Topic No. 017: Overview of Covered and Exempt Units

While most residential rental units located in San Francisco are covered by the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, commercial units and the following types of dwelling units are wholly exempt from the Rent Ordinance:

  1. Units in hotels, motels, inns, tourist houses, rooming and boarding houses, where the unit has not been occupied by the same tenant for 32 or more continuous days, provided that the landlord has not recovered possession of the unit from the tenant in order to avoid the application of the Rent Ordinance;
  1. Dwelling units in non-profit cooperatives owned, occupied and controlled by a majority of the residents;
  1. Dwelling units solely owned by a nonprofit public benefit corporation governed by a board of directors, the majority of whom are residents of the dwelling units, and where the corporate bylaws require that rent increases be approved by a majority of the residents;
  1. Housing accommodations in any hospital, convent, monastery, extended care facility, asylum, residential care or licensed adult day health care facility for the elderly;
  1. Housing accommodations in dormitories owned and operated by an institution of higher education, a high school, or an elementary school;
  1. Certain dwelling units whose rents are controlled or regulated by another government unit, agency or authority (see Topic No. 018);
  1. Commercial space where there is incidental and infrequent residential use; and,
  1. A residential unit where there is no longer residential use and there is a commercial or other non-residential use.

Please note, however, some units which are covered by the just cause eviction provisions of the Rent Ordinance are not covered by the rent increase limitations of the Ordinance, this includes:

  1. Certain dwelling units whose rents are controlled or regulated by another government unit, agency or authority (see Topic No. 018);  
  1. Most single-family homes and condominiums where the tenancy commenced on or after January 1, 1996 (see Topic No. 019);  
  1. Most newly constructed residential units that were first occupied and received a certificate of occupancy after June 13, 1979 (see Topic No. 020); and
  1. Units that have been determined by the Rent Board to have undergone a substantial rehabilitation (see Topic No. 326).

If there is a question about whether a unit is covered by or exempt from the Rent Ordinance, a landlord or a tenant may file a petition at the Rent Board for a determination of jurisdiction. Petition forms can be found in the Forms Center on the Rent Board’s website and are also available at our office.

 

June 2020