisions or who charges excessive rents shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) It shall be unlawful for a landlord to refuse to rent or lease or otherwise deny to or withhold from any person any rental unit because the age of a prospective tenant would result in the tenant acquiring rights under this Chapter. Any person who refuses to rent in violation of this subsection shall, in addition to any other penalties provided by state or federal law, be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) It shall be unlawful for a landlord or for any person who willfully assists a landlord to recover possession of a rental unit unless, prior to recovery of possession of the unit the landlord satisfies all requirements for recovery of the unit under Section 37.9(a) or (b).
(d) In any criminal or civil proceeding based on a violation of Section 37.10A(c), the landlord's failure to use a recovered unit for the Section 37.9(a) or (b) ground stated verbally or in writing to the tenant from whom the unit was recovered shall give rise to a presumption that the landlord did not have a good faith intention to recover the unit for the stated ground.
(e) If possession of a rental unit is recovered as the result of any written or verbal statement to the tenant that the landlord intends to recover the unit under one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b), the unit shall be subject to all restrictions set forth under this Chapter on units recovered for such stated purpose regardless of any agreement made between the landlord or the landlord's agent and the tenant who vacated the recovered unit. Any unit vacated by a tenant within 120 days after receiving any written or verbal statement from the landlord stating that the landlord intends to recover the unit under Section 37.9(a) or (b), shall be rebuttably presumed to have been recovered by the landlord pursuant to the grounds identified in that written or verbal statement.
(f) It shall be unlawful for a landlord to knowingly fail to disclose in writing to the buyer, prior to entering into a contract for the sale of any property consisting of two or more residential units, the specific legal ground(s) for the termination of the tenancy of each residential unit to be delivered vacant at the close of escrow.
(g) It shall be unlawful for a landlord/owner, when offering a property for sale in the City and County of San Francisco that includes two or more residential units, to knowingly fail to disclose in writing to any prospective purchaser:
(1) The specific legal ground(s) for the termination of the tenancy of each residential unit to be delivered vacant at the close of escrow; and,
(2) Whether the unit was occupied by an elderly or disabled tenant at the time the tenancy was terminated. For purposes of this Section 37.10A(g), "elderly" means a tenant defined as elderly by Administrative Code Sections 37.9(i)(1)(A), 37.9A(e)(1)(C), 37.9A(e)(2)(D), or 37.9A(e)(3)(C), or a tenant defined as "senior" by Subdivision Code Section 1359(d). For purposes of this Section 37.10A(g), "disabled" means a tenant defined as disabled by Administrative Code Sections 37.9(i)(1)(B)(i), 37.9A(e)(1)(C), 37.9A(e)(2)(D), or 37.9A(e)(3)(C), or by Subdivision Code Section 1359(d).
Any disclosure required by this Subsection (g) that is made on a flier or other document describing the property which is made available to prospective purchasers at each open house and at any tour through the property will constitute compliance with the disclosure requirements of this Subsection (g).
(h) It shall be unlawful for any landlord, within five years after service of the notice to quit under Section 37.9(a)(8), to charge a rent for the unit that exceeds the maximum rent for the unit as provided in Section 37.9B(a), unless the notice of constraints on the unit has been rescinded. Each month or portion thereof that the landlord charges an excessive rent in violation of Section 37.9B(a) shall constitute a separate violation.
(i) It shall be unlawful for a landlord to endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit as defined in Section 37.2(r)(7) by means of a rent increase that is imposed in bad faith with an intent to defraud, intimidate, or coerce the tenant into vacating the rental unit in circumvention of Section 37.9(a), 37.9A, 37.9B, or 37.9C. Evidence of bad faith may include but is not limited to the following: (1) the rent increase was substantially in excess of market rates for comparable units; (2) the rent increase was within six months after an attempt to recover possession of the unit; and (3) such other factors as a court or the Rent Board may deem relevant.
(j) Any person who violates Section 37.10A(a),(b),(c), (f), or (h) is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a mandatory fine of $1,000.00, and in addition to such fine may be punished by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period of not more than six months. Each violation shall constitute a separate offense.
[Sec. 37.11: amended by Ord. No. 339-80, effective August 2, 1980; Ord. No. 362-80, effective September 6, 1980; repealed by Ord. No. 20-84, effective February 18, 1984]