Topic No. 254: Charging for Additional Occupants Prohibited

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.

There is no authority in the Rent Ordinance for a rent increase based on additional occupants in a unit. Therefore, the Rent Board Rules and Regulations prohibit landlords from charging more rent solely for additional occupants, including a newborn child. This constitutes an unlawful rent increase, even if the lease or rental agreement provides for the additional charge. Since the Ordinance provides that tenants cannot waive their rights under the Ordinance, any agreement to pay such additional rent is void as contrary to public policy. Tenants who pay additional rent for additional occupants may file a Tenant Petition to void the increase and obtain a refund of the overcharges.

If a landlord experiences an increase in the costs of operating the building due to additional tenants, the landlord may file a petition for a rent increase based on an increase in operating and maintenance expenses. A landlord may also file a Petition for Approval of a Utility Passthrough if costs for gas and electricity increase.

To receive a copy of the Tenant Petition or Landlord Petition forms, you can fax them to yourself through our Fax Back system by calling (415)252-4660 or visit our website at The forms are also available at our office.


June 2006