Topic No. 207: Evictions Based on Substantial Rehabilitation

Recent amendments to the Rent Ordinance, effective November 9, 2015, may have changed some of the information provided here. The Rent Board is currently considering amendments to its Rules and Regulations that may also affect the accuracy of the information provided here. This information will be updated in the near future. You may contact the Rent Board at (415)252-4602 or visit the office at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Room 320 in San Francisco if you have questions about this topic.

A landlord may recover possession of a rental unit in order to perform substantial rehabilitation of a building that is at least 50 years old. Improvements will not be deemed substantial unless the estimated cost of the proposed work equals or exceeds 75% of the cost of newly constructed residential buildings of the same number of units and type of construction, excluding land costs and architectural/engineering fees, based upon construction cost data reported by Marshall and Swift. Any insurance proceeds that are used to pay for the work may not be counted as part of the cost. For purposes of such evictions, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the cost stated for the work in the applicable approved construction permits is the estimated cost of the proposed work, and the Marshall and Swift schedule in effect on the date the notice to quit is served shall apply.

In addition, a landlord who recovers possession of a rental unit in order to perform substantial rehabilitation must file a petition with the Rent Board for exemption based on substantial rehabilitation within the earlier of either two years following recovery of possession of the rental unit or one year following completion of the work. A landlord who fails to file a petition within such time and thereafter obtain a determination of exempt status from the Board shall be rebuttably presumed to have wrongfully recovered possession of the tenant's rental unit in violation of the Ordinance.

Landlords are required to pay relocation expenses to tenants who are being evicted for substantial rehabilitation. Each authorized occupant, regardless of age, who has resided in the unit for at least one year, is entitled to a relocation payment of $4,500.00, with a maximum payment of $13,500.00 per unit. In addition, each elderly tenant who is 60 years or older, and each disabled tenant, and each household with one or more minor children, is entitled to an additional payment of $3,000.00. Each year commencing March 1, 2007, the amount of these relocation payments shall be adjusted for inflation. Information regarding current relocation payment amounts can be obtained from the Rent Board by calling (415)252-4602 or by visiting our website at A list of relocation payment amounts is also available at our office.

The landlord is required to give all occupants of the unit written notice of relocation rights on or before the date of service of the eviction notice and shall also provide a copy of Ordinance Section 37.9C. The landlord must file a copy of this notification with the Rent Board within 10 days after service of the notice, together with a copy of the eviction notice and proof of service upon the tenant. Within 30 days of receiving a tenant's claim for the additional $3,000.00 payment because of disability, age, or having children in the household, the landlord must inform the Rent Board in writing of the tenant's claim and whether or not the landlord disputes the claim.


January 2007