San Francisco Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance

San Francisco Administrative Code, Chapter 37:
RESIDENTIAL RENT STABILIZATION AND ARBITRATION ORDINANCE

Sec. 37.1: Title and Findings.
Sec. 37.2: Definitions.
Sec. 37.3: Rent Limitations.
Sec. 37.4: Establishment; Appointment; Terms; Executive Director; Funding; Compensation.
Sec. 37.5: Meetings of the Board.
Sec. 37.6: Powers and Duties.
Sec. 37.7: Certification of Rent Increases for Capital Improvements, Rehabilitation Work, Energy Conservation Improvements, and Renewable Energy Improvements.
Sec. 37.8: Arbitration of Rental Increase Adjustments.
Sec. 37.8A: Expedited Hearing Procedures.
Sec. 37.8B: Expedited Hearing and Appeal Procedures for Capital Improvements Resulting from Seismic Work on Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Pursuant to Building Code Chapters 16B and 16C Where Landlords Performed the Work with a UMB Bond Loan.
Sec. 37.8C: Temporary Moratorium on Rent Board Processing or Approval of Landlord Petitions for Certification and Passthrough of Non-Seismic Capital Improvement, Rehabilitation and Energy Conservation Costs to Tenants, During Pendency of the Superior Court Preliminary Injunction Staying Implementation of November 2000 Proposition H.
Sec. 37.9: Evictions.
Sec. 37.9A: Tenant Rights in Certain Displacements Under Section 37.9(a)(13).
Sec. 37.9B: Tenant Rights in Evictions Under Section 37.9(a)(8).
Sec. 37.9C: Tenants Rights to Relocation for No-Fault Evictions.
Sec. 37.9D: Foreclosure Evictions.
Sec. 37.9E: Tenant Buyout Agreements.
Sec. 37.10A: Misdemeanors, and Other Enforcement Provisions.
Sec. 37.10B: Tenant Harassment.
Sec. 37.11A: Civil Actions.
Sec. 37.12: Transitional Provisions.
Sec. 37.13: Keys.
Sec. 37.14A: Hearings and Remedies for Violation of Residential Hotel Visitor Policies.
Sec. 37.14B: Hearing, Residential Hotel Mail Receptacles.
Sec. 37.15: Severability.

SEC. 37.1.  TITLE AND FINDINGS.
(a)   The Chapter shall be known as the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance.
(b)   The Board of Supervisors hereby finds:
(1)   There is a shortage of decent, safe and sanitary housing in the City and County of San Francisco resulting in a critically low vacancy factor.
(2)   Tenants displaced as a result of their inability to pay increased rents must relocate but as a result of such housing shortage are unable to find decent, safe and sanitary housing at affordable rent levels. Aware of the difficulty in finding decent housing, some tenants attempt to pay requested rent increases, but as a consequence must expend less on other necessities of life.
This situation has had a detrimental effect on substantial numbers of renters in the City and County, especially creating hardships on senior citizens, persons on fixed incomes and low and moderate income households.
(3)   The problem of rent increases reached crisis level in the Spring of 1979. At that time the Board of Supervisors conducted hearings and caused studies to be made on the feasibility and desirability of various measures designed to address the problems created by the housing shortage.
(4)   In April, 1979, pending development and adoption of measures designed to alleviate the City and County’s housing crisis, the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance No. 181-79, prohibiting most rent increases on residential rental properties for 60 days. Ordinance No. 181-79 is scheduled to expire no later than June 30, 1979.
(5)   The provisions of Ordinance No. 181-79 have successfully reduced the rate of rent increases in the City and County, along with the concomitant hardships and displacements. However, a housing shortage still exists within the City and County of San Francisco and total deregulation of rents at this time would immediately lead to widespread exorbitant rent increases and recurrence of the crisis, problems and hardships which existed prior to the adoption of the moratorium measures.
(6)   This ordinance shall be in effect for 15 months. During this time, a Citizens’ Housing Task Force shall be created to conduct a further study of and make recommendations for, the problems of housing in San Francisco. In the interim, some immediate measures are needed to alleviate San Francisco’s housing problems. This ordinance, therefore, creates a 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.
(c)   The people of San Francisco hereby find and declare:
(1)   Present law provides that the annual allowable rent increase shall be 60 percent of the Consumer Price Index but in no event less than four percent of the tenant’s base rent.
(2)   Rent increases of 60 percent of the Consumer Price Index are sufficient to assure landlords fair and adequate rents consistent with Federal Anti-Inflation Guidelines.
(3)   Since 1984, 60 percent of the Consumer Price Index has been less than four percent per year, so landlords have been able to impose yearly rent increases above the rate of inflation since 1984.
(4)   Under the current four percent floor, landlords have received more than 60 percent of the Consumer Price Index with resulting hardship to tenants.
(5)   Therefore, in order to alleviate this hardship to tenants and to ensure that landlords receive fair and adequate rents consistent with Federal Anti-Inflation Guidelines, we hereby amend this ordinance to delete the current four percent floor on annual rent increases.
(Added by Ord. 276-79, App. 6/12/79)

SEC. 37.2.  DEFINITIONS.
(a)   Base Rent.
(1)   That rent which is charged a tenant upon initial occupancy plus any rent increase allowable and imposed under this Chapter; provided, however, that;
(A)   Base rent shall not include increases imposed pursuant to Section 37.7.
(B)   Base rent shall not include utility passthroughs or water revenue bond passthroughs or general obligation bond passthroughs pursuant to Sections 37.2(q), 37.3(a)(5)(B), and 37.3(a)(6).
(C)   Base rent for tenants of RAP rental units in areas designated on or after July 1, 1977, shall be that rent which was established pursuant to Section 32.73-1 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. Rent increases attributable to the City Administrator’s amortization of an RAP loan in an area designated on or after July 1, 1977, shall not be included in the base rent.
(D)   Good Samaritan Status.  As of February 8, 2011 and after, Good Samaritan occupancy status occurs when a landlord and new tenant agree in writing for the tenant to commence temporary occupancy following an emergency such as fire, earthquake, landslide, or similar emergency situation, that required unexpected vacation of the tenant’s previous unit, and the agreement includes a reduced rent rate for the replacement unit for a specified period of time up to twelve (12) months (“Original Good Samaritan Status Period”). “Reduced rent rate” means the base rent the tenant was paying for the previous unit at the time of the emergency or an amount up to ten (10) percent above that amount, except that if the owner of the previous unit is the same as the owner of the replacement unit then “reduced rent rate” means the rent the tenant was paying for the previous unit at the time of the emergency. For Good Samaritan Status to exist, the written agreement as referenced in this Subsection must include a statement that the agreement is temporary in nature, must refer to this Subsection, and must state that the tenant has been displaced from his or her previous unit as certified in Subsection (iii), below.
(i)   The landlord and tenant may agree, in writing, to extend the reduced rent rate for a period of time beyond the Original Good Samaritan Status Period, up to a total of twenty-four (24) months from the beginning to the end of all Good Samaritan Status (“Extended Good Samaritan Status Period”).
(ii)   By accepting occupancy in Good Samaritan Status, a tenant does not waive any right to compensation or any right to return to the tenant’s previous unit that he or she otherwise may have under Chapter 37 or other source of law, based on the emergency vacation of the tenant’s previous unit.
(iii)   Good Samaritan Status may only be utilized upon certification in writing by one of the following officials, or his or her designee, that as a result of fire, earthquake, landslide, or similar emergency situation, the tenant’s previous unit is in such condition that, as a matter of public health and safety and as a matter of habitability, the tenant cannot or should not reside there until the unit has been appropriately repaired:
Mayor;
Fire Chief;
Director of the Department of Building Inspection;
Director of the Department of Public Health; or
Other Official as authorized by law.
The Rent Board shall make a form available, that the Official may use for this purpose.
(iv)   The tenant’s rent increase anniversary date for a Good Samaritan occupancy shall be the date the tenancy commenced; the first annual allowable increase shall take effect no less than one year from the anniversary date, but when imposed after one year, shall set a new anniversary date for the imposition of future rent increases. The base rent used for calculation of the annual allowable increase pursuant to Section 37.3(a)(1) during a Good Samaritan occupancy, shall be the reduced rent rate in effect on the day the Good Samaritan occupancy commences.
(v)   The landlord may serve a notice of termination of tenancy under Section 37.9(a)(16) within 60 days after expiration of the Original and any Extended Good Samaritan Status Period. Alternatively, within sixty (60) days after expiration of the Original and any Extended Good Samaritan Status Period, if the Good Samaritan rental agreement states the dollar amount of the tenant’s initial base rent that can be imposed after expiration of the Original and any Extended Good Samaritan Status Period, the landlord may give legal notice of the rent increase to the tenant and then increase the tenant’s rent from the temporary reduced rent rate to the previously agreed upon initial base rent for the unit.
(vi)   The Rent Board shall make a form available that explains the temporary nature of tenant occupancy in Good Samaritan Status, and describes the other provisions of Section 37.2(a)(1)(D)(v).
The Good Samaritan landlord shall provide the tenant with this disclosure form prior to commencement of the Good Samaritan tenancy. However, failure by the landlord to provide the tenant with such disclosure form:
•   Will not prevent the landlord from serving a notice of termination of tenancy under Section 37.9(a)(16) within sixty (60) days after expiration of the Original and any Extended Good Samaritan Status Period.
•   Will not prevent the landlord from serving a notice of rent increase within sixty (60) days after expiration of the Original and any Extended Good Samaritan Status Period, to increase to the previously agreed upon initial base rent for the unit, as provided in Section 37.2(a)(1)(D)(v).
•   Will not otherwise impact any rights that the landlord may have regarding the tenancy.
(2)   From and after the effective date of this ordinance, the base rent for tenants occupying rental units which have received certain tenant-based or project-based rental assistance shall be as follows:
(A)   With respect to tenant-based rental assistance:
(i)   For any tenant receiving tenant-based assistance as of the effective date of this ordinance (except where the rent payable by the tenant is a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 certificate program and the rental subsidy program for the HOPWA program), and continuing to receive tenant-based rental assistance following the effective date of this ordinance, the base rent for each unit occupied by such tenant shall be the rent payable for that unit under the Housing Assistance Payments contract, as amended, between the San Francisco Housing Authority and the landlord (the “HAP contract”) with respect to that unit immediately prior to the effective date of this ordinance (the “HAP” contract rent”).
(ii)   For any tenant receiving tenant-based rental assistance (except where the rent payable by the tenant is a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 certificate program and the rental subsidy program for the HOPWA program), and commencing occupancy of a rental unit following the effective date of this ordinance, the base rent for each unit occupied by such a tenant shall be the HAP contract rent in effect as of the date the tenant commences occupancy of such unit.
(iii)   For any tenant whose tenant-based rental assistance terminates or expires, for whatever reason, following the effective date of this ordinance, the base rent for each such unit following expiration or termination shall be the HAP contract rent in effect for that unit immediately prior to the expiration or termination of the tenant-based rental assistance.
(B)   For any tenant occupying a unit upon the expiration or termination, for whatever reason, of a project-based HAP contract under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 USC Section 1437f, as amended), the base rent for each such unit following expiration or termination shall be the “contract rent” in effect for that unit immediately prior to the expiration or termination of the project-based HAP contract.
(C)   For any tenant occupying a unit upon the prepayment or expiration of any mortgage insured by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), including but not limited to mortgages provided under Sections 221(d)(3), 221(d)(4) and 236 of the National Housing Act (12 USC Section 1715z-1), the base rent for each such unit shall be the “basic rental charge” (described in 12 USC 1715z-1(f), or successor legislation) in effect for that unit immediately prior to the prepayment of the mortgage, which charge excludes the “interest reduction payment” attributable to that unit prior to the mortgage prepayment or expiration.
(b)   Board. The Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board.
(c)   Capital Improvements. Those improvements which materially add to the value of the property, appreciably prolong its useful life, or adapt it to new uses, and which may be amortized over the useful life of the improvement of the building.
(d)   CPI. Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers for the San Francisco-Oakland Metropolitan Area, U.S. Department of Labor.
(e)   Energy Conservation Improvements. Work performed pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 12 of the San Francisco Housing Code.
(f)   Administrative Law Judge. A person, designated by the Board, who arbitrates and mediates rental increase disputes, and performs other duties as required pursuant to this Chapter 37.
(g)   Housing Services. Services provided by the landlord connected with the use or occupancy of a rental unit including, but not limited to: quiet enjoyment of the premises, without harassment by the landlord as provided in Section 10B; repairs; replacement; maintenance; painting; light; heat; water; elevator service; laundry facilities and privileges; janitor service; refuse removal; furnishings; telephone; parking; rights permitted the tenant by agreement, including the right to have a specific number of occupants, whether express or implied, and whether or not the agreement prohibits subletting and/or assignment; and any other benefits, privileges or facilities.
(h)   Landlord. An owner, lessor, sublessor, who receives or is entitled to receive rent for the use and occupancy of any residential rental unit or portion thereof in the City and County of San Francisco, and the agent, representative or successor of any of the foregoing.
(i)   Member. A member of the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board.
(j)   Over FMR Tenancy Program. A regular certificate tenancy program whereby the base rent, together with a utility allowance in an amount determined by HUD, exceeds the fair market rent limitation for a particular unit size as determined by HUD.
(k)   Payment Standard. An amount determined by the San Francisco Housing Authority that is used to determine the amount of assistance paid by the San Francisco Housing Authority on behalf of a tenant under the Section 8 Voucher Program (24 CFR Part 887).
(l)   RAP. Residential Rehabilitation Loan Program (Chapter 32, San Francisco Administrative Code).
(m)   RAP Rental Units. Residential dwelling units subject to RAP loans pursuant to Chapter 32, San Francisco Administrative Code.
(n)   Real Estate Department. A city department in the City and County of San Francisco.
(o)   Rehabilitation Work. Any rehabilitation or repair work done by the landlord with regard to a rental unit, or to the common areas of the structure containing the rental unit, which work was done in order to be in compliance with State or local law, or was done to repair damage resulting from fire, earthquake or other casualty or natural disaster.
(p)   Rent. The consideration, including any bonus, benefits or gratuity, demanded or received by a landlord for or in connection with the use or occupancy of a rental unit, or the assignment of a lease for such a unit, including but not limited to monies demanded or paid for parking, furnishing, food service, housing services of any kind, or subletting.
(q)   Rent Increases. Any additional monies demanded or paid for rent as defined in item (p) above, or any reduction in housing services without a corresponding reduction in the monies demanded or paid for rent; provided, however, that: (1) where the landlord has been paying the tenant’s utilities and the cost of those utilities increases, the landlord’s passing through to the tenant of such increased costs pursuant to this Chapter does not constitute a rent increase; (2) where there has been a change in the landlord’s property tax attributable to a general obligation bond approved by the voters between November 1, 1996 and November 30, 1998, or after November 14, 2002, the landlord’s passing through to the tenant of such increased costs in accordance with this Chapter (see Section 37.3(a)(6)) does not constitute a rent increase; (3) where there has been a change in the landlord’s property tax attributable to a San Francisco Unified School District or San Francisco Community College District general obligation bond approved by the voters after November 1, 2006, the landlord’s passing through to the tenant of such increased costs in accordance with this Chapter (see Section 37.3(a)(6)) does not constitute a rent increase; and, (4) where water bill charges are attributable to water rate increases resulting from issuance of water revenue bonds authorized at the November 5, 2002 election, the landlord’s passing through to the tenant of such increased costs in accordance with this Chapter (see Section 37.3(a)(5)(B)) does not constitute a rent increase.
(r)   Rental Units. All residential dwelling units in the City and County of San Francisco together with the land and appurtenant buildings thereto, and all housing services, privileges, furnishings and facilities supplied in connection with the use or occupancy thereof, including garage and parking facilities.
Garage facilities, parking facilities, driveways, storage spaces, laundry rooms, decks, patios, or gardens on the same lot, or kitchen facilities or lobbies in single room occupancy (SRO) hotels, supplied in connection with the use or occupancy of a unit, may not be severed from the tenancy by the landlord without just cause as required by Section 37.9(a). Any severance, reduction or removal permitted under this Section 37.2(r) shall be offset by a corresponding reduction in rent. Either a landlord or a tenant may file a petition with the Rent Board to determine the amount of the rent reduction.
Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, a landlord may temporarily sever one or more housing services listed in that paragraph in order to perform seismic work required by Building Code Chapter 34B “Mandatory Earthquake Retrofit of Wood-Frame Buildings” (“mandatory seismic work”) if: (1) the landlord has given the notice to temporarily sever as required by Administrative Code Section 65A.2; (2) the landlord has obtained all necessary permits on or before the date the notice to temporarily sever is given; (3) the housing service(s) will only be severed for the minimum time required to complete the mandatory seismic work and in no event for a longer period than provided by Building Code Section 106A.4.4, Table B; and (4) the temporarily severed housing service(s) will be fully restored immediately upon completion of the mandatory seismic work. For such temporary severance of one or more of the specified housing services due to mandatory seismic work required by Building Code Chapter 34B, tenants will not be entitled to a reduction in rent, but tenants shall be entitled to either compensation or a substitute housing service as provided in Administrative Code Chapter 65A.
The term “rental units” shall not include:
(1)   Housing accommodations in hotels, motels, inns, tourist houses, rooming and boarding houses, provided that at such time as an accommodation has been occupied by a tenant for 32 continuous days or more, such accommodation shall become a rental unit subject to the provisions of this Chapter; provided further, no landlord shall bring an action to recover possession of such unit in order to avoid having the unit come within the provisions of this Chapter. An eviction for a purpose not permitted under Section 37.9(a) shall be deemed to be an action to recover possession in order to avoid having a unit come within the provisions of this Chapter;
(2)   Dwelling units in nonprofit cooperatives owned, occupied and controlled by a majority of the residents or dwelling units solely owned by a nonprofit public benefit corporation governed by a board of directors the majority of which are residents of the dwelling units and where it is required in the corporate by-laws that rent increases be approved by a majority of the residents;
(3)   Housing accommodation in any hospital, convent, monastery, extended care facility, asylum, residential care or adult day health care facility for the elderly which must be operated pursuant to a license issued by the California Department of Social Services, as required by California Health and Safety Chapters 3.2 and 3.3; or in dormitories owned and operated by an institution of higher education, a high school, or an elementary school;
(4)   Except as provided in Subsections (A), (B) and (C), dwelling units whose rents are controlled or regulated by any government unit, agency or authority, excepting those unsubsidized and/or unassisted units which are insured by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; provided, however, that units in unreinforced masonry buildings which have undergone seismic strengthening in accordance with Building Code Chapters 16B and 16C shall remain subject to the Rent Ordinances to the extent that the ordinance is not in conflict with the seismic strengthening bond program or with the program’s loan agreements or with any regulations promulgated thereunder;
(A)   For purposes of Sections 37.2, 37.3(a)(10)(A), 37.4, 37.5, 37.6, 37.9, 37.9A, 37.10A, 37.11A and 37.13, and the arbitration provisions of Sections 37.8 and 37.8A applicable only to the provisions of Sections 37.3(a)(10)(A), the term “rental units” shall include units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance where the tenant-based rental assistance program does not establish the tenant’s share of base rent as a fixed percentage of a tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 voucher program and the “Over-FMR Tenancy” program defined in 24 CFR Section 982.4;
(B)   For purposes of Sections 37.2, 37.3(a)(10)(B), 37.4, 37.5, 37.6, 37.9, 37.9A, 37.10A, 37.11A and 37.13, the term “rental units” shall include units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance where the rent payable by the tenant under the tenant-based rental assistance program is a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income; such as in the Section 8 certificate program and the rental subsidy program for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (“HOPWA”) program (42 U.S.C. Section 12901 et seq., as amended);
(C)   The term “rental units” shall include units in a building for which tax credits are reserved or obtained pursuant to the federal low income housing tax credit program (LIHTC, Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. Section 42), that satisfy the following criteria:
(i)   Where a tenant’s occupancy of the unit began before the applicable LIHTC regulatory agreement was recorded; and,
(ii)   Where the rent is not controlled or regulated by any use restrictions imposed by the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, the State of California Office of Housing and Community Development, or the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Nothing in this Section 37.2(r)(4)(C) precludes a landlord from seeking an exemption from rent regulation on the basis of substantial rehabilitation under Section 37.2(r)(6).
This Section 37.2(r)(4)(C) definition of “rental unit” shall apply to any unit where the qualifying tenant (see Section 37.2(r)(4)(C)(i)) is in possession of the unit on or after the effective date of this ordinance (Ord. No. 281-06), including but not limited to any unit where the tenant has been served with a notice to quit but has not vacated the unit and there is no final judgment against the tenant for possession of the unit as of the effective date of this ordinance (Ord. No. 281-06).
(D)   The term “rental units” shall include In-Law Units constructed pursuant to Section 715.1 of the Planning Code and the Section 715 Zoning Control Table and that have received a complete or partial waiver of the density limits and the parking, rear yard, exposure, or open space standards from the Zoning Administrator pursuant to Planning Code Section 307(l), provided that the building containing the In-Law Unit(s) or any unit within the building is already subject to this Chapter.
(5)   Rental units located in a structure for which a certificate of occupancy was first issued after the effective date of this ordinance; (A) except as provided for certain categories of units and dwellings by Section 37.3(d) and Section 37.9A(b) of this Chapter, (B) except as provided in a development agreement entered into by the City under San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 56; and (C) except as provided for foreclosed units and dwellings by Section 37.9D.
(6)   Dwelling units in a building which has undergone substantial rehabilitation after the effective date of this ordinance; provided, however, that RAP rental units are not subject to this exemption; and except as provided for foreclosed units and dwellings by Section 37.9D.
(7)   Dwellings or units otherwise subject to this Chapter 37, to the extent such dwellings or units are partially or wholly exempted from rent increase limitations by the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (California Civil Code Sections 1954.50, et seq.) and/or San Francisco Administrative Code Section 37.3(d).
(s)   Substantial Rehabilitation. The renovation, alteration or remodeling of residential units of 50 or more years of age which have been condemned or which do not qualify for certificates of occupancy or which require substantial renovation in order to conform the building to contemporary standards for decent, safe and sanitary housing. Substantial rehabilitation may vary in degree from gutting and extensive reconstruction to extensive improvements that cure substantial deferred maintenance. Cosmetic improvements alone such as painting, decorating and minor repairs, or other work which can be performed safely without having the unit vacated do not qualify as substantial rehabilitation.
(t)   Tenant. A person entitled by written or oral agreement, sub-tenancy approved by the landlord, or by sufferance, to occupy a residential dwelling unit to the exclusion of others.
(u)   Tenant-Based Rental Assistance. Rental assistance provided directly to a tenant or directly to a landlord on behalf of a particular tenant, which includes but shall not be limited to certificates and vouchers issued pursuant to Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended (42 U.S.C. Section 1437f) and the HOPWA program.
(v)   Utilities. The term “utilities” shall refer to gas and electricity exclusively.
(Amended by Ord. 193-86, App. 5/30/86; Ord. 221-92, App. 7/14/92; Ord. 233-93, App. 7/22/93; Proposition I, 11/8/94; Ord. 446-94, App. 12/30/94; Ord. 179-98, App. 5/29/98; Ord. 250-98, App. 7/31/98; Ord. 237-99, File No. 990168, App. 8/30/99; Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 116-00, File No. 991315, App. 6/2/2000; Ord. 2-03, File No. 020716, App, 1/21/2003; Ord. 107-03, File No. 030689, App. 5/23/2003; Ord. 178-06, File No. 052025, App.; Ord. 252-06, File No. 061183, App. 10/11/2006; Ord. 281-06, File No. 061376, App. 11/20/2006; Ord. 92-07, File No. 061217, App. 4/27/2007; Proposition M, 11/4/2008; Ord. 28-09, File No. 080822, App. 2/20/2009; Ord. 60-10, File No. 10039, App. 3/25/2010; Ord. 72-11, File No. 110153, App. 4/27/2011, Eff. 5/27/2011; Ord. 49-14, File No. 131063, App. 4/17/2014, Eff. 5/17/2014; Ord. 173-14, File No. 140679, App. 7/31/2014, Eff. 8/30/2014)

SEC. 37.3.  RENT LIMITATIONS.
(a) Rent Increase Limitations for Tenants in Occupancy. Landlords may impose rent increases upon tenants in occupancy only as provided below:

(1) Annual Rent Increase. On March 1 of each year, the Board shall publish the increase in the CPI for the preceding 12 months, as made available by the U.S. Department of Labor. A landlord may impose annually a rent increase which does not exceed a tenant’s base rent by more than 60% of said published increase. In no event, however, shall the allowable annual increase be greater than 7%.

(2) Banking. A landlord who refrains from imposing an annual rent increase or any portion thereof may accumulate said increase and impose that amount on the tenant’s subsequent rent increase anniversary dates. A landlord who, between April 1, 1982 and February 29, 1984, has banked an annual 7% rent increase (or rent increases) or any portion thereof may impose the accumulated increase on the tenant’s subsequent rent increase anniversary dates.

(3) Capital Improvements, Rehabilitation, Energy Conservation Improvements, and Renewable Energy Improvements. A landlord may impose rent increases based upon the cost of capital improvements, rehabilitation, energy conservation improvements, or renewable energy improvements, provided that such costs are certified pursuant to Sections 37.7 and 37.8B below; provided further that where a landlord has performed seismic strengthening in accordance with Building Code Chapters 16B and 16C, no increase for capital improvements (including but not limited to seismic strengthening) shall exceed, in any twelve (12) month period, 10% of the tenant’s base rent, subject to rules adopted by the Board to prevent landlord hardship and to permit landlords to continue to maintain their buildings in a decent, safe and sanitary condition. A landlord may accumulate any certified increase which exceeds this amount and impose the increase in subsequent years, subject to the 10% limitation. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to supersede any Board rules or regulations with respect to limitations on increases based upon capital improvements whether performed separately or in conjunction with seismic strengthening improvements pursuant to Building Code Chapters 16B and 16C.

(4) Utilities. A landlord may impose increases based upon the cost of utilities as provided in Section 37.2(q) above.

(5) Water: Charges Related to Excess Water Use, and 50% Passthrough of Water Bill Charges Attributable to Water Rate Increases Resulting From Issuance of Water System Improvement Revenue Bonds Authorized at the November 2002 Election.

(A) Charges Related to Excess Water Use. A landlord may impose increases not to exceed fifty percent of the excess use charges (penalties) levied by the San Francisco Water Department on a building for use of water in excess of Water Department allocations under the following conditions:

(i) The landlord provides tenants with written certification that the following have been installed in all units: (1) permanently-installed retrofit devices designed to reduce the amount of water used per flush or low-flow toilets (1.6 gallons per flush); (2) low-flow showerheads which allow a flow of no more than 2.5 gallons per minute; and (3) faucet aerators (where installation on current faucets is physically feasible); and

(ii) The landlord provides the tenants with written certification that no known plumbing leaks currently exist in the building and that any leaks reported by tenants in the future will be promptly repaired; and

(iii) The landlord provides the tenants with a copy of the water bill for the period in which the penalty was charged. Only penalties billed for a service period which begins after the effective date of the ordinance [April 20, 1991] may be passed through to tenants. Where penalties result from an allocation which does not reflect documented changes in occupancy which occurred after March 1, 1991, a landlord must, if requested in writing by a tenant, make a good faith effort to appeal the allotment. Increases based upon penalties shall be pro-rated on a per room basis provided that the tenancy existed during the time the penalty charges accrued. Such charges shall not become part of a tenant’s base rent. Where a penalty in any given billing period reflects a 25% or more increase in consumption over the prior billing period, and where that increase does not appear to result from increased occupancy or any other known use, a landlord may not impose any increase based upon such penalty unless inspection by a licensed plumber or Water Department inspector fails to reveal a plumbing or other leak. If the inspection does reveal a leak, no increase based upon penalties may be imposed at any time for the period of the unrepaired leak.

(B) Fifty Percent (50%) Passthrough of Water Bill Charges Attributable to Water Rate Increases Resulting From Issuance of Water System Improvement Revenue Bonds Authorized at the November 2002 Election. A landlord may pass through fifty percent (50%) of the water bill charges attributable to water rate increases resulting from issuance of Water System Improvement Revenue Bonds authorized at the November 5, 2002 election (Proposition A), to any unit that is in compliance with any applicable laws requiring water conservation devices. The landlord is not required to file a petition with the Board for approval of such a cost passthrough. Such cost passthroughs are subject to the following:

(i) Affected tenants shall be given notice of any such passthrough as provided by applicable notice of rent increase provisions of this Chapter 37, including but not limited to Section 37.3(b)(3).

(ii) A tenant may file a hardship application with the Board, and be granted relief from all or part of such a cost passthrough;

(iii) If a tenant’s hardship application is granted, the tenant’s landlord may utilize any available Public Utilities Commission low-income rate discount program or similar program for water bill reduction, based on that tenant’s hardship status;

(iv) A landlord shall not impose a passthrough pursuant to Section 37.3(a)(5)(B) if the landlord has filed for or received Board approval for a rent increase under Section 37.8(e)(4) for increased operating and maintenance expenses in which the same increase in water bill charges attributable to water rate increases resulting from issuance of any water revenue bonds authorized at the November 5, 2002 election was included in the comparison year cost totals.

(v) Where a tenant alleges that a landlord has imposed a water revenue bond passthrough that is not in compliance with Section 37.3(a)(5)(B), the tenant may petition for a hearing under the procedures provided by Section 37.8. In such a hearing the landlord shall have the burden of proving the accuracy of the calculation that is the basis for the increase. Any tenant petition challenging such a passthrough must be filed within one year of the effective date of the passthrough.

(vi) A tenant who has received a notice of passthrough or a passthrough under this Section 37.3(a)(5)(B) shall be entitled to receive a copy of the applicable water bill from the landlord upon request.

(vii) The amount of permissible passthrough per unit under this Section 37.3(a)(5)(B) shall be determined as follows:

(1) The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will determine the charge per unit of water, if any, that is attributable to water rate increases resulting from issuance of water system improvement revenue bonds authorized at the November 5, 2002 election.

(2) The charge identified in Section 37.3(a)(5)(B)(vii)(1) shall be multiplied by the total units of water used by each customer, for each water bill. The result is the total dollar amount of the water bill that is attributable to water rate increases resulting from issuance of water system improvement revenue bonds authorized at the November 5, 2002 election. That charge shall be a separate line item on each customer’s water bill.

(3) The dollar amount calculated under Section 37.3(a)(5)(B)(vii)(2) shall be divided by two (since a 50% passthrough is permitted), and then divided by the total number of units covered by the water bill, including commercial units. The resulting dollar figure shall be divided by the number of months covered by the water bill cycle (most are two-month bill cycles), to determine the amount of that water bill that may be passed through to each residential unit for each month covered by that bill.

(4) These passthroughs may be imposed on a monthly basis. These passthroughs shall not become part of a tenant’s base rent. The amount of each passthrough may vary from month to month, depending on the amount calculated under Sections 37.3(a)(5)(B)(vii)(1) through (3).

(viii) The Board may amend its rules and regulations as necessary to implement this Section 37.3(a)(5)(B).

(6) Property Tax. A landlord may impose increases based upon a 100% passthrough of the change in the landlord’s property tax resulting from the repayment of general obligation bonds of the City and County of San Francisco approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998 as provided in Section 37.2(q) above.

A landlord may impose increases based upon a 50% passthrough of the change in the landlord’s property tax resulting from the repayment of general obligation bonds of the City and County of San Francisco approved by the voters after November 14, 2002, as provided in Section 37.2(q) above, and subject to the following requirement: Any rent increase for bonds approved after the effective date of this initiative Ordinance [November 2000 Proposition H, effective December 20, 2000] must be disclosed and approved by the voters.

A landlord may impose increases based upon a 50% passthrough of the change in the landlord’s property tax resulting from the repayment of San Francisco Unified School District or San Francisco Community College District general obligation bonds approved by the voters after November 1, 2006, as provided in Section 37.2(q) above.

The amount of such increases shall be determined for each tax year as follows:

(A) For general obligation bonds of the City and County of San Francisco approved by the voters between November 1, 1996 and November 30, 1998:

(i) The Controller and the Board of Supervisors will determine the percentage of the property tax rate, if any, in each tax year attributable to general obligation bonds approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998, and repayable within such tax year.

(ii) This percentage shall be multiplied by the total amount of the net taxable value for the applicable tax year. The result is the dollar amount of property taxes for that tax year for a particular property attributable to the repayment of general obligation bonds approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998.

(iii) The dollar amount calculated under Subsection (ii) shall be divided by the total number of all units in each property, including commercial units. That figure shall be divided by 12 months, to determine the monthly per unit costs for that tax year of the repayment of general obligation bonds approved by the voters between November 1, 1996, and November 30, 1998.

(B) For general obligation bonds of the City and County of San Francisco approved by the voters after November 14, 2002 where any rent increase has been disclosed and approved by the voters:

(i) The Controller and the Board of Supervisors will determine the percentage of the property tax rate, if any, in each tax year attributable to general obligation bonds approved by the voters after November 14, 2002 and repayable within such tax year.

(ii) This percentage shall be multiplied by the total amount of the net taxable value for the applicable tax year. The result is the dollar amount of property taxes for that tax year for a particular property attributable to the repayment of general obligation bonds approved by the voters after November 14, 2002.

(iii) The dollar amount calculated under Subsection (ii) shall be divided by two, and then by the total number of all units in each property, including commercial units. That figure shall be divided by 12 months, to determine the monthly per unit costs for that tax year of the repayment of general obligation bonds approved by the voters after November 14, 2002.

(C) For general obligation bonds of the San Francisco Unified School District or San Francisco Community College District approved by the voters after November 1, 2006:

(i) The Controller and the Board of Supervisors will determine the percentage of the property tax rate, if any, in each tax year attributable to San Francisco Unified School District or San Francisco Community College District general obligation bonds approved by the voters after November 1, 2006 and repayable within such tax year.

(ii) This percentage shall be multiplied by the total amount of the net taxable value for the applicable tax year. The result is the dollar amount of property taxes for that tax year for a particular property attributable to the repayment of San Francisco Unified School District or San Francisco Community College District general obligation bonds approved by the voters after November 1, 2006.

(iii) The dollar amount calculated under Subsection (ii) shall be divided by two, and then by the total number of all units in each property, including commercial units. That figure shall be divided by 12 months, to determine the monthly per unit costs for that tax year of the repayment of San Francisco Unified School District or San Francisco Community College District general obligation bonds approved by the voters after November 1, 2006.

(D) Landlords may pass through to each unit in a particular property the dollar amount calculated under these Subsections 37.3(a)(6)(A) and (B). These passthroughs may be imposed only on the tenant’s anniversary date. These passthroughs shall not become a part of a tenant’s base rent. The amount of each annual passthrough imposed pursuant to this Subsection (6) may vary from year-to-year, depending on the amount calculated under Subsections (A) and (B). Each annual passthrough shall apply only for the twelve-month period after it is imposed. A landlord may impose the passthrough described in this Subsection (6) for a particular tax year only with respect to those tenants who were residents of a particular property on November 1 of the applicable tax year. A landlord shall not impose a passthrough pursuant to this Subsection (6) if the landlord has filed for or received Board approval for a rent increase under Section 37.8(e)(4) for increased operating and maintenance expenses in which the same increase in property taxes due to the repayment of general obligation bonds was included in the comparison year cost totals.

(E) The Board will have available a form which explains how to calculate the passthrough.

(F) Landlords must provide to tenants, on or before the date that notice is served on the tenant of a passthrough permitted under this Subsection (6), a copy of the completed form described in Subsection (E). This completed form shall be provided in addition to the Notice of Rent Increase required under Section 37.3(b)(5). Where a tenant alleges that a landlord has imposed a charge which exceeds the limitations set forth in this Subsection (6), the tenant may petition for a hearing under the procedures provided by Section 37.8. In such a hearing, the landlord shall have the burden of proving the accuracy of the calculation that is the basis for the increase. Any tenant petition challenging such a passthrough must be filed within one year of the effective date of the passthrough.

(G) The Board may amend its rules and regulations as necessary to implement this Subsection (6).

(7) RAP Loans. A landlord may impose rent increases attributable to the Chief Administrative Officer’s amortization of the RAP loan in an area designated on or after July 1, 1977 pursuant to Chapter 32 of the San Francisco Administrative Code.

(8) Additional Increases. A landlord who seeks to impose any rent increase which exceeds those permitted above shall petition for a rental arbitration hearing pursuant to Section 37.8 of this chapter.

(9) A landlord may impose a rent increase to recover costs incurred for the remediation of lead hazards, as defined in San Francisco Health Code Article 11 or 26. Such increases may be based on changes in operating and maintenance expenses or for capital improvement expenditures as long as the costs which are the basis of the rent increase are a substantial portion of the work which abates or remediates a lead hazard, as defined in San Francisco Health Code Article 11 or 26, and provided further that such costs are approved for operating and maintenance expense increases pursuant to Section 37.8(e)(4)(A) and certified as capital improvements pursuant to Section 37.7 below.

When rent increases are authorized by this subsection 37.3(a)(9), the total rent increase for both operating and maintenance expenses and capital improvements shall not exceed 10% in any twelve (12) month period. If allowable rent increases due to the costs of lead remediation and abatement work exceed 10% in any 12 month period, an Administrative Law Judge shall apply a portion of such excess to approved operating and maintenance expenses for lead remediation work, and the balance, if any, to certified capital improvements, provided, however, that such increase shall not exceed 10%. A landlord may accumulate any approved or certified increase which exceeds this amount, subject to the 10% limit.

(10) With respect to units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance:

(A) If the tenant’s share of the base rent is not calculated as a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 voucher program and the Over-FMR Tenancy Program, then:

(i) If the base rent is equal to or greater than the Payment Standard, the rent increase limitations in Sections 37.3(a)(1) and (2) shall apply to the entire base rent, and the arbitration procedures for those increases set forth in section 37.8 and 37.8A shall apply.

(ii) If the base rent is less than the Payment Standard, the rent increase limitations of this Chapter shall not apply; provided, however, that any rent increase which would result in the base rent being equal to or greater than the Payment Standard shall not result in a new base rent that exceeds the Payment Standard plus the increase allowable under Section 37.3(a)(1).

(B) If the tenant’s share of the base rent is calculated as a fixed percentage of the tenant’s income, such as in the Section 8 certificate program and the rental subsidy program for the HOPWA program, the rent increase limitations in Section 37.3(a)(1) and (2) shall not apply. In such circumstances, adjustments in rent shall be made solely according to the requirements of the tenant-based rental assistance program.

(11) Additional occupants.

(A) Except as provided in Section 37.3(a)(11)(B), a landlord may not impose increases solely because a tenant has added an additional occupant to an existing tenancy, including, but not limited to, a newborn child or family member as defined in Section 401 of the Housing Code. The prohibition on increases mandated by this Subsection (A) shall apply notwithstanding a rental agreement or lease that specifically permits a rent increase for additional occupants.

(B) A landlord may petition the Board for a rent increase pursuant to Section 37.3(a)(8) for costs associated with the addition of occupants authorized under Section 37.9(a)(2)(C).

(C) Rent increases otherwise permitted by the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, California Civil Code Section 1950 et seq. (as it may be amended from time to time) are not prohibited or limited by this Section 37.3(a)(11).

(b) Notice of Rent Increase for Tenants in Occupancy. On or before the date upon which a landlord gives a tenant legal notice of a rent increase, the landlord shall inform the tenant, in writing, of the following:

(1) Which portion of the rent increase reflects the annual increase, and/or a banked amount, if any;

(2) Which portion of the rent increase reflects costs for increased operating and maintenance expenses, rents for comparable units, and/or capital improvements, rehabilitation, energy conservation improvements, or renewable energy improvements certified pursuant to Section 37.7. Any rent increase certified due to increases in operating and maintenance costs shall not exceed seven percent.

(3) Which portion of the rent increase reflects the passthrough of charges for: gas and electricity; or the passthrough of increased water bill charges attributable to water rate increases resulting from issuance of water revenue bonds authorized at the November 2002 election as provided by Section 37.3(a)(5)(B) ), which charges and calculations of charges shall be explained in writing on a form provided by the Board; or the passthrough of general obligation bond measure costs as provided by Section 37.3(a)(6), which charges shall be explained in writing on a form provided by the Board as described in Section 37.3(a)(6)(E);

(4) Which portion of the rent increase reflects the amortization of the RAP loan, as described in Section 37.3(a)(7) above.

(5) Nonconforming Rent Increases. Any rent increase which does not conform with the provisions of this section shall be null and void.

(6) With respect to rental units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance, the notice requirements of this Subsection (b) shall be required in addition to any notice required as part of the tenant-based rental assistance program.

(c) Initial Rent Limitation for Subtenants. A tenant who subleases his or her rental unit may charge no more rent upon initial occupancy of the subtenant or subtenants than that rent which the tenant is currently paying to the landlord.

(d) Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Civil Code Sections 1954.50, et seq.). Consistent with the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Civil Code Sections 1954.50, et seq.) and regardless of whether otherwise provided under Chapter 37:

(1) Property Owner Rights to Establish Initial and All Subsequent Rental Rates for Separately Alienable Parcels.

(A) An owner of residential real property may establish the initial and all subsequent rental rates for a dwelling or a unit which is alienable separate from the title to any other dwelling unit or is a subdivided interest in a subdivision as specified in subdivision (b), (d), or (f) of Section 11004.5 of the California Business and Professions Code. The owner’s right to establish subsequent rental rates under this paragraph shall not apply to a dwelling or unit where the preceding tenancy has been terminated by the owner by notice pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1946 or has been terminated upon a change in the terms of the tenancy noticed pursuant to California Civil Code Section 827: in such instances, the rent increase limitation provisions of Chapter 37 shall continue to apply for the duration of the new tenancy in that dwelling or unit.

(B) Where the initial or subsequent rental rates of a Subsection 37.3(d)(1)(A) dwelling or unit were controlled by the provisions of Chapter 37 on January 1, 1995, the following shall apply:

(i) A tenancy that was in effect on December 31, 1995 remains subject to the rent control provisions of this Chapter 37, and the owner may not otherwise establish the subsequent rental rates for that tenancy.

(ii) On or after January 1, 1999 an owner may establish the initial and all subsequent rental rates for any tenancy created on or after January 1, 1996.

(C) An owner’s right to establish subsequent rental rates under Subsection 37.3(d)(1) shall not apply to a dwelling or unit which contains serious health, safety, fire or building code violations, excluding those caused by disasters, for which a citation has been issued by the appropriate governmental agency and which has remained unabated for six months or longer preceding the vacancy.

(2) Conditions for Establishing the Initial Rental Rate Upon Sublet or Assignment. Except as identified in this Subsection, nothing in this Subsection 37.3(a)(8)(B) or any other provision of law of the City and County of San Francisco shall be construed to preclude express establishment in a lease or rental agreement of the rental rates to be applicable in the event the rental unit subject thereto is sublet, and nothing in this Subsection shall be construed to impair the obligations of contracts entered into prior to January 1, 1996, subject to the following:

(A) Where the original occupant or occupants who took possession of the dwelling or unit pursuant to the rental agreement with the owner no longer permanently reside there, an owner may increase the rent by any amount allowed by this section to a lawful sublessee or assignee who did not reside at the dwelling or unit prior to January 1, 1996. However, such a rent increase shall not be permitted while:

(i) The dwelling or unit has been cited in an inspection report by the appropriate governmental agency as containing serious health, safety, fire, or building code violations, as defined by Section 17920.3 of the California Health and Safety Code, excluding any violation caused by a disaster; and,

(ii) The citation was issued at least 60 days prior to the date of the vacancy; and,

(iii) The cited violation had not been abated when the prior tenant vacated and had remained unabated for 60 days or for a longer period of time. However, the 60-day time period may be extended by the appropriate governmental agency that issued the citation.

(B) This Subsection shall not apply to partial changes in occupancy of a dwelling or unit where one or more of the occupants of the premises, pursuant to the agreement with the owner provided for above (37.3(d)(2)), remains an occupant in lawful possession of the dwelling or unit, or where a lawful sublessee or assignee who resided at the dwelling or unit prior to January 1, 1996, remains in possession of the dwelling or unit. Nothing contained in this Subsection 37.3(d)(2) shall be construed to enlarge or diminish an owner’s right to withhold consent to a sublease or assignment.

(C) Acceptance of rent by the owner shall not operate as a waiver or otherwise prevent enforcement of a covenant prohibiting sublease or assignment or as a waiver of an owner’s rights to establish the initial rental rate unless the owner has received written notice from the tenant that is party to the agreement and thereafter accepted rent.

(3) Termination or Nonrenewal of a Contract or Recorded Agreement with a Government Agency Limiting Rent. An owner who terminates or fails to renew a contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant, shall be subject to the following:

(A) The tenant(s) who were beneficiaries of the contract or recorded agreement shall be given at least 90 days’ written notice of the effective date of the termination and shall not be obligated to pay more than the tenant’s portion of the rent, as calculated under that contract or recorded agreement, for 90 days following receipt of the notice of termination or nonrenewal.

(B) The owner shall not be eligible to set an initial rent for three years following the date of the termination or nonrenewal of the contract or agreement.

(C) The rental rate for any new tenancy established during the three-year period in that vacated dwelling or unit shall be at the same rate as the rent under the terminated or nonrenewed contract or recorded agreement, plus any increases authorized under this Chapter 37 after the date of termination/non renewal.

(D) The provisions of Subsections 37.3(d)(3)(B) and (C) shall not apply to any new tenancy of 12 months or more duration established after January 1, 2000, pursuant to the owner’s contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant unless the prior vacancy in that dwelling or unit was pursuant to a nonrenewed or canceled contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant.

(4) Subsection 37.3(d) does not affect the authority of the City and County of San Francisco to regulate or monitor the basis or grounds for eviction.

(5) This Subsection 37.3(d) is intended to be and shall be construed to be consistent with the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Civil Code Sections 1954.50. et seq.)

(e) Effect of Deferred Maintenance on Passthroughs for Lead Remediation Techniques.

(1) When lead hazards are remediated or abated pursuant to San Francisco Health Code Article 11 or 26, or are violations of state or local housing and/or health and safety laws, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the lead hazards are caused or created by deferred maintenance as defined herein of the current or previous landlord. If the landlord fails to rebut the presumption, the costs of such work shall not be passed through to tenants as either a capital improvement or an operating and maintenance expense. If the landlord rebuts the presumption, he or she shall be entitled to a rent increase if otherwise justified by the standards set forth in this Chapter.

(2) For purposes of the evaluation of petitions for rent increases for lead remediation work, maintenance is deferred if a reasonable landlord under the circumstances would have performed, on a regular basis, the maintenance work required to keep the premises from being in violation of housing safety and habitability standards set forth in California Civil Code Section 1941 and the San Francisco Municipal Code. In order to prevail on a deferred maintenance defense, a tenant must show that the level of repair or remediation currently required would have been lessened had maintenance been performed in a more timely manner.

(f) Costa-Hawkins Vacancy Control. Where a landlord has terminated the previous tenancy as stated in either subsection (1), (2) or (3) below, for the next five years from the termination, the initial base rent for the subsequent tenancy shall be a rent not greater than the lawful rent in effect at the time the previous tenancy was terminated, plus any annual rent increases available under this Chapter 37. This Section 37.3(f) is intended to be consistent with California Civil Code Section 1954.53(a)(1)(A)-(B).

(1) Where the previous tenancy was terminated by a notice of termination of tenancy issued under California Civil Code Section 1946.1 stating the ground for recovery of possession under Sections 37.9(a)(8), (9), (10), (11), or (14) of this Code. For purposes of the termination of the tenancy under Section 37.9(a)(9), the initial rent for the unit may be set by a subsequent bona fide purchaser for value of the condominium.

(2) Where the previous tenancy was terminated upon a change in terns of tenancy noticed under California Civil Code Section 827, except a change in rent permitted by law. Within 10 days after serving the notice of termination based upon a change in terms of tenancy under Civil Code Section 827, the landlord shall notify the Board in writing of the monthly rent the tenant was paying when the landlord gave the notice to the tenant, and provide a copy of the notice to the Board to the tenant.

(3) Where the landlord terminated or did not renew a contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provided for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant. When a landlord terminates a tenant-based rental assistance program, the landlord shall, within 10 days after giving the notice of termination of the program to the tenant, notify the Board in writing of the monthly rent the tenant was paying and the monthly rent paid by the program to the landlord on behalf of the tenant when the landlord gave notice to the tenant, and provide a copy of the notice to the Board to the tenant.
(Added by Ord. 20-84, App. 1/19/84; amended by Ord. 338-87, App. 8/14/87; Ord. 102-91, App. 3/21/91; Ord. 127-91, App. 4/2/91; Ord. 221-92, App. 7/14/92; Proposition H, 11/3/92; Ord. 405-96, App. 10/21/96; Ord. 179-98, App. 5/29/98; Ord. 250-98, App. 7/31/98; Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 116-00, File No. 991315, App. 6/2/2000; Proposition H, 12/2/2000; Ord. 2-03, File No. 020716, App, 1/21/2003; Ord. 107-03, File No. 030689, App. 5/23/2003; Ord. 99-04, File No. 031992, App. 6/4/2004; Ord. 252-06, File No. 061183, App. 10/11/2006)

SEC. 37.4.  ESTABLISHMENT; APPOINTMENT; TERMS; EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; FUNDING; COMPENSATION.
(a)   There is hereby established a board to be known as the San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board (hereinafter called “Board”), consisting of five members. Regular members, each of whom shall have a specific alternate having the same qualifications as the regular member, shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor. All regular members and alternate members shall be appointed by the Mayor.
(b)   The Board shall consist of two landlords, two tenants, and one person who is neither a landlord nor a tenant and who owns no residential rental property; and an alternate for each specific member. All members shall be residents of the City and County of San Francisco. If one of the two regular landlord members is unavailable to vote, that regular member’s specific alternate shall be seated and vote, and if that regular member’s specific alternate is also unavailable to vote, the other landlord alternate shall (if available) be seated and vote as a substitute alternate. If one of the two regular tenant members is unavailable to vote, that regular member’s specific alternate shall be seated and vote, and if that regular member’s specific alternate is also unavailable to vote, the other tenant alternate shall (if available) be seated and vote as a substitute alternate.
(c)   In accordance with applicable State law, all members shall disclose all present holdings and interests in real property, including interests in corporations, trusts or other entities with real property holdings.
(d)   All members shall be appointed by the Mayor to serve 48-month terms. All vacancies occurring during a term shall be filled for the unexpired term.
(e)   The Board shall elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman from among its regular members.
(f)   The position of Executive Director shall be established pursuant to and subject to Charter Sections 3.500 and 8.200. The person occupying the position of Executive Director shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Board with the approval of a majority of the members. All staff personnel shall be under the immediate direction and supervision of the Executive Director.
(g)   Pursuant to the budgetary and fiscal pro-visions of the Charter, the Board of Supervisors shall provide funds to pay for staff personnel, services and facilities as may be reasonably necessary to enable the Board to exercise its powers and perform its duties under this Chapter. A special fund to be known as the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Fund shall be established under the supervision and direction of the Board for the receipt of fees under this Chapter, such fees to be appropriated by the Board of Supervisors for the operation of the Board.
(h)   Subject to the budgetary and fiscal limitations of the Charter, each member shall be paid $75 per Commission meeting attended if the meeting lasts for six hours or more in a single 24-hour period. The Commission shall adopt rules to allow for payment of an equitable portion of this per diem if a meeting lasts less than six hours. The total per diem shall not exceed $750 per month. In addition, each member may receive reimbursement for actual expenses incurred in the course and scope of the member’s duties.
(Amended by Ord. 435-86, App. 11/10/86; Ord. 162-93, App. 5/28/93; Ord. 222-03, File No. 031213, App. 9/5/2003)

SEC. 37.5.  MEETINGS OF THE BOARD.
(a)   Time and Place of Meetings. The Board shall meet as often as necessary to stay current with the workload but in no event less than once a month. The time and place of meetings shall be determined by rules adopted by the Board. The first meeting shall be held within 15 days of the appointment of the first Board. The matter of establishing standards for the selection of Administrative Law Judges shall be considered at the first meeting.
(b)   Quorum. A quorum for the transaction of official business shall consist of a majority of the total Board members. No action may be taken by the Board at any meeting attended by less than the quorum. A decision by the Board shall require a majority of all of the members of the Board.
(c)   Special Meetings. The Board may hold special meetings in accordance with Charter Section 3.500.
(d)   Meetings Open and Public. All meetings of the Board shall be open and public in accordance with the Charter and applicable State law.
(Added by Ord. 276-79, App. 6/12/79; amended by Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99)

SEC. 37.6.  POWERS AND DUTIES.
In addition to other powers and duties set forth in this Chapter, and in addition to powers under the Charter and under other City Codes, including powers and duties under Administrative Code Chapter 49 (“Interest Rates on Security Deposits”), the Board shall have the power to:
(a)   Promulgate policies, rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this Chapter, and to effectuate the purposes of Administrative Code Chapter 41D;
(b)   Hire such staff, including Administrative Law Judges, as may be reasonably necessary to perform its functions, and promulgate standards for all such staff, subject to the Civil Service provisions of the Charter;
(c)   Conduct rental arbitration hearings and residential hotel visitor policy hearings, and administer oaths and affirmations in connection with such hearings;
(d)   Publish, on March 1st of each year, the increase in the CPI for the preceding 12 months, as made available by the U.S. Department of Labor;
(e)   Make studies and surveys and conduct such hearings as necessary to perform its functions;
(f)   Report biannually to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors on its activities and on progress made towards the achievement of the purposes of the Chapter;
(g)   Make available to the public, on request, policies, rules and regulations, reports and surveys in accordance with applicable State law;
(h)   Issue rules and regulations for the conduct of its own affairs;
(i)   Be empowered to request and, if granted, to receive funds appropriated by the Board of Supervisors through the Mayor;
(j)   Maintain, on at least a monthly basis, statistics on the number of notices to vacate filed with the Board pursuant to Section 37.9(c) and statistics on the causes given in such notices or in any additional written documents as provided in Section 37.9(c). Statistics shall include available data on evictions involving school-age (kindergarten through grade twelve) children, including data on whether the evictions occurred during the school term. Said statistics shall be published in a report on March 1st every year, and copies of the report shall be submitted to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors;
(k)   Compile a list at random, on a monthly basis, of 10 percent of the notices to vacate filed pursuant to Section 37.9(c) which state on the notice or in any additional written document any causes under Section 37.9(a)(8) as the reason for eviction. Said list shall be transmitted to the District Attorney on a monthly basis for investigation pursuant to Section 37.9(c).
(l)   Periodically review the Uniform Visitor Policy for Residential Hotels and determine amendments as appropriate; and hear and determine hotel operator petitions for Supplemental Visitor Policies, consistent with Administrative Code Chapter 41D (Residential Hotel Visitor Policies).
(m)   Hear and decide petitions from residential hotel occupants (whether or not an occupant qualifies as a “tenant” under this Chapter 37) who allege violation of Administrative Code Chapter 41D, including alleged violations of the Uniform Visitor Policy or any approved Supplemental Visitor Policy. Current or former hotel occupants may file such petitions. These petitions may require a determination whether, and to what extent, a residential hotel’s policies are in compliance with Administrative Code Chapter 41D, including compliance with the Uniform Visitor Policy.
(n)   As provided by Administrative Code Chapter 39, utilize Administrative Law Judges to review relocation claims from Current Households related to a Public Housing Development Project, and make advisory recommendations thereon to the San Francisco Housing Authority for its final determination.
(o)   As provided by Administrative Code Section 24.8, utilize Administrative Law Judges to hear and decide petitions from persons who dispute the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development’s determination that such person does not qualify as a “Displaced Tenant” (as defined in Administrative Code Section 24.8).
(Amended by Ord. 7-87, App. 1/15/87; Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 62-02, File No. 020343, App. 5/3/2002; Ord. 107-02, File No. 020296, App. 7/5/2002; Ord. 251-06, File No. 061077, App. 10/11/2006; Ord. 227-12, File No. 120812, App. 11/7/2012, Eff. 12/7/2012; Ord. 277-13, File No. 130968, App. 12/18/2013, Eff. 1/17/2014)

SEC. 37.7.  CERTIFICATION OF RENT INCREASES FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, REHABILITATION WORK, ENERGY CONSERVATION IMPROVEMENTS, AND RENEWABLE ENERGY IMPROVEMENTS.
(a)   Authority. In accordance with such guidelines as the Board shall establish, the Board and designated Administrative Law Judges shall have the authority to conduct hearings in order to certify rental increases to the extent necessary to amortize the cost of capital improvements, rehabilitations, energy conservation improvements, and renewable energy improvements. Costs determined to be attributable to such work and improvements shall be amortized over a period which is fair and reasonable for the type and the extent of the work and improvements, and which will provide an incentive to landlords to maintain, improve and renovate their properties while at the same time protecting tenants from excessive rent increases. Costs attributable to routine repair and maintenance, or any costs attributable to legalizing an existing dwelling unit under Section 207.3 of the Planning Code, shall not be certified.
(b)   Requirements for Certification. The Board and designated Administrative Law Judges may only certify the costs of capital improvements, rehabilitation, energy conservation improvements, and renewable energy improvements, where the following criteria are met:
(1)   The landlord completed capital improvements or rehabilitation on or after April 15, 1979, or the landlord completed installation of energy conservation measures on or after July 24, 1982, and has filed a proof of compliance with the Bureau of Building Inspection in accordance with the requirements of Section 1207(d) of the Housing Code;
(2)   The landlord has not yet increased the rent or rents to reflect the cost of said work;
(3)   The landlord has not been compensated for the work by insurance proceeds;
(4)   The building is not subject to a RAP loan in a RAP area designated prior to July 1, 1977;
(5)   The landlord files the certification petition no later than five years after the work has been completed;
(6)   The cost is not for work required to correct a code violation for which a notice of violation has been issued and remained unabated for 90 days unless the landlord made timely good faith efforts within that 90-day period to commence and complete the work but was not successful in doing so because of the nature of the work or circumstances beyond the control of the landlord. The landlord’s failure to abate within the original 90-day period raises a rebuttable presumption that the landlord did not exercise timely good faith efforts.
(c)   Amortization and Cost Allocation. The Board shall establish amortization periods and cost allocation formulas, in accordance with this Section 37.7. Costs shall be allocated to each unit according to the benefit of the work and improvements attributable to such unit.
(1)   Application Filed Before [May 1, 2002 or 60 Days Prior to Passage of This Ordinance on Second Reading, Whichever is Later]. The following provisions shall apply to all applications filed before [May 1, 2002 or 60 days prior to passage of this Ordinance on Second Reading, whichever is later].
(A)   Amortization Periods. Costs shall be amortized on a straight-line basis over a seven or ten-year period, depending upon which category described below most closely relates to the type of work or improvement and its estimated useful life.
(i)   Schedule I – Seven-Year Amortization. The following shall be amortized over a seven-year period: Appliances, such as new stoves, disposals, washers, dryers and dishwashers; fixtures, such as garage door openers, locks, light fixtures, water heaters and blankets, shower heads, time clocks and hot water pumps; and other improvements, such as carpeting, linoleum, and exterior and interior painting of common areas. If the appliance is a replacement for which the tenant has already had the benefit, the cost will not be amortized as a capital improvement, but will be considered part of operating and maintenance expenses. Appliances may be amortized as capital improvements when: (1) part of a remodeled kitchen; (2) based upon an agreement between the tenant and landlord; and/or (3) it is a new service or appliance the tenant did not previously have.
(ii)   Schedule II – Ten-Year Amortization. The following shall be amortized over a ten-year period: New foundation, new floor structure, new ceiling or walls-new sheetrock, new plumbing (new fixtures, or piping), weather stripping, ceiling insulation, seals and caulking, new furnaces and heaters, refrigerators, new electrical wiring, new stairs, new roof structure, new roof cover, new window, fire escapes, central smoke detection system, new wood or tile floor cover, new sprinkler system, boiler replacement, air conditioning-central system, exterior siding or stucco, elevator rebuild, elevator cables, additions such as patios or decks, central security system, new doors, new mail boxes, new kitchen or bathroom cabinets, and sinks.
(B)   Allowable Increase. One hundred percent (100%) of the certified costs of capital improvements, rehabilitation, and energy conservation improvements may be passed through to the tenants who benefit from such work and improvements. However no increase under this Subsection 37.7(c)(1) shall exceed, in a twelve-month period, ten percent (10%) of the tenant’s base rent at the time the petition was filed or $30.00, whichever is greater. A landlord may accumulate any certified increase which exceeds this amount and impose the increase in subsequent years, subject to this 10% or $30.00 limitation.
(2)   Applications Filed On or After [May 1, 2002 or 60 Days Prior to Passage of This Ordinance on Second Reading, Whichever is Later], For Qualified Energy Conservation Improvements and Renewable Energy Improvements. For Applications filed on or after [May 1, 2002 or 60 days prior to passage of this Ordinance on Second Reading, whichever is later], the following provisions shall apply to certification of costs for qualified energy conservation improvements and renewable energy improvements.
(A)   Amortization Periods. Costs shall be amortized on a straight-line basis over the period of time provided in 37.7(c)(2)(B)(i),or as determined pursuant to the procedure provided in 37.7(c) (2)(B)(ii).
(B)   For purposes of this Subsection 37.7(c)(2), qualified energy conservation improvements and renewable energy improvements are:
(i)   100% of new EPA Energy-Star-compliant refrigerators where the refrigerator replaced is more than five years old and where the unit has separate metering, which costs shall be amortized on straight-line basis over a ten-year period; and,
(ii)   Other improvements as may be approved by the Board of Supervisors upon recommendation of the Rent Board following hearings and recommendations by the Commission on the Environment in an Energy Conservation Improvements and Renewable Energy Improvements List (List), as follows:
(I)   The Commission on the Environment shall hold hearings to develop a list of recommended energy conservation improvements and renewable energy improvements that demonstrably benefit tenants in units that have separate electrical and/or natural gas metering. Such recommendations shall include consideration of cost effectiveness for tenants, appropriate amortization schedules, and permissible passthrough amounts that will encourage landlords to make such improvements.
(II)   The Commission shall also consider whether the certification for each such improvement should include the entire improvement, or only that portion of the improvement cost directly attributable to energy conservation or renewable energy.
(III)   The List shall take into consideration the variety and conditions of housing in the City.
(IV)   The Commission on the Environment shall adopt the List at a public meeting, and shall transmit the List to the Rent Board no later than [six months after the effective date of this Ordinance].
(V)   The Commission on the Environment shall periodically review and amend the List as warranted by changes in technology or conditions in the electricity and natural gas markets. Any amended List shall be transmitted forthwith to the Rent Board.
(VI)   The Rent Board shall consider any such List received from the Commission on the Environment, and recommend appropriate Subsection 37.7(c)(2) amendments to the Board of Supervisors.
(3)   Applications Filed On or After [May 1, 2002 or 60 Days Prior to Passage of This Ordinance on Second Reading, Whichever is Later], For Seismic Work and Improvements Required by Law, and for Work and Improvements Required by Laws Enacted After [May 1, 2002 or 60 days prior to passage of this Ordinance on Second Reading, whichever is later].
For applications filed on or after [May 1, 2002 or 60 days prior to passage of this Ordinance on Second Reading, whichever is later]:
(A)   This Subsection 37.7(c)(3) shall apply to certification of costs for seismic work and improvements required by law.
(B)   This Subsection 37.7(c)(3) shall apply to certification of costs for capital improvement, rehabilitation, energy conservation, and renewable energy work and improvements required by federal, state, or local laws enacted on or after [May 1, 2002 or 60 days prior to passage of this Ordinance on Second Reading, whichever is later].
(C)   Amortization Periods. Costs shall be amortized on a straight-line basis over a twenty-year period.
(D)   Allowable Increase. One hundred percent (100%) of the certified costs of capital improvement, rehabilitation, energy conservation, and renewable energy work and improvements required by law may be passed through to the tenants who benefit from such work and improvements. Any rent increases under this Section 37.7(c)(3) shall not exceed, in a twelve-month period, a total of ten percent (10%) of the tenant’s base rent at the time the petition was filed or $30.00, whichever is greater. A landlord may accumulate any certified increase which exceeds this amount and impose the increase in subsequent years, subject to this 10% or $30.00 limitation.
(4)   Applications Filed On or After [May 1, 2002 or 60 days prior to passage of this Ordinance on Second Reading, whichever is later], for Other Work and Improvements On Properties With Five Residential Units or Less. For applications filed on or after [May 1, 2002 or 60 days prior to passage of this Ordinance on Second Reading, whichever is later], the following provisions shall apply to certification of all work and improvements for properties containing five residential units or less, with the exception of work and improvements costs certified for passthrough under Subsections 37.7(c)(2) or (3):
(A)   Amortization Periods. Costs shall be amortized on a straight-line basis over a ten, fifteen or twenty-year period, depending upon which category described below most closely relates to the type of work or improvement and its estimated useful life.
(i)   Schedule I – Ten-Year Amortization. The following shall be amortized over a ten-year period: New roof structure, new roof cover, electrical heaters, central security system, telephone entry systems, new wood frame windows, new mailboxes, weather-stripping, ceiling insulation, seals and caulking, central smoke detection system, new doors and skylights; appliances, such as new stoves, disposals, refrigerators, washers, dryers and dishwashers; fixtures, such as garage door openers, locks, light fixtures, water heaters and blankets, shower heads, time clocks and hot water pumps; and other improvements, such as carpeting, linoleum, and exterior and interior painting of common areas. If the appliance is a replacement for which the tenant has already had the benefit, the cost will not be amortized as a capital improvement but will be considered part of operating and maintenance expenses. Appliances may be amortized as capital improvements when: (1) part of a remodeled kitchen; (2) based upon an agreement between the tenant and landlord; and/or (3) it is a new service or appliance the tenant did not previously have,
(ii)   Schedule II – Fifteen-Year Amortization. The following shall be amortized over a fifteen-year period: New floor structure, new ceiling or walls-new sheetrock, wood decks, new stairs, new furnaces and gas heaters, new thermal pane windows, new wood or tile floor cover, new sprinkler systems, air conditioning-central system, exterior siding or stucco, elevator rebuild, elevator cables, new kitchen or bathroom cabinets, and sinks.
(iii)   Schedule III – Twenty-Year Amortization. The following shall be amortized over a twenty-year period: New foundation, new plumbing (new fixtures or piping), boiler replacement, new electrical wiring, fire escapes, concrete patios, iron gates, sidewalk replacement and chimneys.
(B)   Allowable Increase. One hundred percent (100%) of the certified costs of capital improvement, rehabilitation, and energy conservation work and improvements may be passed through to the tenants who benefit from such work and improvements. However, no increase under this Subsection 37.7(c)(4) shall exceed, in a twelve-month period, five percent (5%) the tenant’s base rent at the time the petition was filed or $30.00, whichever is greater. A landlord may accumulate any certified increase which exceeds this amount and impose the increase in subsequent years subject to this 5% or $30.00 limitation.
(5)   For Applications Filed On or After [May 1, 2002 or 60 Days Prior to Passage of This Ordinance on Second Reading, Whichever is Later], for Other Work and Improvements for Properties with Six or more Residential Units. For applications filed on or after [May 1, 2002 or 60 days prior to passage of this Ordinance on Second Reading, whichever is later], the following provisions shall apply to certification of all work and improvements for properties containing six residential units or more, with the exception of work and improvements certified under Subsections 37.7(c)(2) or (3):
(A)   Amortization Periods. Costs shall be amortized on a straight-line basis over a seven or ten-year period, depending upon which category described below most closely relates to the type of work or improvement and its estimated useful life.
(i)   Schedule I – Seven-Year Amortization. The following shall be amortized over a seven-year period: Appliances, such as new stoves, disposals, washers, dryers and dishwashers; fixtures, such as garage door openers, locks, light fixtures, water heaters and blankets, shower heads, time clocks and hot water pumps; and other improvements, such as carpeting, linoleum, and exterior and interior painting of common areas. If the appliance is a replacement for which the tenant has already had the benefit, the cost will not be amortized as a capital improvement, but will be considered part of operating and maintenance expenses. Appliances may be amortized as capital improvements when: (1) part of a remodeled kitchen; (2) based upon an agreement between the tenant and landlord; and/or (3) it is a new service or appliance the tenant did not previously have.
(ii)   Schedule II – Ten-Year Amortization. The following shall be amortized over a ten year period: New foundation, new floor structure, new ceiling or walls sheetrock, new plumbing (new fixtures or piping), weather stripping, ceiling insulation, seals and caulking, new furnaces and heaters, refrigerators, new electrical wiring, new stairs, new roof structure, new roof cover; new window, fire escapes, central smoke detection system, new wood or tile floor cover, new sprinkler system, boiler replacement, air conditioning system, exterior siding or stucco, elevator rebuild, elevator cables, additions such as patios or decks, central security system, new doors, new mail boxes, new kitchen or bathroom cabinets, sinks, telephone entry system, skylights, iron gates, sidewalk replacement and chimneys.
(B)   Allowable Increase.
(i)   Only fifty percent (50%) of the costs certified under this Subsection 37.7(c)(5) may be passed through to the tenants who benefit from such work and improvements. However, no increase under this Subsection 37.7(c)(5) shall exceed, in a twelve-month period, ten percent (10%) of the tenant’s base rent at the time the petition was filed or $30.00, whichever is greater. A landlord may accumulate any certified increase which exceeds this amount and impose the increase in subsequent years, subject to this 10% or $30.00 limitation.
(ii)   In the alternative a tenant may elect to have one hundred percent (100%) of the costs certified under this Subsection 37.7(c)(5) passed through to the tenant. In that event no increase under this Subsection shall exceed, in a twelve-month period, five percent (5%) of the tenant’s base rent at the time the application was filed, and over the life of the tenancy the total increase shall never exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the tenant’s base rent at the time the application was filed. A tenant must elect this alternative by filing such an election with the Board on a form prescribed by the Board. An election may be filed at any time after the application is filed but no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the Administrative Law Judge’s decision on the application is mailed to the tenant. In a unit with multiple tenants, the election form must be signed by a majority (more than 50% ) in order for the election to be accepted. If a timely election is made after a decision has been issued, an addendum to the decision will be issued reflecting the tenant’s election.
(6)   Development of On-Line Programs. The Board, in conjunction with the Department of Telecommunications and Information Services, shall design and implement on-line programs by September 1, 2003 to allow landlords and tenants to perform calculations concerning allowable increases for capital improvement, rehabilitation, energy conservation, and renewable energy work, and to compare average costs for work certified in prior decisions.
(d)   Estimator. The Board or its Executive Director may hire an estimator where an expert appraisal is required.
(e)   Filing Fee. The Board shall establish a filing fee based upon the cost of the capital improvement, rehabilitation, energy conservation improvement, or renewable energy improvement being reviewed. Such fees will pay for the costs of an estimator. These fees shall be deposited in the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Fund pursuant to Section 10.117-88 of this Code.
(f)   Application Procedures.
(1)   Pre-Application Notice for Large Projects for Parcels or Buildings Containing Six or More Residential Units. If at any time prior to filing an application the landlord determines that the total cost of a project for a parcel or a building containing six or more residential units is reasonably expected to exceed $25,000 multiplied by the number of units on the parcel or in the building, the landlord shall immediately inform each tenant and the Rent Board in writing of the anticipated costs of the work. The landlord’s notice must occur within 30 days after such determination by the landlord.
(2)   Filing. Landlords who seek to pass through the costs of capital improvements, rehabilitation, energy conservation improvements, or renewable energy improvements, must file an application on a form prescribed by the Board. The application shall be accompanied by such supporting material as the Board shall prescribe. All applications must be submitted with the filing fee established by the Board.
For each petition totaling more than $25,000, in addition to the supporting material prescribed by the Board for all petitions, the applicant must either:
(A)   Provide copies of competitive bids received for work and materials; or,
(B)   Provide copies of time and materials billing for work performed by all contractors and subcontractors; or
(C)   The applicant must pay the cost of an estimator hired by the Board.
(3)   Filing Date. Applications must be filed prior to the mailing or delivery of legal notice of a rent increase to the tenants of units for which the landlord seeks certification and in no event more than five years after the work has been completed.
(4)   Effect of Filing Application. Upon the filing of the application, the requested increase will be inoperative until such time as the Administrative Law Judge makes findings of fact at the conclusion of the certification hearing.
(5)   Notice to Parties. The Board shall calendar the application for hearing before a designated Administrative Law Judge and shall give written notice of the date to the parties at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
(g)   Certification Hearings.
(1)   Time of Hearing. The hearing shall be held within 45 days of the filing of the application.
(2)   Consolidation. To the greatest extent possible, certification hearings with respect to a given building shall be consolidated. Where a landlord and/or tenant has filed a petition for hearing based upon the grounds and under the procedure set forth in Section 37.8, the Board may, in its discretion, consolidate certification hearings with hearings on Section 37.8 petitions.
(3)   Conduct of Hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge designated by the Board. Both parties may offer such documents, testimony, written declarations or other evidence as may be pertinent to the proceedings. Burden of proof is on the landlord. A record of the proceedings must be maintained for purposes of appeal.
(4)   Determination of the Administrative Law Judge. In accordance with the Board’s amortization schedules and cost allocation formulas, the Administrative Law Judge shall make findings as to whether or not the proposed rent increases are justified based upon the following considerations:
(A)   The application and its supporting documentation.
(B)   Evidence presented at the hearing establishing both the extent and the cost of the work performed.
(C)   Estimator’s report, where such report has been prepared.
(D)   Any other such relevant factors as the Board shall specify in rules and regulations.
(5)   Findings of Fact. The Administrative Law Judge shall make written findings of fact, copies of which shall be mailed within 30 days of the hearing.
(6)   Payment or Refund of Rents to Implement Certification Decision. If the Administrative Law Judge finds that all or any portion of the heretofore inoperative rent increase is justified, the tenant shall be ordered to pay the landlord that amount. If the tenant has paid an amount to the landlord which the Administrative Law Judge finds unjustified, the Administrative Law Judge shall order the landlord to reimburse the tenant said amount.
(7)   Finality of Administrative Law Judge’s Decision. The decision of the Administrative Law Judge shall be final unless the Board vacates his or her decision on appeal.
(8)   Appeals. Either party may file an appeal of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision with the Board. Such appeals are governed by Section 37.8(f) below.
(h)   Hardship Tenant Financial Applications.
(1)   A tenant may file a hardship application at any time on grounds of financial hardship with respect to any rent increase based on certified costs of capital improvements, rehabilitation work, energy conservation improvements, or renewable energy improvements. Payment of such rent increases(s) set forth in the hardship application shall be stayed from the date of filing until a decision is made on the Tenant Financial Hardship Application.
(2)   Hardship applications shall be available in multiple languages.
(3)   Multilingual notice of hardship application procedures shall be mailed with each Administrative Law Judge or Board decision.
(4)   Within six months after February 21, 2003 the Rent Board shall implement a process for direct outreach to landlords and tenants whose primary language is not English, regarding availability and use of the hardship application procedure. Within three months of implementation the Board shall provide a report to the Board of Supervisors regarding this outreach program, describing the implementation process and any known results.
(i)   Tenant Financial Hardship Application Standards and Process.
(1)   Standards for Establishing Financial Hardship. A tenant will qualify under Subsection 37.7(h) for relief from payment of a certified capital improvement passthrough, if the tenant demonstrates that one of the following financial hardship situations applies:
(A)   Tenant is a recipient of means-tested public assistance, such as Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), General Assistance (GA), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS); or,
(B)   Gross household income is less than 80% of the current Unadjusted Area Median Income (AMI) as published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the “Metro Fair Market Rent Area” that includes San Francisco; and rent charged is greater than 33% of gross household income; and assets, excluding non-liquid assets and retirement accounts, do not exceed asset amounts permitted by the Mayor’s Office of Housing when determining eligibility for below market rate (BMR) home ownership; or,
(C)   Exceptional circumstances exist, such as excessive medical bills.
(2)   Procedures for Filing. A Tenant Financial Hardship Application must be filed:
(A)   By each occupant in the unit who is 18 years of age or older, except not by any subtenant who pays rent to the master tenant (the gross income of the master tenant must include the amount of the subtenant’s rent payment);
(B)   Under penalty of perjury, stating that the tenant qualifies under one of the standards in Subsection 37.7(i)(1)(A), (B), or (C);
(C)   With documentation demonstrating the tenant’s qualifications; and
(D)   With an acknowledgment that the Rent Board will provide a copy of the Tenant Financial Hardship Application to the landlord.
(3)   Stay of Payment. Payment of a certified capital improvement passthrough that is the subject of a Subsection 37.7(i)(1) Tenant Financial Hardship Application shall be stayed from the date of filing until a decision is made on the Tenant Financial Hardship Application.
(4)   Hearing Options, Decision.
(A)   A decision on the Application will be issued administratively by a Rent Board Administrative Law Judge unless a hearing is requested by the landlord within fifteen days of the date the completed Tenant Financial Hardship Application is mailed to the landlord by the Rent Board, or unless a Rent Board Administrative Law Judge otherwise determines, that a hearing is needed.
(B)   Landlord Request for Hearing, Procedures.
(i)   A landlord’s request for a hearing on the Application shall specify the claim(s) in the Application that the landlord disputes, and attach any relevant documentation.
(ii)   A Rent Board Administrative Law Judge will review any landlord request for hearing, to determine whether a hearing is necessary to resolve disputed facts.
(iii)   If the landlord’s request for a hearing is granted, it will be the landlord’s burden to demonstrate that the tenant’s financial hardship eligibility under Subsection 37.7(i)(1) criteria, as stated in the Application, has not been established.
(iv)   If it is determined that a hearing as requested by the landlord is not needed to determine the facts, a decision on the Application will be issued administratively by a Rent Board Administrative Law Judge.
(5)   Term of Relief. Relief from payment of a certified capital improvement passthrough may be for an indefinite period or for a limited period of time, all subject to the landlord’s request to reopen the case if the landlord has information that the tenant is no longer eligible.
(6)   Change in Tenant Eligibility Status. If a tenant is granted relief from payment of a certified capital improvement passthrough under Subsection 37.7(i)(1), and subsequently the tenant is no longer eligible for such relief:
(A)   The tenant shall notify the Rent Board of this changed eligibility status in writing within 60 days, with a copy to the landlord.
(B)   Whether or not the tenant notifies the Rent Board and landlord as provided in Subsection 37.7(i)(6)(A), the landlord may notify the Rent Board if the landlord has information that the tenant is no longer eligible, with a copy to the tenant.
(C)   Upon receipt of notice under Subsection 37.7(i)(6)(A) or (B), a Rent Board Administrative Law Judge shall decide whether to grant or deny the previously granted relief. That decision may be made administratively by a Rent Board Administrative Law Judge without a hearing unless the Administrative Law Judge determines that a hearing is needed, or unless the landlord requests a hearing. Any such hearing shall be promptly scheduled.
(7)   Any decision granting or denying the Tenant Financial Hardship Application, or any subsequent decision on a previously granted Tenant Financial Hardship Application, may be appealed to the Rent Board. The Rent Board’s final decision will be subject to judicial review by writ of administrative mandamus in the San Francisco Superior Court.
(j)   Notice to Tenants Regarding Tenant Financial Hardship Applications. The Rent Board shall provide written notice of the tenant financial hardship application procedures to each affected unit, with a copy of the landlord’s petition for certification of capital improvement costs.
(Amended by Ord. 438-83, App. 9/2/83; Ord. 278-89, App. 8/2/89; Ord. 162-93, App. 5/28/93; Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 2-03, File No. 020716, App, 1/21/2003; Ord. 203-13, File No. 130706, App. 10/3/2013, Eff. 11/2/2013; Ord. 43-14, File No. 131148, App. 4/17/2014, Eff. 5/17/2014)

SEC. 37.8.  ARBITRATION OF RENTAL INCREASE ADJUSTMENTS.
(a)   Authority of Board and Administrative Law Judge. In accordance with such guidelines as the Board shall establish, the Board and designated Administrative Law Judges shall have the authority to arbitrate rental increase adjustments, and to administer the rent increase protest procedures with respect to RAP rental units as set forth in Chapter 32 of the San Francisco Administrative Code.
(b)   Request for Arbitration.
(1)   Landlords. Landlords who seek to impose rent increases which exceed the limitations set forth in Section 37.3(a) above must request an arbitration hearing as set forth in this Section. The burden of proof is on the landlord.
(2)   Tenants.
(A)   Notwithstanding Section 37.3, tenants of non-RAP rental units and tenants of RAP rental units in areas designated on or after July 1, 1977, may request arbitration hearings where a landlord has substantially decreased services without a corresponding reduction in rent and/or has failed to perform ordinary repair and maintenance under State or local law and/or has failed to provide the tenant with a clear explanation of the current charges for gas and electricity or bond measure costs passed through to the tenant and/or imposed a nonconforming rent increase which is null and void. The burden of proof is on the tenant.
(B)   Tenants of RAP rental units in areas designated prior to July 1, 1977, may petition for a hearing where the landlord has noticed an increase which exceeds the limitations set forth in Section 32.73 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. After a vacancy has occurred in a RAP rental unit in said areas, a new tenant of said unit may petition for a hearing where the landlord has demanded and/or received a rent for that unit which exceeds the rent increase limitations set forth in Section 32.73 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. The burden of proof is on the landlord.
(c)   Procedure for Landlord Petitioners.
(1)   Filing. The request for arbitration must be filed on a petition form prescribed by the Board and shall be accompanied by such supporting material as the Board shall prescribe, including but not limited to, justification for the proposed rental increase.
(2)   Filing Date. The petition must be filed prior to the mailing or delivering to the tenant or tenants legal notice of the rental increase exceeding the limitations as defined in Section 37.3.
(3)   Effect of Timely Filing of Petition. Provided a completed petition is timely filed, that portion of the requested rental increase which exceeds the limitations set forth in Section 37.3 and has not been certified as a justifiable increase in accordance with Section 37.7 is inoperative until such time as the Administrative Law Judge makes findings of fact at the conclusion of the arbitration hearing.
(4)   Notice to Parties. The Board shall calendar the petition for hearing before a designated Administrative Law Judge and shall give written notice of the date to the parties at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
(d)   Procedure for Tenant Petitioners.
(1)   Filing; Limitation. The request for arbitration must be filed on a petition form prescribed by the Board and must be accompanied by such supporting material as the Board shall prescribe, including but not limited to, a copy of the landlord’s notice of rent increase. If the tenant petitioner has received certification findings regarding his rental unit in accordance with Section 37.7, such findings must accompany the petition. If the tenant petitioner has received a notification from the Chief Administrative Officer with respect to base rent and amortization of a RAP loan, such notification must accompany the petition. A tenant petition regarding a gas and electricity passthrough must be filed within one year of the effective date of the passthrough or within one year of the date the passthrough was required to be recalculated pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the Board. A tenant petition regarding a water revenue bond passthrough under Section 37.3(a)(5)(B) must be filed within one year of the effective date of the passthrough. A tenant petition regarding a general obligation bond cost passthrough under Section 37.3(a)(6) must be filed within one year of the effective date of the passthrough.
(2)   Notice to Parties. The Board shall calendar the petition for hearing before a designated Administrative Law Judge and shall give written notice of the date to the parties at least 10 days prior to the hearing. Responses to a petition for hearing may be submitted in writing.
(e)   Hearings.
(1)   Time of Hearing. The hearing shall be held within 45 days of the filing of the petition. The level of housing services provided to tenants’ rental units shall not be decreased during the period between the filing of the petition and the conclusion of the hearing.
(2)   Consolidation. To the greatest extent possible, hearings with respect to a given building shall be consolidated.
(3)   Conduct of Hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge designated by the Board. Both parties may offer such documents, testimony, written declarations or other evidence as may be pertinent to the proceedings. A record of the proceedings must be maintained for purposes of appeal.
(4)   Determination of the Administrative Law Judge: Rental Units. Based upon the evidence presented at the hearing and upon such relevant factors as the Board shall determine, the Administrative Law Judge shall make findings as to whether or not the landlord’s proposed rental increase exceeding the limitations set forth in Section 37.3 is justified or whether or not the landlord has effected a rent increase through a reduction in services or has failed to perform ordinary repair and maintenance as required by State or local law; and provided further that, where a landlord has imposed a passthrough for property taxes pursuant to Section 37.3(6)(D), the same increase in property taxes shall not be included in the calculation of increased operating and maintenance expenses pursuant to this Subsection (4). In making such findings, the Administrative Law Judge shall take into consideration the following factors:
(A)   Increases or decreases in operating and maintenance expenses, including, but not limited to, real estate taxes, sewer service charges, janitorial service, refuse removal, elevator service, security system, and debt service; provided, however, when a unit is purchased after the effective date of this ordinance, and this purchase occurs within two years of the date of the previous purchase, consideration shall not be given to that portion of increased debt service which has resulted from a selling price which exceeds the seller’s purchase price by more than the percentage increase in the “Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the San Francisco-Oakland Metropolitan Area, U.S. Department of Labor” between the date of previous purchase and the date of the current sale, plus the cost of capital improvements or rehabilitation work made or performed by the seller.
(B)   The past history of increases in the rent for the unit and the comparison of the rent for the unit with rents for comparable units in the same general area.
(C)   Any findings which have been made pursuant to Section 37.7 with respect to the unit.
(D)   Failure to perform ordinary repair, replacement and maintenance in compliance with applicable State and local law.
(E)   Any other such relevant factors as the Board shall specify in rules and regulations.
(5)   Determination of the Administrative Law Judge: RAP Rental Units.
(A)   RAP Rental Units in RAP Areas Designated Prior to July 1, 1977. The Administrative Law Judge shall make findings as to whether or not the noticed or proposed rental increase exceeds the rent increase limitations set forth in Section 32.73 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. In making such findings, the Administrative Law Judge shall apply the rent increase limitations set forth in Chapter 32 of the San Francisco Administrative Code and all rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. The Administrative Law Judge shall consider the evidence presented at the hearing. The burden of proof shall be on the landlord.
(B)   RAP Rental Units in RAP Areas Designated On or After July 1, 1977. The Administrative Law Judge shall make findings with respect to rent increases exceeding the limitations as set forth in Section 37.3 of this Chapter. In making such findings, the Administrative Law Judge shall take into consideration the factors set forth in Subsection (4) above and shall consider evidence presented at the hearing. The burden of proof is on the landlord.
(6)   Findings of Fact. The Administrative Law Judge shall make written findings of fact, copies of which shall be mailed to the parties within 30 days of the hearing.
(7)   Payment or Refund of Rents to Implement Arbitration Decision. Upon finding that all or any portion of the rent increase is or is not justified, or that any nonconforming rent increase is null and void, the Administrative Law Judge may order payment or refund of all or a portion of that cumulative amount within 15 days of the mailing of the findings of fact or may order the amount added to or offset against future rents; provided, however, that any such order shall be stayed if an appeal is timely filed by the aggrieved party. The Administrative Law Judge may order refunds of rent overpayments resulting from rent increases which are null and void for no more than the three-year period preceding the month of the filing of a landlord or tenant petition, plus the period between the month of filing and the date of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision. In any case, calculation of rent overpayments and re-setting of the lawful base rent shall be based on a determination of the validity of all rent increases imposed since April 1, 1982, in accordance with Sections 37.3(b)(5) and 37.3(a)(2) above.
(8)   Finality of Administrative Law Judge’s Decision. The decision of the Administrative Law Judge shall be final unless the Board vacates his decision on appeal.
(f)   Appeals.
(1)   Time and Manner. Any appeal to the Board from the determination of the Administrative Law Judge must be made within 15 calendar days of the mailing of the findings of fact unless such time limit is extended by the Board upon a showing of good cause. If the fifteenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the appeal may be filed with the Board on the next business day. The appeal shall be in writing and must state why appellant believes there was either error or abuse of discretion on the part of the Administrative Law Judge. The filing of an appeal will stay only that portion of any Administrative Law Judge’s decision which permits payment, refund, offsetting or adding rent.
(2)   Record on Appeal. Upon receipt of an appeal, the entire administrative record of the matter, including the appeal, shall be filed with the Board.
(3)   Appeals. The Board shall, in its discretion, hear appeals. In deciding whether or not to hear a given appeal, the Board shall consider, among other factors, fairness to the parties, hardship to either party, and promoting the policies and purposes of this Chapter, in addition to any written comments submitted by the Administrative Law Judge whose decision is being challenged. The Board may also review other material from the administrative record of the matter as it deems necessary. A vote of three members shall be required in order for an appeal to be heard.
(4)   Remand to Administrative Law Judge Without Appeal Hearing. In those cases where the Board is able to determine on the basis of the documents before it that the Administrative Law Judge has erred, the Board may remand the case for further hearing in accordance with its instructions without conducting an appeal hearing. Both parties shall be notified as to the time of the re-hearing, which shall be conducted within 30 days of remanding by the Board. In those cases where the Board is able to determine on the basis of the documents before it that the Administrative Law Judge’s findings contain numerical or clerical inaccuracies, or require clarification, the Board may continue the hearing for purposes of re-referring the case to said Administrative Law Judge in order to correct the findings.
(5)   Time of Appeal Hearing; Notice to Parties. Appeals accepted by the Board shall be heard within 45 days of the filing of an appeal. Within 30 days of the filing of an appeal, both parties shall be notified in writing as to whether or not the appeal has been accepted. If the appeal has been accepted, the notice shall state the time of the hearing and the nature of the hearing. Such notice must be mailed at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
(6)   Appeal Hearing; Decision of the Board. At the appeal hearing, both appellant and respondent shall have an opportunity to present oral testimony and written documents in support of their positions. After such hearing and after any further investigation which the Board may deem necessary the Board may, upon hearing the appeal, affirm, reverse or modify the Administrative Law Judge’s decision or may remand the case for further hearing in accordance with its findings. The Board’s decision must be rendered within 45 days of the hearing and the parties must be notified of such decision.
(7)   Notification of the Parties. In accordance with item (6) above, parties shall receive written notice of the decision. The notice shall state that this decision is final.
(8)   Effective Date of Appeal Decisions. Appeal decisions are effective on the date mailed to the parties; provided, however, that that portion of any decision which orders payment, refund, offsetting or adding rent shall become effective 30 calendar days after it is mailed to the parties unless a stay of execution is granted by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(9)   Limitation of Actions. A landlord or tenant aggrieved by any decision of the Board must seek judicial review within 90 calendar days of the date of mailing of the decision.
(Amended by Ord. 435-86, App. 11/10/86; Ord. 278-89, App. 8/2/89; Ord. 127-91, App. 4/2/91; Ord. 132-92, App. 5/21/92; Ord. 179-92, App. 6/22/92; Ord. 162-93, App. 5/28/93; Ord. 363-93, App. 11/18/93; Ord. 179-98, App. 5/29/98; Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 107-03, File No. 030689, App. 5/23/2003)

SEC. 37.8A.  EXPEDITED HEARING PROCEDURES.
As an alternative to the hearing procedures set forth in Sections 37.7(g) and 37.8(e) above, a landlord or tenant may, in certain cases, obtain an expedited hearing and final order with the written consent of all parties. This Section contains the exclusive grounds and procedures for such hearings.
(a)   Applicability. A tenant or landlord may seek an expedited hearing for the following petitions only:
(1)   Any landlord capital improvement petition where the proposed increase for certified capital improvement costs does not exceed the greater of 10 percent or $30 of a tenant’s base rent and the parties stipulate to the cost of the capital improvements;
(2)   Any tenant petition alleging decreased housing services with a past value not exceeding $1,000 as of the date the petition is filed;
(3)   Any tenant petition alleging the landlord’s failure to repair and maintain the premises as required by state or local law;
(4)   Any tenant petition alleging unlawful rent increases where the parties stipulate to the tenant’s rent history and the rent overpayments do not exceed a total of $1,000 as of the date the petition is filed;
(5)   Any petition concerning jurisdictional questions where the parties stipulate to the relevant facts.
(b)   Hearing Procedures. The petition application procedures of Section 37.7(f) and Section 37.8(c) and (d) apply to petitions for expedited hearings. The hearings shall be conducted according to the following procedures:
(1)   Time of Hearing. The hearing must be held within 21 days of the filing of the written consent of all the parties. The level of housing services provided to tenants’ rental units shall not be decreased during the period between the filing of the petition and the conclusion of the hearing.
(2)   Consolidation. To the greatest extent possible, and only with the consent of the parties, hearings with respect to a given building shall be consolidated.
(3)   Conduct of Hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge designated by the Board. Both parties may offer such documents, testimony, written declarations or other evidence as may be pertinent to the proceedings. Stipulations of the parties as required under Section 37.8A(b)(1), (b)(4) and (b)(5) shall be required as evidence. Burden of proof requirements set forth in Sections 37.7 and 37.8 are applicable to the hearing categories in Section 37.8A(b) above. No record of the hearing shall be maintained for any purpose.
(4)   Order of the Administrative Law Judge. Based upon all criteria set forth in Sections 37.7(4) and 37.8(e)(4) governing the petition, the Administrative Law Judge shall make a written order no later than 10 days after the hearing. The Administrative Law Judge shall make no findings of fact. The Administrative Law Judge shall order payment or refund of amounts owing to a party or parties, if amounts are owed, within a period of time not to exceed 45 days.
(5)   Stay of Order. The Administrative Law Judge’s order shall be stayed for 15 days from the date of issuance. During this period, either party may lodge a written objection to the order with the Board. If the Board receives such objection within this period, the order is automatically dissolved and the petitioning party may refile the petition for hearing under any other appropriate hearing procedure set forth in this chapter.
(6)   Finality of Administrative Law Judge’s Order. If no objection to the Administrative Law Judge’s order is made pursuant to Subsection (c)(5) above, the order becomes final. The order is not subject to appeal to the Board under Section 37.8(f) nor is it subject to judicial review pursuant to Section 37.8(f)(9).
(Added by Ord. 133-92, App. 5/21/92; amended by Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99)

SEC. 37.8B.  EXPEDITED HEARING AND APPEAL PROCEDURES FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS RESULTING FROM SEISMIC WORK ON UNREINFORCED MASONRY BUILDINGS PURSUANT TO BUILDING CODE CHAPTERS 16B AND 16C WHERE LANDLORDS PERFORMED THE WORK WITH A UMB BOND LOAN.
This section contains the exclusive procedures for all hearings concerning certification of the above-described capital improvements. Landlords who perform such work without a UMB bond loan are subject to the capital improvement certification procedures set forth in Section 37.7 above.
(a)   Requirements for Certification. The landlord must have completed the capital improvements in compliance with the requirements of Building CodeChapters 16A and 16C. The certification requirements of Section 37.7(b)(2) and (b)(3) are also applicable.
(b)   Amortization and Cost Allocation; Interest. Costs shall be equally allocated to each unit and amortized over a 20-year period or the life of any loan acquired for the capital improvements, whichever is longer. Interest shall be limited to the actual interest rate charged on the loan and in no event shall exceed 10 percent per year.
(c)   Eligible Items; Costs. Only those items required in order to comply with Building CodeChapters 16A and 16C may be certified. The allowable cost of such items may not exceed the costs set forth in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Planning and Development’s publication of estimated cost ranges for bolts plus retrofitting by building prototype and/or categories of eligible construction activities.
(d)   Hearing Procedures. The application procedures of Section 37.7(f) apply to petitions for these expedited capital improvement hearings; provided, however, that the landlord shall pay no filing fee since the Board will not hire an estimator. The hearings shall be conducted according to the following conducted according to the following procedures:
(1)   Time of Hearing; Consolidation; Conduct of Hearing. The hearing must be held within 21 days of the filing of the application. The consolidation and hearing conduct procedures of Section 37.7(g)(2) and (g)(3) apply.
(2)   Determination of Administrative Law Judge. In accordance with the requirements of this section, the Administrative Law Judge shall make findings as to whether or not the proposed rent increases are justified based upon the following considerations:
(A)   The application and its supporting documentation;
(B)   Evidence presented at the hearing establishing both the extent and the cost of the work performed; and
(C)   The Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development’s bolts plus cost range publication; and
(D)   Tenant objections that the work has not been completed; and
(E)   Any other such relevant factors as the Board shall specify in rules and regulations.
(3)   Findings of Fact; Effect of Decision. The Administrative Law Judge shall make written findings of fact, copies of which shall be mailed within 21 days of the hearing. The decision of the Administrative Law Judge is final unless the Board vacates it on appeal.
(e)   Appeals. Either party may appeal the Administrative Law Judge’s decisions in accordance with the requirements of Section 37.8(f)(1), (f)(2) and (f)(3). The Board shall decide whether or not to accept an appeal within 21 days.
(1)   Time of Appeal Hearing; Notice to Parties; Record; Conduct of Hearing. The appeal procedures of Section 37.8(f)(5), (f)(6), (f)(7), (f)(8) and (f)(9) apply; provided, however, that the Board’s decision shall be rendered within 20 days of the hearing.
(2)   Rent Increases. A landlord may not impose any rent increase approved by the Board on appeal without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenants.
(Added by Ord. 221-92, App. 7/14/92; amended by Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 2-03, File No. 020716, App. 1/21/2003)

SEC. 37.8C.  TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON RENT BOARD PROCESSING OR APPROVAL OF LANDLORD PETITIONS FOR CERTIFICATION AND PASSTHROUGH OF NON-SEISMIC CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT, REHABILITATION AND ENERGY CONSERVATION COSTS TO TENANTS, DURING PENDENCY OF THE SUPERIOR COURT PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION STAYING IMPLEMENTATION OF NOVEMBER 2000 PROPOSITION H.
The Board, Administrative Law Judges and other Board staff, are prohibited from processing or approving landlord petitions for certification and passthrough of capital improvement, rehabilitation and energy conservation costs to tenants, for a temporary moratorium period commencing on [the effective date of this ordinance] and continuing until the San Francisco Superior Court dissolves its preliminary injunction staying the implementation of November 2000 Proposition H (entered December 20, 2000, in Quigg v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 316928), except that petitions which seek only certification and passthrough of seismic retrofit work shall not be affected by this moratorium. This moratorium applies to petitions pending as of the effective date of this ordinance and to any landlord petitions filed during the moratorium, whether based on Sections 37.3(a)(3), 37.7, and/or 37.8A.
(Added by Ord. 29-01, File No. 010060, App. 3/2/2001)

SEC. 37.9.  EVICTIONS.
Notwithstanding Section 37.3, this Section shall apply as of August 24, 1980, to all landlords and tenants of rental units as defined in Section 37.2(r)

(a) A landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit unless:

(1) The tenant:

(A) Has failed to pay the rent to which the landlord is lawfully entitled under the oral or written agreement between the tenant and landlord:

(i) Except that a tenant’s nonpayment of a charge prohibited by Section 919.1 of the Police Code shall not constitute a failure to pay rent; and

(ii) Except that, commencing August 10, 2001, to and including February 10, 2003, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover or recover possession of rental unit for failure of a tenant to pay that portion of rent attributable to a capital improvement passthrough certified pursuant to a decision issued after April 10, 2000, where the capital improvement passthrough petition was filed prior to August 10, 2001, and a landlord shall not impose any late fee(s) upon the tenant for such non-payment of capital improvement costs; or

(B) Habitually pays the rent late; or

(C) Gives checks which are frequently returned because there are insufficient funds in the checking account; or

(2) The tenant has violated a lawful obligation or covenant of tenancy other than the obligation to surrender possession upon proper notice or other than an obligation to pay a charge prohibited by Police Code Section 919.1, the violation was substantial, and the tenant fails to cure such violation after having received written notice thereof from the landlord.

(A) Provided that notwithstanding any lease provision to the contrary, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit as a result of subletting of the rental unit by the tenant if the landlord has unreasonably withheld the right to sublet following a written request by the tenant, so long as the tenant continues to reside in the rental unit and the sublet constitutes a one-for-one replacement of the departing tenant(s). If the landlord fails to respond to the tenant in writing with a description of the reasons for the denial of the request within 14 days of receipt of the tenant’s written request, the tenant’s request shall be deemed approved by the landlord.

(B) Provided further that where a rental agreement or lease provision limits the number of occupants or limits or prohibits subletting or assignment, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit as a result of the addition to the unit of a tenant’s child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, brother or sister, or the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in Administrative Code Sections 62.1 through 62.8) of such relatives, or as a result of the addition of the spouse or domestic partner of a tenant, so long as the maximum number of occupants stated in Section 37.9(a)(2)(B)(i) and (ii) is not exceeded, if the landlord has unreasonably refused a written request by the tenant to add such occupant(s) to the unit. If the landlord fails to respond to the tenant in writing with a description of the reasons for the denial of the request within 14 days of receipt of the tenant’s written request, the tenant’s request shall be deemed approved by the landlord. A landlord’s reasonable refusal of the tenant’s written request may not be based on the proposed additional occupant’s lack of creditworthiness, if that person will not be legally obligated to pay some or all of the rent to the landlord. A landlord’s reasonable refusal of the tenant’s written request may be based on, but is not limited to, the ground that the total number of occupants in a unit exceeds (or with the proposed additional occupant(s) would exceed) the lesser of (i) or (ii):

(i) Two persons in a studio unit, three persons in a one-bedroom unit, four persons in a two-bedroom unit, six persons in a three-bedroom unit, or eight persons in a four-bedroom unit; or,

(ii) The maximum number permitted in the unit under state law and/or other local codes such as the Building, Fire, Housing and Planning Codes.

(C) Provided further that where a rental agreement or lease provision limits the number of occupants or limits or prohibits subletting or assignment, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit as a result of the addition by the tenant of additional occupants to the rental unit, so long as the maximum number of occupants does not exceed the lesser of the amounts allowed by Subsection (i) or Subsection (ii) of this Section 37.9(a)(2)(C), if the landlord has unreasonably refused a written request by the tenant to add such occupant(s) to the unit. If the landlord fails to respond to the tenant in writing with a description of the reasons for the denial of the request within 14 days of receipt of the tenant’s written request, the tenant’s request shall be deemed approved by the landlord. A landlord’s reasonable refusal of the tenant’s written request may not be based on either of the following: (1) the proposed additional occupant’s lack of creditworthiness, if that person will not be legally obligated to pay some or all of the rent to the landlord, or (2) the number of occupants allowed by the rental agreement or lease. With the exception of the restrictions stated in the preceding sentence, a landlord’s reasonable refusal of the tenant’s written request may be based on, but is not limited to, the ground that the landlord resides in the same unit as the tenant or the ground that the total number of occupants in a unit exceeds (or with the proposed additional occupant(s) would exceed) the lesser of (i) or (ii):

(i) Two persons in a studio unit, three persons in a one-bedroom unit, four persons in a two-bedroom unit, six persons in a three-bedroom unit, or eight persons in a four-bedroom unit; or

(ii) The maximum number permitted in the unit under state law and/or other local codes such as the Building, Fire, Housing, and Planning Codes.

(iii) This Subsection 37.9(a)(2)(C) is not intended by itself to establish a direct landlord-tenant relationship between the additional occupant and the landlord or to limit a landlord’s rights under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, California Civil Code Section 1954.50 et seq. (as it may be amended from time to time).

(iv) For the purposes of this Subsection 37.9(a)(2)(C), the term “additional occupant” shall not include persons who occupy the unit as a Tourist or Transient Use, as defined in Administrative Code Section 41A.5.

(D) Before endeavoring to recover possession based on the violation of a lawful obligation or covenant of tenancy regarding subletting or limits on the number of occupants in the rental unit, the landlord shall serve the tenant a written notice of the violation that provides the tenant with an opportunity to cure the violation in 10 or more days. The tenant may cure the violation by making a written request to add occupants referenced in Subsection (A), (B), or (C) of Section 37.9(a)(2) or by using other reasonable means to cure the violation, including, without limitation, the removal of any additional or unapproved occupant. Nothing in this Section 37.9(a)(2)(D) is intended to limit any other rights or remedies that the law otherwise provides to landlords; or

(3) The tenant is committing or permitting to exist a nuisance in, or is causing substantial damage to, the rental unit, or is creating a substantial interference with the comfort, safety or enjoyment of the landlord or tenants in the building, the activities are severe, continuing or recurring in nature, and the nature of such nuisance, damage or interference is specifically stated by the landlord in the writing as required by Section 37.9(c).

(3.1) Eviction Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault or Stalking:

(A) It shall be a defense to an action for possession of a unit under Subsection 37.9(a)(3) if the court determines that:

(i) The tenant or the tenant’s household member is a victim of an act or acts that constitute domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking; and

(ii) The notice to vacate is substantially based upon the act or acts constituting domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking against the tenant or a tenant’s household member, including but not limited to an action for possession based on complaints of noise, disturbances, or repeated presence of police.

(B) Evidence Required. In making the determination under Section 37.9(a)(3.1)(A) the court shall consider evidence, which may include but is not limited to:

(i) A copy of a temporary restraining order or emergency protective order issued pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 6240) or Part 4 (commencing with Section 6300) or Part 5 (commencing with Section 6400) of the Family Code, Section 136.2 of the Penal Code, Section 527.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or Section 213.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, that protects the tenant or tenant’s household member from further domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. And/or,

(ii) A copy of a written report by a peace officer employed by a state or local law enforcement agency acting in his or her official capacity, stating that the tenant or tenant’s household member has filed a report alleging that he or she is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. And/or

(iii) Other written documentation from a qualified third party of the acts constituting domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking.

(C) Mutual Allegations of Abuse Between Parties. If two or more co-tenants are parties seeking relief under Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1)(A), and each alleges that he or she was a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking perpetrated by another co-tenant who is also a party, the court may determine whether a tenant acted as the dominant aggressor in the acts constituting a domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking offense. In making the determination, the court shall consider the factors listed in Section 13701(b)(1) of the Penal Code. A tenant who the court determines was the dominant aggressor in the acts constituting a domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking offense is not entitled to relief under Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1)(A).

(D) Limitations on Relief. Unless the tenant or the tenant’s household member has obtained a protective order against the alleged abuser to vacate or stay from the unit as a result of acts constituting domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking against the tenant or tenant’s household member, the tenant may not obtain relief under Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1) if:

(i) The tenant was granted relief under Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1) in an action for possession of the unit within the previous five years; and

(ii) A subsequent action for possession of the unit has now been filed; and

(iii) The notice to vacate in this subsequent action for possession is substantially based upon continuing acts constituting domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking by the same person alleged to be the abuser in the previous action for possession.

(E) Nothing in this Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1) shall be construed to affect the tenant’s liability for delinquent rent or other sums owed to the landlord, or the landlord’s remedies in recovering against the tenant for such sums.

(F) The provisions of Subsection 37.9(a)(3.1) are intended for use consistent with Civil Code Section 1946.7.

(3.2) Confidentiality of Information Received from Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault or Stalking. A landlord shall retain in strictest confidence all information that is received in confidence from a tenant or a tenant’s household member who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking, regarding that domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking, except to the extent that such disclosure (A) is necessary to provide for a reasonable accommodation for the victim, or (B) is otherwise required pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law. The victim may authorize limited or general release of any information otherwise deemed confidential under this Subsection 37.9(a)(3.2).

Or,

(4) The tenant is using or permitting a rental unit to be used for any illegal purpose, provided however that a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit solely:

(A) as a result of a first violation of Chapter 41A that has been cured within 30 days written notice to the tenant; or,

(B) because the illegal use is the residential occupancy of a unit not authorized for residential occupancy by the City. Nothing in this Section 37.9(a)(4)(B) prohibits a landlord from endeavoring to recover possession of the unit under Section 37.9(a)(8) or (10) of this Chapter.

(5) The tenant, who had an oral or written agreement with the landlord which has terminated, has refused after written request or demand by the landlord to execute a written extension or renewal thereof for a further term of like duration and under such terms which are materially the same as in the previous agreement; provided, that such terms do not conflict with any of the provisions of this Chapter; or

(6) The tenant has, after written notice to cease, refused the landlord access to the rental unit as required by state or local law; or

(7) The tenant holding at the end of the term of the oral or written agreement is a subtenant not approved by the landlord; or

(8) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith, without ulterior reasons and with honest intent;

(i) For the landlords use or occupancy as his or her principal residence for a period of at least 36 continuous months;

(ii) For the use or occupancy of the landlords grandparents, grandchildren, parents, children, brother or sister, or the landlords spouse or the spouses of such relations, as their principal place of residency for a period of at least 36 months, in the same building in which the landlord resides as his or her principal place of residency, or in a building in which the landlord is simultaneously seeking possession of a rental unit under 37.9(a)(8)(i). For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8)(ii), the term spouse shall include Domestic Partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 62.1 through 62.8.

(iii) For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8) only, as to landlords who become owners of record of the rental unit on or before February 21, 1991, the term landlord shall be defined as an owner of record of at least 10 percent interest in the property or, for Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) only, two individuals registered as Domestic Partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 62.1-62.8 whose combined ownership of record is at least 10 percent. For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8) only, as to landlords who become owners of record of the rental unit after February 21, 1991, the term landlord shall be defined as an owner of record of at least 25 percent interest in the property or, for Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) only, two individuals registered as Domestic Partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 62.1-62.8 whose combined ownership of record is at least 25 percent.

(iv) A landlord may not recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(8) if a comparable unit owned by the landlord is already vacant and is available, or if such a unit becomes vacant and available before the recovery of possession of the unit. If a comparable unit does become vacant and available before the recovery of possession, the landlord shall rescind the notice to vacate and dismiss any action filed to recover possession of the premises. Provided further, if a non-comparable unit becomes available before the recovery of possession, the landlord shall offer that unit to the tenant. It shall be evidence of a lack of good faith if a landlord times the service of the notice, or the filing of an action to recover possession, so as to avoid moving into a comparable unit, or to avoid offering a tenant a replacement unit.

(v) It shall be rebuttably presumed that the landlord has not acted in good faith if the landlord or relative for whom the tenant was evicted does not move into the rental unit within three months and occupy said unit as that persons principal residence for a minimum of 36 consecutive months;

(vi) Once a landlord has successfully recovered possession of a rental unit pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8)(i), then no other current or future landlords may recover possession of any other rental unit in the building under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i). It is the intention of this section that only one specific unit per building may be used for such occupancy under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) and that once a unit is used for such occupancy, all future occupancies under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) must be of that same unit, provided that a landlord may file a petition with the Rent Board, or at the landlords option, commence eviction proceedings, claiming that disability or other similar hardship prevents him or her from occupying a unit which was previously occupied by the landlord.

(vii) If any provision or clause of this amendment to Section 37.9(a)(8) or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional or to be otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect other chapter provisions, and clauses of this chapter are held to be severable; or

(9) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to sell the unit in accordance with a condominium conversion approved under the San Francisco subdivision ordinance and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent; or

(10) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to demolish or to otherwise permanently remove the rental unit from housing use and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent; provided that a landlord who seeks to recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(10) shall pay relocation expenses as provided in Section 37.9C except that a landlord who seeks to demolish an unreinforced masonry building pursuant to Building Code Chapters 16B and 16C must provide the tenant with the relocation assistance specified in Section 37.9A(e) below prior to the tenant’s vacating the premises; or

(11) The landlord seeks in good faith to remove temporarily the unit from housing use in order to be able to carry out capital improvements or rehabilitation work and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent. Any tenant who vacates the unit under such circumstances shall have the right to reoccupy the unit at the prior rent adjusted in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter. The tenant will vacate the unit only for the minimum time required to do the work. On or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, the landlord shall advise the tenant in writing that the rehabilitation or capital improvement plans are on file with the Central Permit Bureau of the Department of Building Inspection and that arrangements for reviewing such plans can be made with the Central Permit Bureau. In addition to the above, no landlord shall endeavor to recover possession of any unit subject to a RAP loan as set forth in Section 37.2(m) of this Chapter except as provided in Section 32.69 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. The tenant shall not be required to vacate pursuant to this Section 37.9(a)(11), for a period in excess of three months; provided, however, that such time period may be extended by the Board or its Administrative Law Judges upon application by the landlord. The Board shall adopt rules and regulations to implement the application procedure. Any landlord who seeks to recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(11) shall pay relocation expenses as provided in Section 37.9C. [However, effective January 1, 2013, the amount of relocation payments for temporary displacement of a tenant household under Section 37.9(a)(11) for less than 20 days is governed by California Civil Code Section 1947.9 and not by Section 37.9C.]; or

(12) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to carry out substantial rehabilitation, as defined in Section 37.2(s), and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent. Notwithstanding the above, no landlord shall endeavor to recover possession of any unit subject to a RAP loan as set forth in Section 37.2(m) of this Chapter except as provided in Section 32.69 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. Any landlord who seeks to recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(12) shall pay relocation expenses as provided by Section 37.9C; or

(13) The landlord wishes to withdraw from rent or lease all rental units within any detached physical structure and, in addition, in the case of any detached physical structure containing three or fewer rental units, any other rental units on the same lot, and complies in full with Section 37.9A with respect to each such unit; provided, however, that guestrooms or efficiency units within a residential hotel, as defined in Section 50519 of the Health and Safety Code, may not be withdrawn from rent or lease if the residential hotel has a permit of occupancy issued prior to January 1, 1990, and if the residential hotel did not send a notice of intent to withdraw the units from rent or lease (Administrative Code Section 37.9A(f), Government Code Section 7060.4(a)) that was delivered to the Rent Board prior to January 1, 2004; or

(14) The landlord seeks in good faith to temporarily recover possession of the unit solely for the purpose of effecting lead remediation or abatement work, as required by San Francisco Health Code Articles 11 or 26. The tenant will vacate the unit only for the minimum time required to do the work. The relocation rights and remedies, established by San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 72, including but not limited to, the payment of financial relocation assistance, shall apply to evictions under this Section 37.9(a)(14). [However, effective January 1, 2013, the amount of relocation payments for temporary displacement of a tenant household under Section 37.9(a)(14) for less than 20 days is governed by California Civil Code Section 1947.9.]

(15) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to demolish or to otherwise permanently remove the rental unit from housing use in accordance with the terms of a development agreement entered into by the City under Chapter 56 of the San Francisco Administrative Code.

(16) The tenant’s Good Samaritan Status (Section 37.2(a)(1)(D)) has expired, and the landlord exercises the right to recover possession by serving a notice of termination of tenancy under this Section 37.9(a)(16) within 60 days after expiration of the Original and any Extended Good Samaritan Status Period.

(b) A landlord who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant may evict said tenant without just cause as required under Section 37.9(a) above.

(c) A landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit unless at least one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b) above is (1) the landlord’s dominant motive for recovering possession and (2) unless the landlord informs the tenant in writing on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given of the grounds under which possession is sought, and for notices to vacate under Sections 37.9(a)(8), (9), (10), (11), and (14), state in the notice to vacate the lawful rent for the unit at the time the notice is issued before endeavoring to recover possession. The Board shall prepare a written form that states that a tenant’s failure to timely act in response to a notice to vacate may result in a lawsuit by the landlord to evict the tenant and advice regarding the notice to vacate is available from the Board. The Board shall prepare the form in English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Russian and make the form available to the public on its website and in its office. A landlord shall attach a copy of the form that is in the primary language of the tenant to a notice to vacate before serving the notice, except that if the tenant’s primary language is not English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog or Russian, the landlord shall attach a copy of the form that is in English to the notice. A copy of all notices to vacate except three-day notices to vacate or pay rent and a copy of any additional written documents informing the tenant of the grounds under which possession is sought shall be filed with the Board within 10 days following service of the notice to vacate. The District Attorney shall determine whether the units set forth on the list compiled in accordance with Section 37.6(k) are still being occupied by the tenant who succeeded the tenant upon whom the notice was served. In cases where the District Attorney determines that Section 37.9(a)(8) has been violated, the District Attorney shall take whatever action he deems appropriate under this Chapter or under State law. In any action to recover possession of the rental unit under Section 37.9, the landlord must plead and prove that at least one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b) and also stated in the notice to vacate is the dominant motive for recovering possession. Tenants may rebut the allegation that any of the grounds stated in the notice to vacate is the dominate motive.

(d) No landlord may cause a tenant to quit involuntarily or threaten to bring any action to recover possession, or decrease any services, or increase the rent, or take any other action where the landlord’s dominant motive is retaliation for the tenant’s exercise of any rights under the law. Such retaliation shall be a defense to any action to recover possession. In an action to recover possession of a rental unit, proof of the exercise by the tenant of rights under the law within six months prior to the alleged act of retaliation shall create a rebuttable presumption that the landlord’s act was retaliatory.

(e) It shall be unlawful for a landlord or any other person who willfully assists the landlord to endeavor to recover possession or to evict a tenant except as provided in Section 37.9(a) and (b). Any person endeavoring to recover possession of a rental unit from a tenant or evicting a tenant in a manner not provided for in Section 37.9(a) or (b) without having a substantial basis in fact for the eviction as provided for in Section 37.9(a) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject, upon conviction, to the fines and penalties set forth in Section 37.10A. Any waiver by a tenant of rights under this Chapter shall be void as contrary to public policy.

(f) Whenever a landlord wrongfully endeavors to recover possession or recovers possession of a rental unit in violation of Sections 37.9 and/or 37.10 as enacted herein, the tenant or Board may institute a civil proceeding for injunctive relief, money damages of not less than three times actual damages, (including damages for mental or emotional distress), and whatever other relief the court deems appropriate. In the case of an award of damages for mental or emotional distress, said award shall only be trebled if the trier of fact finds that the landlord acted in knowing violation of or in reckless disregard of Section 37.9 or 37.10A herein. The prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to order of the court. The remedy available under this Section 37.9(f) shall be in addition to any other existing remedies which may be available to the tenant or the Board.

(g) The provisions of this Section 37.9 shall apply to any rental unit as defined in Sections 37.2(r)(4)(A) and 37.2(r)(4)(B), including where a notice to vacate/quit any such rental unit has been served as of the effective date of Ordinance No. 250-98, but where any such rental unit has not yet been vacated or an unlawful detainer judgment has not been issued as of the effective date of Ordinance No. 250-98.

(h) With respect to rental units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance, the notice requirements of this Section 37.9 shall be required in addition to any notice required as part of the tenant-based rental assistance program, including but not limited to the notice required under 24 CFR 982.311(e)(2)(ii).

(i) The following additional provisions shall apply to a landlord who seeks to recover a rental unit by utilizing the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a)(8):

(1) A landlord may not recover possession of a unit from a tenant under Section 37.9(a)(8) if the landlord has or receives notice, any time before recovery of possession, that any tenant in the rental unit:

(A) Is 60 years of age or older and has been residing in the unit for 10 years or more; or

(B) Is disabled within the meaning of Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(i) and has been residing in the unit for 10 years or more, or is catastrophically ill within the meaning of Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(ii) and has been residing in the unit for five years or more:

(i) A disabled tenant is defined for purposes of this Section 37.9(i)(1)(B) as a person who is disabled or blind within the meaning of the federal Supplemental Security Income/California State Supplemental Program (SSI/SSP), and who is determined by SSI/SSP to qualify for that program or who satisfies such requirements through any other method of determination as approved by the Rent Board;

(ii) A catastrophically ill tenant is defined for purposes of this Section 37.9(i)(1)(B) as a person who is disabled as defined by Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(i), and who is suffering from a life threatening illness as certified by his or her primary care physician.

(2) The foregoing provisions of Sections 37.9(i)(1)(A) and (B) shall not apply where there is only one rental unit owned by the landlord in the building, or where each of the rental units owned by the landlord in the same building where the landlord resides (except the unit actually occupied by the landlord) is occupied by a tenant otherwise protected from eviction by Sections 37.9(i)(1)(A) or (B) and where the landlord’s qualified relative who will move into the unit pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8) is 60 years of age or older.

(3) The provisions established by this Section 37.9(i) include but are not limited to, any rental unit where a notice to vacate/quit has been served as of the date this amendment takes effect but where the rental unit has not yet been vacated or an unlawful detainer judgment has not been issued.

(4) Within 30 days of personal service by the landlord of a written request, or, at the landlords option, a notice of termination of tenancy under 37.9(a)(8), the tenant must submit a statement, with supporting evidence, to the landlord if the tenant claims to be a member of one of the classes protected by Section 37.9(i). The written request or notice shall contain a warning that a tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected by Section 37.9(i). The landlord shall file a copy of the request or notice with the Rent Board within ten days of service on the tenant. A tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected by Section 37.9(i). A landlord may challenge a tenant’s claim of protected status either by requesting a hearing with the Rent Board or, at the landlords option, through commencement of eviction proceedings, including service of a notice of termination of tenancy. In the Rent Board hearing or the eviction action, the tenant shall have the burden of proof to show protected status. No civil or criminal liability under 37.9(e) or (f) shall be imposed upon a landlord for either requesting or challenging a tenant’s claim of protected status.

(5) This Section 37.9(i) is severable from all other sections and shall be of no force or effect if any temporary moratorium on owner/relative evictions adopted by the Board of Supervisors after June 1, 1998 and before October 31, 1998 has been invalidated by the courts in a final decision.

(j) The following additional provision shall apply to a landlord who seeks to recover a rental unit by utilizing the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a)(8):

(1) It shall be a defense to an eviction under Section 37.9(a)(8) if any tenant in the rental unit has a custodial or family relationship with a child under the age of 18 who is residing in the unit, the tenant with the custodial or family relationship has resided in the unit for 12 months or more, and the effective date of the notice of termination of tenancy falls during the school year. The term “school year” as used in this Section 37.9(j) means the first day of instruction for the Fall Semester through the last day of instruction for the Spring Semester, as posted on the San Francisco Unified School District website for each year.

(2) The foregoing provision Section 37.9(j)(1) shall not apply where there is only one rental unit owned by the landlord in the building, or where the owner who will move into the unit pursuant to a Section 37.9(a)(8) eviction has a custodial or family relationship with a child under the age of 18 who will reside in the unit with the owner.

(3) Within 30 days of personal service by the landlord of a written request, or, at the landlord’s option, a notice of termination of tenancy under Section 37.9(a)(8), the tenant must submit a statement with supporting evidence to the landlord, if the tenant claims to be a member of the class protected from eviction by Section 37.9(j). The landlord’s written request or notice shall contain a warning that a tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected from eviction by Section 37.9(j). The landlord shall file a copy of the landlord’s request or notice with the Rent Board within 10 days of service on the tenant. A tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected from eviction by Section 37.9(j). A landlord may challenge a tenant’s claim of protected status either by requesting a hearing with the Rent Board or, at the landlord’s option, through commencement of eviction proceedings, including service of a notice of termination of tenancy. In the Rent Board hearing or the eviction action, the tenant shall have the burden of proof to show protected status. No civil or criminal liability under Section 37.9(e) or (f) shall be imposed upon a landlord for either requesting or challenging a tenant’s claim of protected status.

(4) For purposes of this Section 37.9(j), the term “custodial relationship” means that the person is a legal guardian of the child, or has a court-recognized caregiver authorization affidavit for the child, or that the person has provided full-time custodial care of the child pursuant to an agreement with the child’s legal guardian or court-recognized caregiver and has been providing that care for at least one year or half of the child’s lifetime, whichever is less. The term “family relationship” means that the person is the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle of the child, or the spouse or domestic partner of such relations.

(k) Disclosure of Rights to Tenants Before and After Sale of Rental Units Subject to Section 37.9.

(1) Disclosure to Tenants By Seller of the Property. Before property containing rental units subject to Section 37.9 may be sold, the owner/seller shall disclose to tenants of the property the rights of tenants during and after the sale of the property. This disclosure shall be in writing and shall include:

(A) A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that tenants cannot be evicted or asked to move solely because a property is being sold or solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

(B) A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that tenants cannot have their rent increased above that permitted by Chapter 37 solely because a property is being sold or solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

(C) A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that the rental agreements of tenants cannot be materially changed solely because a property is being sold or solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

(D) A statement that the owner’s right to show units to prospective buyers is governed by California Civil Code section 1954, including a statement that tenants must receive notice as provided by Section 1954, and a statement that a showing must be conducted during normal business hours unless the tenant consents to an entry at another time.

(E) A statement that tenants are not required to complete or sign any estoppel certificates or estoppel agreements, except as required by law or by that tenant’s rental agreement. The statement shall further inform tenants that tenant rights may be affected by an estoppel certificate or agreement and that the tenants should seek legal advice before completing or signing an estoppel certificate or agreement.

(F) A statement that information on these and other tenants’ rights are available at the San Francisco Rent Board, 25 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, California, and at the counseling telephone number of the Rent Board and at its web site.

(2) Disclosure to Tenants by Purchaser of the Property. Within 30 days of acquiring title to rental units subject to Section 37.9, the new purchaser/owner shall disclose to tenants of the property the rights of tenants following this sale of the property. This disclosure shall be in writing and shall include:

(A) A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that tenants cannot be evicted or asked to move solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

(B) A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that tenants cannot have their rent increased above that permitted by Chapter 37 solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

(C) A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that the rental agreements of tenants cannot be materially changed solely because a new owner has purchased that property.

(D) A statement in bold type of at least 12 points that any tenants, sub-tenants or roommates who were lawful occupants at the time of the sale remain lawful occupants.

(E) A statement in bold type of at least 12 points: that tenants’ housing services as defined in Section 37.2(r) first paragraph cannot be changed or severed from the tenancy solely because a new owner has purchased that property; and that tenants’ housing services as defined in Section 37.2(r) second paragraph that were supplied in connection with the use or occupancy of a unit at the time of sale (such as laundry rooms, decks, or storage space) cannot be severed from the tenancy by the new purchaser/owner without just cause as required by Section 37.9(a).

(l) Hearings on Alleged Wrongful Endeavor to Recover Possession Through Tenant Harassment.

(1) Upon receipt of a tenant report alleging wrongful endeavor to recover possession of the tenant’s unit through harassment, the Board through its Executive Director shall send a notice acknowledging receipt of the report and summarizing the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants regarding possession of, and eviction from, residential rental units. Upon consideration of such report, the Executive Director may schedule an investigative hearing on the allegations before a Board Administrative Law Judge, where both the tenant and the landlord may appear and make oral and/or written presentations, including presentation of other witnesses. Following such hearing, the Administrative Law Judge shall provide the Board with a summary of evidence produced at the hearing.

(2) Upon review of the evidence, the Board shall consider whether to undertake any further proceedings such as, but not limited to, civil litigation pursuant to Section 37.9(f), or referral to the District Attorney (see Section 37.9(e)).

(3) For purposes of this Subsection 37.9(l), harassment includes but is not limited to the types of harassment defined in Section 37.10B(a)(1) – (6) and (8) – (14).

(m) Implementation of California Civil Code Section 1947.9(a)(1)(A). Notwithstanding any other provision of Administrative Code Chapter 37, and consistent with California Civil Code Section 1947.9, the daily compensation payment specified in Civil Code Section 1947.9(a)(1)(A) for a tenant household temporarily displaced for less than 20 days, shall increase annually, rounded to the nearest dollar, at the rate of increase in the “rent of primary residence” expenditure category of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Region for the preceding calendar year, as that data is made available by the United States Department of Labor and published by the Board. This increase shall be calculated as of March 1 each year, commencing March 1, 2014.

(Amended by Ord. 7-87, App. 1/15/87; Ord. 30-91, App. 1/22/91; Ord. 192-91, App. 5/31/91; Ord. 221-92, App. 7/14/92; Ord. 405-96, App. 10/21/96; Ord. 482-97, App. 12/30/97; Ord. 239-98, App. 7/17/98; Ord. 250-98, App. 7/31/98; Ord. 293-98, App. 10/2/98; Proposition G, 11/3/98; Ord. 237-99, File No. 990168, Eff. 8/30/99; Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 348-99, File No. 991265, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 135-01, File No. 010526, App. 7/6/2001; Ord. 186-01, File No. 011497, App. 7/28/2001; Ord. 23-02, File No. 020153, App. 2/22/2002; Ord. 57-02, File No. 011575, App. 5/3/2002; Ord. 99-04, File No. 031992, App. 6/4/2004; Ord. 282-04, File No. 030667, App. 12/1/2004; Ord. 21-05, File No. 041151, App. 1/21/2005; Proposition H, App. 11/7/2006; Ord. 92-07, File No. 061217, App. 4/27/2007; Ord. 33-08, File No. 071522, App. 3/17/2008; Ord. 28-09, File No. 080822, App. 2/20/2009; Ord. 33-10, File No. 090835, App. 2/11/2010; Ord. 72-11, File No. 110153, App. 4/27/2011, Eff. 5/27/2011; Ord. 1-14, File No. 131060, App. 1/14/2014, Eff. 2/13/2014; Ord. 44-14, File No. 140035, App. 4/18/2014, Eff. 5/18/2014)

SEC. 37.9A.  TENANT RIGHTS IN CERTAIN DISPLACEMENTS UNDER SECTION 37.9(a)(13).
This Section 37.9A applies to certain tenant displacements under Section 37.9(a)(13), as specified.

(a) Rent Allowed.

(1) Except as provided in Section 37.9A(a)(2) below, any rental unit which a tenant vacates after receiving a notice to quit relying on Section 37.9(a)(13), withdrawal of rental units from rent or lease under the Ellis Act, California Government Code Sections 7060 et seq., if again offered for rent or lease, must be offered and rented or leased at a rent not greater than the lawful rent in effect at the time the notice of intent to withdraw rental units is filed with the Board, plus annual rent increases available under this Chapter 37.

(A) The provisions of Section 37.9A(a)(1) apply to all tenancies commenced during either of the following time periods:

(i) The five-year period after a notice of intent to withdraw the rental units is filed with the Board, whether or not the notice of intent is rescinded or the withdrawal of the units is completed pursuant to that notice;

(ii) The five-year period after the rental units are withdrawn.

(B) This Section 37.9(A)(a)(1) shall prevail over any conflicting provision of law authorizing the landlord to establish the rental rate upon the initial hiring of the unit.

(C) If it is asserted that the rent could have been increased based on capital improvements, rehabilitation or substantial rehabilitation, the owner must petition the Rent Board pursuant to the procedures of Section 37.7 of this chapter. No increase shall be allowed on account of any expense incurred in connection with withdrawing any unit from rent or lease.

(2) If a new tenancy was lawfully created in a unit before January 1, 2003, following a lawful withdrawal of the unit from rent or lease under Section 37.9(a)(13), any subsequent new tenancies for that rental unit are not subject to the rent limitations in Section 37.9A(a)(1).

(b) Treatment of Replacement Units. If one or more units covered by subsection (a) is demolished, and one or more new units qualifying as rental units under this chapter but for the date on which they first receive a certificate of final completion and occupancy are constructed on the same property, and offered for rent or lease within five years of the date the last of the original units became vacant, the newly constructed units shall be offered at rents not greater than those reasonably calculated to produce a fair and reasonable return on the newly constructed units, notwithstanding Section 37.2(r)(5) or any other provision of this chapter. The provisions of this chapter shall thereafter apply. The Board shall adopt rules for determining the rents necessary to provide a fair and reasonable return.

(c) Rights to Re-Rent. Any owner who again offers for rent or lease any unit covered by subsection (a) shall first offer the unit for rent or lease to the tenants or lessees displaced from the unit as follows:

(1) If any tenant or lessee has advised the owner in writing within 30 days of displacement of his or her desire to consider an offer to renew the tenancy and has furnished the owner with an address to which that offer is to be directed, the owner must make such an offer whenever the unit is again offered for rent or lease within two years of withdrawal. That tenant, lessee, or former tenant or lessee may advise the owner at any time of a change of address to which an offer is to be directed.

(2) Notwithstanding Subsection (c)(1), if the unit is offered for rent or lease within 10 years of withdrawal, the owner shall notify the Rent Board in writing of the intention to re-rent the unit and make an offer to the tenant or lessee whenever the tenant or lessee requests the offer in writing within 30 days after the owner has notified the City of an intention to re-rent the unit. If the unit is offered for rent or lease more than two years after the date the unit was withdrawn from rent or lease, the owner shall be liable to any tenant or lessee who was displaced for failure to comply with this subsection (c)(2), for punitive damages in an amount which does not exceed the contract rent for six months.

(3) If any former tenant or lessee has requested an offer to renew the tenancy, either directly to the landlord or after notice from the Rent Board, then the owner shall offer to reinstitute a rental agreement or lease at rents permitted under Subsection (a). This offer shall be deposited in the United States mail, by registered or certified mail with postage prepaid, addressed to the displaced tenant or lessee at the address furnished to the owner as provided by the tenant and shall describe the terms of the offer. The displaced tenant or lessee shall have 30 days from the deposit of the offer in the mail to accept the offer by personal delivery of that acceptance or by deposit of the acceptance in the United States mail by registered or certified mail with postage prepaid.

(4) If more than one tenant or lessee attempts to accept the offer for a given unit, the landlord shall notify each tenant or lessee so accepting that other acceptances have been received, and shall further advise each such tenant or lessee of the names and addresses of the others. If all such tenants or lessees do not within thirty (30) days thereafter agree and notify the landlord of which tenant(s) or lessee(s) will reoccupy the unit, the tenant(s) or lessee(s) who first occupied the unit previously shall be entitled to accept the landlord’s offer. If more than one eligible tenant or lessee initially occupied the unit on the same date, then the first such tenant or lessee to have originally sent notice accepting the landlord’s offer shall be entitled to occupy the unit.

(d) Re-Rental Within Two Years. If a unit covered by subsection (a) is offered for rent or lease within two years of the date of withdrawal:

(1) The owner shall be liable to any tenant or lessee who was displaced from the property for actual and exemplary damages. Any action by a tenant or lessee pursuant to this paragraph shall be brought within three years of withdrawal of the unit from rent or lease. However, nothing in this paragraph precludes a tenant from pursuing any alternative remedy available under the law.

(2) The City may institute a civil proceeding against the owner who has again offered the unit for rent or lease, for exemplary damages for displacement of tenants or lessees. Any action by the City pursuant to this paragraph shall be brought within three years of the withdrawal of the unit from rent or lease.

(e) Relocation Payments to Tenants.

(1) Before August 10, 2004, Low Income, Elderly or Disabled. Where a landlord seeks eviction based upon Section 37.9(a)(13), and the notice of intent to withdraw rental units was filed with the Board before August 10, 2004, the relocation payments described in this Subsection 37.9A(e)(1) shall be limited to tenants who are members of lower income households, who are elderly, or who are disabled, as defined below.

(A) Tenants who are members of lower income households, as defined by Section 50079.5 of the California Health and Safety Code, and who receive a notice to quit based upon Section 37.9(a)(13), in addition to all rights under any other provision of law, shall be entitled to receive $4,500.00, $2,250.00 of which shall be paid within fifteen (15) calendar days of the landlord’s receipt of written notice from the tenants of their entitlement to the relocation payment, and $2,250.00 of which shall be paid when the tenants vacate the unit.

(B) With respect to Subsection 37.9A(e)(1)(A) above, the Mayor’s Office of Housing or its successor agency shall annually determine the income limits for lower income households, adjusted for household size.

(C) Notwithstanding Subsection 37.9A(e)(1)(A), and irrespective of the size of the unit, any tenant who receives a notice to quit under Section 37.9(a)(13) and who, at the time such notice is served, is 62 years of age or older, or who is disabled within the meaning of Section 12955.3 of the California Government Code, shall be entitled to receive $3,000.00, $1,500.00 of which shall be paid within fifteen (15) calendar days of the landlord’s receipt of written notice from the tenant of entitlement to the relocation payment, and $1,500.00 of which shall be paid when the tenant vacates the unit.

(D) The payments due pursuant to this Subsection 37.9A(e)(1) for any unit which is occupied by more than one tenant shall be divided equally among all the occupying tenants, excluding those tenants who are separately entitled to payments under subsection 37.9A(e)(1)(C) above.

(2) On August 10, 2004 and until February 19, 2005. Where a landlord seeks eviction based upon Section 37.9(a)(13) and either (i) the notice of intent to withdraw rental units is filed with the Board on or after August 10, 2004 through February 19, 2005 or (ii) the notice of intent to withdraw rental units was filed with the Board prior to August 10, 2004 but the tenant still resided in the unit as of August 10, 2004, relocation payments shall be paid to the tenants as follows:

(A) Tenants who are members of lower income households, as defined by Section 50079.5 of the California Health and Safety Code, shall be entitled to receive $4,500.00, $2,250.00 of which shall be paid within fifteen (15) calendar days of the landlord’s receipt of written notice from the tenants of their entitlement to the relocation payment, and $2,250.00 of which shall be paid when the tenants vacate the unit.

(B) Subject to subsections 37.9A(e)(2)(C) and (D) below, tenants who are not members of lower income households, as defined by Section 50079.5 of the California Health and Safety Code, shall each be entitled to receive $4,500.00, which shall be paid when the tenant vacates the unit;

(C) In the event there are more than three tenants in a unit, the total relocation payment shall be $13,500.00, which shall be divided equally by the number of tenants in the unit;

(D) Notwithstanding Subsections 37.9A(e)(2)(A) and (B), any tenant who, at the time the notice of intent to withdraw rental units is filed with the Board, is 62 years of age or older, or who is disabled within the meaning of Section 12955.3 of the California Government Code, shall be entitled to receive an additional payment of $3,000.00, $1,500.00 of which shall be paid within fifteen (15) calendar days of the landlord’s receipt of written notice from the tenant of entitlement to the relocation payment, and $1,500.00 of which shall be paid when the tenant vacates the unit.

(3) On or After February 20, 2005. Where a landlord seeks eviction based upon Section 37.9(a)(13), and the notice of intent to withdraw rental units is filed with the Board on or after February 20, 2005, relocation payments shall be paid to the tenants as follows:

(A) Subject to subsections 37.9A(e)(3)(B) (C) and (D) below, each tenant shall be entitled to receive $4,500.00, one-half of which shall be paid at the time of the service of the notice of termination of tenancy, and one-half of which shall be paid when the tenant vacates the unit;

(B) In the event there are more than three tenants in a unit, the total relocation payment shall be $13,500.00, which shall be divided equally by the number of tenants in the unit; and

(C) Notwithstanding Subsections 37.9A(e)(3)(A) and (B), any tenant who, at the time the notice of intent to withdraw rental units is filed with the Board, is 62 years of age or older, or who is disabled within the meaning of Section 12955.3 of the California Government Code, shall be entitled to receive an additional payment of $3,000.00, $1,500.00 of which shall be paid within fifteen (15) calendar days of the landlord’s receipt of written notice from the tenant of entitlement to the relocation payment, and $1,500.00 of which shall be paid when the tenant vacates the unit.

(D) Commencing March 1, 2005, the relocation payments specified in Subsections 37.9A(e)(3)(A) and (B) and (C) shall increase annually at the rate of increase in the “rent of primary residence” expenditure category of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Region for the preceding calendar year, as that data is made available by the United States Department of Labor and published by the Board.

(4) Any notice to quit pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(13) shall notify the tenant or tenants concerned of the right to receive payment under this subsection 37.9A(e)(1) or (2) or (3).

(f) Notice to Rent Board; Recordation of Notice; Effective Date of Withdrawal.

(1) Any owner who intends to withdraw from rent or lease any rental unit shall notify the Rent Board in writing of said intention. Said notice shall contain statements, under penalty of perjury, providing information on the number of residential units, the address or location of those units, the name or names of the tenants or lessees of the units, and the rent applicable to each residential rental unit. Said notice shall be signed by all owners of record of the property under penalty of perjury and shall include a certification that actions have been initiated as required by law to terminate existing tenancies through service of a notice of termination of tenancy. The notice must be served by certified mail or any other manner authorized by law prior to delivery to the Rent Board of the notice of intent to withdraw the rental units. Information respecting the name or names of the tenants, the rent applicable to any unit, or the total number of units, is confidential and shall be treated as confidential information by the City for purposes of the Information Practices Act of 1977, as contained in Chapter l (commencing with Section 1798) of Title 1.8 of part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code. The City shall, to the extent required by the preceding sentence, be considered an “agency,” as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 1798.3 of the Civil Code.

(2) Prior to the effective date of withdrawal of rental units under this Section, the owner shall cause to be recorded with the County Recorder a memorandum of the notice required by subsection (f)(1) summarizing its provisions, other than the confidential provisions, in substantially the following form:

Memorandum of Notice

Regarding Withdrawal of Rental Unit From Rent or Lease

This memorandum evidences that the undersigned, as the owner of the property described in Exhibit A attached, has filed a notice, whose contents are certified under penalty of perjury, stating the intent to withdraw from rent or lease all units at said property, pursuant to San Francisco Administrative Code Section 37.9A and the Ellis Act (California Government Code Section 7060 et seq.).

(Signature)

(3) For a notice of intent to withdraw rental units filed with the Rent Board on or before December 31, 1999, the date on which the units are withdrawn from rent or lease for purposes of this chapter and the Ellis Act is 60 days from the delivery in person or by first-class mail of the Subsection (f)(1) notice of intent to the Rent Board.

(4) For a notice of intent to withdraw rental units filed with the Rent Board on or after January 1, 2000, the date on which the units are withdrawn from rent or lease for purposes of this Chapter and the Ellis Act is 120 days from the delivery in person or by first-class mail of the Subsection (f)(1) notice of intent to the Rent Board. Except that, if the tenant or lessee is at least 62 years of age or disabled as defined in Government Code 12955.3, and has lived in his or her unit for at least one year prior to the date of delivery to the Rent Board of the Subsection (f)(1) notice of intent to withdraw, then the date of withdrawal of the unit of that tenant or lessee shall be extended to one year after the date of delivery of that notice to the Rent Board, provided that the tenant or lessee gives written notice of his or her entitlement to an extension of the date of withdrawal to the owner within 60 days of the date of delivery to the Rent Board of the Subsection (f)(1) notice of intent to withdraw. In that situation, the following provisions shall apply:

(A) The tenancy shall be continued on the same terms and conditions as existed on the date of delivery to the Rent Board of the notice of intent to withdraw, subject to any adjustments otherwise available under Administrative Code Chapter 37.

(B) No party shall be relieved of the duty to perform any obligation under the lease or rental agreement.

(C) The owner may elect to extend the date of withdrawal on any other units up to one year after date of delivery to the Rent Board of the Subsection (f)(1) notice of intent to withdraw, subject to Subsections (f)(4)(A) and (B).

(D) Within 30 days of the notification by the tenant or lessee to the owner of his or her entitlement to an extension of the date of withdrawal, the owner shall give written notice to the Rent Board of the claim that the tenant or lessee is entitled to stay in their unit for one year after the date of delivery to the Rent Board of the Subsection (f)(1) notice of intent to withdraw.

(E) Within 90 days of the date of delivery to the Rent Board of the notice of intent to withdraw, the owner shall give written notice to the Rent Board and the affected tenant or lessee of the following:

(i) Whether or not the owner disputes the tenant’s claim of extension;

(ii) The new date of withdrawal under Section 37.9A(f)(4)(C), if the owner does not dispute the tenant’s claim of extension; and

(iii) Whether or not the owner elects to extend the date of withdrawal to other units on the property.

(5) Within 15 days of delivery of a Subsection (f)(1) notice of intent to the Rent Board, the owner shall provide notice to any tenant or lessee to be displaced of the following:

(A) That the Rent Board has been notified pursuant to Subsection (f)(1),

(B) That the notice to the Rent Board specified the name and the amount of rent paid by the tenant or lessee as an occupant of the rental unit;

(C) The amount of rent the owner specified in the notice to the Rent Board,

(D) The tenant’s or lessee’s rights to reoccupancy under Section 37.9A(c) if the rental unit is again offered for rent or lease by a current or future owner and to relocation assistance under Section 37.9A(e); and,

(E) The rights of qualified elderly or disabled tenants as described under Subsection (f)(4), to extend their tenancy to one year after the date of delivery to the Rent Board of the Subsection (f)(1) notice of intent to withdraw.

(6) Within 30 days after the effective date of withdrawal of rental units under this Section 37.9A, the Rent Board shall record a notice of constraints with the County Recorder which describes the property and the dates of applicable restrictions on the property under this Section.

(g) Successor Owners. The provisions of this Section 37.9A shall apply to the owner of a rental unit at the time displacement of a tenant or tenants is initiated and to any successor in interest of the owner, subject to the provisions of Chapter 12.75 of Division 7 of Title 1 of the California Government Code (Sections 7060 et seq.).

(h) Reports Required.

(1) Not later than the last day of the third and sixth calendar months following the month in which notice is given to the Board under Subsection (f)(1), and thereafter not later than December 31st of each calendar year for a period of five years, beginning with the year in which the six-month notice is given, the owner of any property which contains or formerly contained one or more rental units which a tenant or tenants vacated pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(13) shall notify the Board, in writing, under penalty of perjury, for each such unit:

(A) Whether the unit has been demolished;

(B) If the unit has not been demolished, whether it is in use;

(C) If it is in use, whether it is in residential use;

(D) If it is in residential use, the date the tenancy began, the name of the tenant(s), and the amount of rent charged.

If the unit has been demolished, and one or more new units constructed on the lot, the owner shall furnish the information required by items (B), (C) and (D) for each new unit. The Board shall maintain a record of the notices received under Subsection (f) and all notices received under this Section for each unit subject to this reporting requirement.

(2) The Board shall notify each person who is reported as having become a tenant in a vacated or new unit subject to the reporting requirements of Subsection (h)(1) that it maintains the records described in Subsection (h)(1), and that the rent of the unit may be restricted pursuant to Subsection (a).

(3) The Board shall maintain a register of all rental units withdrawn from rent or lease under the Ellis Act and the rent applicable to each unit at the time of withdrawal. The Board shall inform tenants displaced from units withdrawn from rent or lease at the address provided by the tenant, when the owner notifies the Board that the unit or replacement unit will again be offered for rent or lease within ten years of the date of withdrawal.

(4) The Board may investigate whether a rental unit that was withdrawn from rent or lease has been again offered for rent or lease, and whether the owner has complied with the provisions of this Section.

(i) This Section 37.9A is enacted principally to exercise specific authority provided for by Chapter 12.75 of Division 7 of Title 1 of the California Government Code, originally enacted by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1509, Section 1 (the Ellis Act, California Government Code Sections 7060 et seq.). In the case of any amendment to Chapter 12.75 or any other provision of State law which amendment is inconsistent with this Section, this Section shall be deemed to be amended to be consistent with State law, and to the extent it cannot be so amended shall be interpreted to be effective as previously adopted to the maximum extent possible.
(Added by Ord. 193-86, App. 5/30/86; amended by Ord. 320-94, App. 9/15/94; Ord. 348-99, File No. 991265, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 5-00, File No. 992236, App. 1/14/2000; Ord. 91-03, File No. 030325, App. 5/16/2003; Ord. 21-05, File No. 041151, App. 1/21/2005; Ord. 54-14, File No. 140096, Eff. 6/1/2014)

SEC. 37.9B.  TENANT RIGHTS IN EVICTIONS UNDER SECTION 37.9(a)(8).
(a)   Any rental unit which a tenant vacates after receiving a notice to quit based on Section 37.9(a)(8), and which is subsequently no longer occupied as a principal residence by the landlord or the landlord’s grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, or the landlord’s spouse, or the spouses of such relations must, if offered for rent during the three-year period following service of the notice to quit under Section 37.9(a)(8), be rented in good faith at a rent not greater than at which would have been the rent had the tenant who had been required to vacate remained in continuous occupancy and the rental unit remained subject to this Chapter. If it is asserted that a rent increase could have taken place during the occupancy of the rental unit by the landlord if the rental unit had been subjected to this Chapter, the landlord shall bear the burden of proving that the rent could have been legally increased during the period. If it is asserted that the increase is based in whole or in part upon any grounds other than that set forth in Section 37.3(a)(1), the landlord must petition the Rent Board pursuant to the procedures of this Chapter. Displaced tenants shall be entitled to participate in and present evidence at any hearing held on such a petition. Tenants displaced pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8) shall make all reasonable efforts to keep the Rent Board apprised of their current address. The Rent Board shall provide notice of any proceedings before the Rent Board to the displaced tenant at the last address provided by the tenant. No increase shall be allowed on account of any expense incurred in connection with the displacement of the tenant.
(b)   Any landlord who, within three years of the date of service of the notice to quit, offers for rent or lease any unit in which the possession was recovered pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8) shall first offer the unit for rent or lease to the tenants displaced in the same manner as provided for in Sections 37.9A(c) and (d).
(c)   In addition to complying with the requirements of Section 37.9(a)(8), an owner who endeavors to recover possession under Section 37.9(a)(8) shall inform the tenant of the following information in writing and file a copy with the Rent Board within 10 days after service of the notice to vacate, together with a copy of the notice to vacate and proof of service upon the tenant;
(1)   The identity and percentage of ownership of all persons holding a full or partial percentage ownership in the property;
(2)   The dates the percentages of ownership were recorded;
(3)   The name(s) of the landlord endeavoring to recover possession and, if applicable, the name(s) and relationship of the relative(s) for whom possession is being sought and a description of the current residence of the landlord or relative(s);
(4)   A description of all residential properties owned, in whole or in part, by the landlord and, if applicable, a description of all residential properties owned, in whole or in part, by the landlord’s grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister for whom possession is being sought;
(5)   The current rent for the unit and a statement that the tenant has the right to re-rent the unit at the same rent, as adjusted by Section 37.9B(a) above;
(6)   The contents of Section 37.9B, by providing a copy of same; and
(7)   The right the tenant(s) may have to relocation costs and the amount of those relocation costs.
(d)   The landlord shall pay relocation expenses as provided in Section 37.9C.
(e)   Within 30 days after the effective date of a written notice to vacate that is filed with the Board under Section 37.9B(c) the Board shall record a notice of constraints with the County Recorder identifying each unit on the property that is the subject of the Section 37.9B(c) notice to vacate, stating the nature and dates of applicable restrictions under Sections 37.9(a)(8) and 37.9B. If a notice of constraints is recorded but the tenant does not vacate the unit, the landlord may apply to the Board for a rescission of the recorded notice of constraints.
(Added by Ord. 293-98, App. 10/2/98; amended by Ord. 57-02, File No. 011575, App. 5/3/2002; Amended by Proposition H, App. 11/7/2006)

SEC. 37.9C.  TENANTS RIGHTS TO RELOCATION FOR NO-FAULT EVICTIONS.
(a)   Definitions.
(1)   Covered No-Fault Eviction Notice, For purposes of this section 37.9C, a Covered No-Fault Eviction Notice shall mean a notice to quit based upon Section 37.9(a)(8), (10), (11), or (12).
(2)   Eligible Tenant, For purposes of this section 37.9C, an Eligible Tenant shall mean any authorized occupant of a rental unit, regardless of age, who has resided in the unit for 12 or more months.
(b)   Each Eligible Tenant who receives a Covered No-Fault Eviction Notice, in addition to all rights under any other provision of law, shall be entitled to receive relocation expenses from the landlord, in the amounts specified in section 37.9C(e).
(c)   On or before the date of service of a Covered No-Fault Eviction Notice, the landlord shall notify all occupant(s) in the unit in writing of the right to receive payment under this section 37.9C and the amount of that relocation and shall provide a copy of section 37.9C. Such notification shall include a statement describing the additional relocation expenses available for Eligible Tenants who are senior or disabled and for households with children. The landlord shall file a copy of this notification with the Rent Board within 10 days after service of the notice, together with a copy of the notice to vacate and proof of service upon the tenant.
(d)   A landlord who pays relocation expenses as required by this Section in conjunction with a notice to quit need not pay relocation expenses with any further notices to quit based upon the same just cause under Section 37.9(a) for the same unit that are served within 180 days of the notice that included the required relocation payment. The relocation expenses continued herein are separate from any security or other refundable deposits as defined in California Code Section 1950.5. Further, payment or acceptance of relocation expenses shall not operate as a waiver of any rights a tenant may have under law.
(e)   Relocation expenses shall be:
(1)   Each Eligible Tenant receiving a Covered No-Fault Eviction Notice shall receive $4,500.00, $2,250.00 of which shall be paid at he time of the service of the notice to quit, and $2,250.00 of which shall be paid when the unit is vacated. In no case, however, shall the landlord be obligated under this section 37.9C(e)(1) to provide more than $13,500.00 in relocation expenses to all Eligible Tenants in the same unit.
(2)   In addition, each Eligible Tenant who is 60 years of age or older or who is disabled within the meaning of Section 12955.3 of the California Government Code, and each household with at least one Eligible Tenant and at last one child under the age of 18 years, shall be entitled to receive an additional payment of $3,000.00. $1,500.00 of which shall be paid within fifteen (15) calendar days of the landlord’s receipt of written notice from the Eligible Tenant of entitlement to the relocation payment along with supporting evidence, and $1,500.00 of which shall be paid when the Eligible tenant vacated the unit. Within 30 days after notification to the landlord of a claim of entitlement to additional relocation expenses because of disability, age, or having children in the household, the landlord shall give written notice to the Rent Board of the Claim for additional relocation assistance and whether or not the landlord disputes the claim.
(3)   Commencing March 1, 2007, these relocation expenses, including the maximum relocation expenses per unit, shall increase annually, rounded to the nearest dollar, at the rate of increase in the “rent of primary residence” expenditure category of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Region for the preceding calendar year, as that data is made available by the United States Department of Labor and published by the Board.
(Added by Proposition H, App. 11/7/2006)

SEC. 37.9D.  FORECLOSURE EVICTIONS.
(a)   Foreclosure is defined for purposes of this Section 37.9D as the reversion or transfer of title to a property to a lender, mortgagee, or beneficiary of a deed of trust, or an agent thereof, in full or partial satisfaction of a defaulted obligation. This definition of “foreclosure” includes but is not limited to the definition in California Civil Code section 2924.
(b)   Any residential tenant who was in possession of a rental unit at the time of foreclosure, where that dwelling or unit is otherwise exempted from the eviction control provisions of Chapter 37 by Sections 37.2(r)(5), (6) or (7), may not be evicted by the person or entity who took title through foreclosure (see Section 37.9D(a)), except for just cause as provided in Section 37.9 and related provisions of Chapter 37, or at the end of the tenant’s existing lease, whichever occurs later.
(c)   To the extent permissible under state and federal law, any residential tenant who has a valid lease or rental agreement at the time of foreclosure may enforce that rental agreement after foreclosure.
(d)   A tenant whose landlord recovers possession or endeavors to recover possession of the unit in violation of this section may exercise any remedies available under this Chapter or under other applicable law.
(e)   Within 15 days after foreclosure of a residential property subject to this Section 37.9D, the person or entity that takes title must provide to the tenant or tenants in the property (see Subsection 37.9D(b)) notice of their rights under this Section 37.9D.
(i)   The notice shall be in the following form in bold type of at least 14 points:
NOTICE UNDER SAN FRANCISCO ADMINISTRATIVE CODE SECTION 37.9D.
To all tenants residing at: ____________ (property address).
Date: ____________
The person or entity named below obtained title through foreclosure to the property in which you reside, on: ____________ (date).
You are hereby advised that under San Francisco Administrative Code Section 37.9 you may not be evicted from the rental unit in which you reside unless the landlord has a just cause for eviction under Section 37.9(a) of the San Francisco Administrative Code.
Additional information on your tenant rights under this ordinance is available from the San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board, 25 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California, telephone number (415) 252-4602.
Name of lender and contact telephone number:____________.
(ii)   Notice required by this Section 37.9D shall be provided either; by both posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the property and by first-class mail to each affected residential unit; or by posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the property and in a prominent place on each affected residential unit.
(iii)   It shall be a defense to an eviction utilizing the just cause provisions of Section 37.9, if a landlord who is required to provide the notice required by this Section 37.9D endeavors to recover possession prior to providing this notice and the notice required by Civil Code section 1962.
(Added by Ord. 60-10, File No. 10039, App. 3/25/2010)

SEC. 37.9E.  TENANT BUYOUT AGREEMENTS.

[This section was added by Ordinance 225-14, on October 28, 2014, and will become effective on December 7, 2014.]

SEC. 37.10A.  MISDEMEANORS, AND OTHER ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS.
(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 an 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 provide 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 request that a tenant move from a rental unit or to threaten to recover possession of a rental unit, either verbally or in writing, unless:
(1)   The landlord in good faith intends to recover said unit under one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b); and
(2)   Within five days of any such request or threat the landlord serves the tenant with a written notice stating the particular ground under Section 37.9(a) or (b) that is the basis for the landlord’s intended recovery of possession of the unit.
(d)   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:
(1)   The landlord files a copy of the written notice required under Section 37.10A(c) with the Board together with any preceding warning or threat to recover possession, unless the particular ground for recovery is non-payment of rent; and
(2)   The landlord satisfies all requirements for recovery of the unit under Section 37.9(a) or (b).
(e)   In any criminal or civil proceeding based on a violation of Section 37.10A(c) or 37.10A(d), 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.
(f)   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.
(g)   Except as provided in this subsection, it shall be unlawful for a landlord, or for any person who willfully assists a landlord, including the landlord’s attorney or legal representative, to seek or obtain a tenant’s agreement not to cooperate with any investigation or proceeding by any administrative or law enforcement or other governmental agency under this Chapter, or to otherwise seek or obtain a tenant’s waiver of rights under this Chapter. Any waiver of rights by a tenant under this Chapter shall be void as contrary to public policy unless the tenant is represented by independent counsel and the waiver is approved in a Court-supervised settlement agreement, or by a retired judge of the California Superior Court sitting as a mediator or arbitrator by mutual agreement of the tenant represented by independent counsel and the landlord. Any settlement agreement shall identify the judge, mediator, or arbitrator reviewing the settlement, all counsel representing the parties, and any other information as required by the Board. The landlord shall file a signed copy of the settlement agreement with the Board within ten days of execution. Unless otherwise required by the Board, the copy of the agreement filed with the Board shall redact the amount of payments to be made to tenants.
(h)   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.
(i)   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(i), “elderly” means a tenant defined as elderly by San Francisco Administrative Code section 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 San Francisco Subdivision Code section 1359(d). For purposes of this section 37.10A(i), “disabled” means a tenant defined as disabled by San Francisco Administrative Code section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(i), 37.9A(e)(1)(C), 37.9A(e)(2)(D), or 37.9A(e)(3)(C), or by San Francisco Subdivision Code section 1359(d).
Any disclosure required by this Subsection (i) 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 (i).
(j)   Any person who violates Section 37.10A(a), (b), (c), (d), (g) or (h) is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a mandatory fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), 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.
(Added by Ord. 20-84, App. 1/19/84; amended by Ord. 20-84, App. 10/2/98; Ord. 347-99, File No. 992197, App. 12/30/99; Ord. 57-02, File No. 011575, App. 5/3/2002; Proposition B, 6/6/2006)

SEC. 37.10B.  TENANT HARASSMENT.
(a)   No landlord, and no agent, contractor, subcontractor or employee of the landlord, shall do any of the following, in bad faith or with ulterior motive or without honest intent:*
(1)   Interrupt, terminate or fail to provide housing services required by contract or by State, County or local housing, health or safety laws;
(2)   Fail to perform repairs and maintenance required by contract or by State, County or local housing, health or safety laws;
(3)   Fail to exercise due diligence in completing repairs and maintenance once undertaken or fail to follow appropriate industry repair, containment or remediation protocols designed to minimize exposure to noise, dust, lead paint, mold, asbestos, or other building materials with potentially harmful health impacts;
(4)   Abuse the landlord’s right of access into a rental housing unit as that right is provided by law;*
(5)   Influence or attempt to influence a tenant to vacate a rental housing unit through fraud, intimidation or coercion;*
(6)   Attempts to coerce the tenant to vacate with offer(s) of payments to vacate which are accompanied with threats or intimidation;*
(7)   Continue to offer payments to vacate after tenant has notified the landlord in writing the they no longer wish to receive further offers of payments to vacate;*
(8)   Threaten the tenant, by word or gesture, with physical harm;*
(9)   Violate any law which prohibits discrimination based on actual or perceived race, gender, sexual preference, sexual orientation, ethnic background, nationality, place of birth, immigration or citizenship status, religion, age, parenthood, marriage, pregnancy, disability, AIDS or occupancy by a minor child. *
(10)   Interfere with a tenants right to quiet use and enjoyment of a rental housing unit as that right is defined by California law;*
(11)   Refuse to accept or acknowledge receipt of a tenant’s lawful rent payment;*
(12)   Refuse to cash a rent check for over 30 days;*
(13)   Interfere with a tenant’s right to privacy.*
(14)   Request information that violates a tenant’s right to privacy, including but not limited to residence or citizenship status or social security number.*
(15)   Other repeated acts or omissions of such significance as to substantially interfere with or disturb the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of any person lawfully entitled to occupancy of such dwelling unit and that cause, are likely to cause, or are intended to cause any person lawfully entitled to occupancy of a dwelling unit to vacate such dwelling unit or to surrender or waive any rights in relation to such occupancy.*
(b)   Nothing in this Section 37.10B shall be construed as to prevent the lawful eviction of a tenant by appropriate legal means.
(c)   Enforcement and penalties.
(1)   Rent Board. Violation of this Section 37.10B is a substantial and significant decrease in services as defined in Section 37.2(g) and tenants may file a petition with the Rent Board for a reduction in rent.*
(2)   Criminal Penalty. Any person who is convicted of violating this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not greater than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the County Jail for not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(3)   Civil Action. Any person, including the City, may enforce the provisions of this Section by means of a civil action. The burden of proof in such cases shall be preponderance of the evidence. A violation of this Chapter may be asserted as an affirmative defense in an unlawful detainer action.
(4)   Injunction. Any person who commits an act, proposes to commit an act, or engages in any pattern and practice which violates this Section 37.10B may be enjoined therefrom by any court of competent jurisdiction. An action for injunction under this subsection may be brought by any aggrieved person, by the City Attorney, or by any person or entity who will fairly and adequately represent the interest of the protected class.
(5)   Penalties and Other Monetary Awards. Any person who violates or aids or incites another person to violate the provisions of this Section is liable for each and every such offense for money damages of not less than three times actual damages suffered by an aggrieved party (including damages for mental or emotional distress), or for statutory damages in the sum of one thousand dollars, whichever is greater, and whatever other relief the court deems appropriate. In the case of an award of damages for mental or emotional distress, said award shall only be trebled if the trier of fact finds that the landlord acted in knowing violation of or in reckless disregard of Section 37.9, 37.10A, or 37.10B herein. In addition, a prevailing plaintiff shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to order of the court. The trier of fact may also award punitive damages to any plaintiff, including the City, in a proper case as defined by Civil Code Section 3294. The remedies available under this Section shall be in addition to any other existing remedies which may be available to the tenant or the City.
(6)   Defending Eviction Lawsuits. In any action to recover possession of a rental unit subject to the Chapter, unless the sole basis of the notice to quit is Section 37.9(b), the court shall award the tenant reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred in defending the action upon a finding that the tenant is the prevailing party under Code of Civil Procedure Section 1032(a)(4).*
(d)   Severability. If any provision or clause of this Section 37.10B, or Section 37.2(g), or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional or to be otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions of this Section 37.10B or Section 37.2(g) and all clauses of these Sections are declared to be severable.
(Added by Proposition M, 11/4/2008)

SEC. 37.11A.  CIVIL ACTIONS.
Whenever a landlord charges a tenant a rent which exceeds the limitations set forth in this Chapter, retaliates against a tenant for the exercise of any rights under this Chapter, or attempts to prevent a tenant from acquiring any rights under this Chapter, the tenant may institute a civil proceeding for money damages; provided, however, that any monetary award for rent overpayments resulting from a rent increase which is null and void pursuant to Section 37.3(b)(5) shall be limited to a refund of rent overpayments made during the three-year period preceding the month of filing of the action, plus the period between the month of filing and the date of the court’s order. In any case, calculation of rent overpayments and re-setting of the lawful base rent shall be based on a determination of the validity of all rent increases imposed since April 1, 1982, in accordance with Sections 37.3(b)(5) and 37.3(a)(2) above. The prevailing party in any civil action brought under this Section 37.11A shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. The remedy available under this Section shall be in addition to any other existing remedies which may be available to the tenant.
(Added by Ord. 20-84, App. 1/19/84; amended by Ord. 162-93, App. 5/28/93; Ord. 363-93, App. 11/18/93; Ord. 293-98, App. 10/2/98)

SEC. 37.12.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS.
This Section is enacted in order to assure the smooth transition to coverage under this Chapter of owner-occupied buildings containing four units or less, as a result of the repeal of the exemption for owner-occupied units. The provisions of this Section apply only to such units. The units are referred to as “newly covered units” in this Section. The term “effective date of coverage” as used herein means the effective date of the repeal of the owner occupancy exemption.
(a)   The initial base rent for all newly covered units shall be the rent that was in effect for the rental unit on May 1, 1994. If no rent was in effect for the newly covered unit on May 1, 1994, the initial base rent shall be the first rent in effect after that date.
(b)   All rents paid after May 1, 1994, in excess of the initial base rent under Section 37.12(a), shall be refunded to the tenant no later than December 15, 1994. If the landlord fails to refund the excess rent by December 15, 1994, the tenant may deduct the amount of the refund from future rent payments, or bring a civil action under Section 37.11A, or exercise any other existing remedies. All tenants residing in newly covered units are entitled to this refund, even if the tenant vacated before the effective date of coverage of the newly covered units.
(c)   As soon as practical after the effective date of coverage, the Board shall mail to the landlords of record of newly covered units a notice advising of the repeal of the exemption for owner-occupied buildings containing four units or less. The notice shall include information deemed appropriate by the Board to explain the requirements and effects of the change in the law. It shall be the responsibility of landlords to distribute a copy of said notice to all newly covered units within 15 days of the date the Board mails such notice to landlords. Distribution shall be by mail properly addressed to a tenant of the newly covered unit, or by personal delivery to a tenant of the newly covered unit, or by placing said notice under the door of the primary entrance to the newly covered unit.
(Added by Proposition I, 11/8/94; amended by Ord. 88-95, App. 4/7/95)

SEC. 37.13.  KEYS.
(a)   A landlord shall provide a minimum of one key or key-set per rental unit for each adult occupant, without charge.
(b)   Additional Keys/Key-Sets. A tenant may request keys/key-sets in addition to those provided pursuant to Section 37.13(a), for his or her convenience. Requested additional keys/key-sets must be provided within fourteen (14) days of the tenant’s written request stating the reason(s), unless the landlord timely denies the request in writing as provided in Section 37.13(b)(2). Examples of tenant reasons for receiving additional keys/key-sets include, but are not limited to: admitting a service provider, delivery person, houseguest, or relative. All keys are issued for the duration of a tenancy to be returned upon vacating the unit.
(1)   When providing requested additional keys/key-sets to a tenant, the landlord may charge only for the documented cost of replicating the additional keys/key-sets, which cost shall be paid by the tenant upon delivery of the requested additional keys/key-sets. Additional keys/key-sets shall be provided without requiring any other cost, fees, deposits, or terms or conditions of any kind whatsoever.
(2)   The landlord may deny the request for additional keys/key-sets only for good reason, such as unlawful occupancy in the tenant’s unit or the tenant’s pattern of lease violation. Any landlord denial must be provided to the tenant in writing, stating specific reasons for the denial, within fourteen (14) days of the written request.
(3)   A tenant may file a petition with the Board to decide a disputed request for additional keys or key-sets which may constitute a substantial decrease in housing services, and/or to decide a disagreement concerning landlord charges or deposits (Section 37.13(b)(1)). A disputed request includes a failure to respond within fourteen days (Section 37.13(b)), a disagreement concerning landlord terms and conditions (Section 37.13(b)(1)), and a denial (Section 37.13(b)(2)).
(A)   The Board through its Administrative Law Judges shall conduct a hearing in order to decide the petition.
(B)   The decision of the Administrative Law Judge shall be final unless the Board vacates the decision on appeal.
(C)   Either party may file an appeal of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision with the Board. Such appeals are governed by Section 37.8(f).
(4)   Unreasonable denial of additional keys/key-sets requested under this Section 37.13(b), or failure to respond to the tenant’s written request within fourteen days by providing either the keys/key-sets or a written denial as provided by Sections 37.13(b) and (b)(2), or imposition of terms or conditions prohibited by Section 37.13(b)(1), constitutes a substantial decrease in housing services for which the Administrative Law Judge may order a corresponding reduction in rent.
(Added by Ord. 34-04, File No. 031879, App. 3/19/2004; amended by Ord. 66-05, File No. 041688, App. 4/15/2005)
(Former Sec. 37.13 added by by Ord. 62-02, File No. 020343, App. 5/3/2002; currently codified as Sec. 37.14A)
SEC. 37.14A.  HEARINGS AND REMEDIES FOR VIOLATION OF RESIDENTIAL HOTEL VISITOR POLICIES.
(a)   Upon receipt of a petition from a current or former occupant of a residential hotel alleging violation of the provisions of Administrative Code Chapter 41D, including allegation of violation of the Uniform Visitor Policy or any Supplemental Visitor Policy, the Board through its Administrative Law Judges shall conduct a hearing in order to decide the petition. This decision may require a determination as to whether a residential hotel’s policies and procedures are consistent with the Uniform Visitor Policy and any approved Supplemental Policies, and in compliance with Administrative Code Chapter 41D.
(b)   Upon an Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact and decision that the operator, employee or agent of a residential hotel has violated the Uniform Visitor Policy or any approved Supplemental Visitor Policy or any other provision of Chapter 41D, the Administrative Law Judge may conclude that the occupant has suffered a diminution in housing services and order a corresponding reduction in rent.
(c)   The decision of the Administrative Law Judge shall be final unless the Board vacates the decision on appeal.
(d)   Either party may file an appeal of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision with the Board. Such appeals are governed by Section 37.8(f).
(Added as Sec. 37.13 by Ord. 62-02, File No. 020343, App. 5/3/2002; redesignated as Sec. 37.14 by Ord. 34-04, File No. 031879, App. 3/19/2004; redesignated as Sec. 37.14A by Ord. 73-06, File No. 060188, App. 4/20/2006)

SEC. 37.14B.  HEARING, RESIDENTIAL HOTEL MAIL RECEPTACLES.
(a)   Upon receipt of a petition from a current or former permanent resident of a residential hotel alleging violation of the provisions of Administrative Code Chapter 41E, the Board through its Administrative Law Judges shall conduct a hearing in order to decide the petition. This decision may require a determination as to whether the petitioner is permanent resident.
(b)   Upon an Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact and decision that the operator of a residential hotel has violated the requirement to install a United States Postal Service-approved mail receptacle for receipt of mail delivered by the United States Postal Service, the Administrative Law Judge may conclude that the resident has suffered a diminution in housing services and order a corresponding reduction in rent.
(c)   The decision of the Administrative Law Judge shall be final unless the Board vacates the decision on appeal.
(d)   Either party may file an appeal of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision with the Board. Such appeals are governed by Section 37.8(f).
(Added by Ord. 73-06, File No. 060188, App. 4/20/2006)

SEC. 37.15.  SEVERABILITY.
If any provision or clause of this Chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional or to be otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect other Chapter provisions, and clauses of this Chapter are declared to be severable.
(Formerly Sec. 37.14; amended by Ord. 20-84, App. 1/19/84; Proposition I, 11/8/94; Ord. 62-02, File No. 020343, App. 5/3/2002; renumbered by Ord. 34-04, File No. 031879, App. 3/19/2004)

Residential Rent and Eviction Control Resources