San Francisco Legislative Update (2009): Abandoned Buildings Ordinance


Ordinance 194-09 amends the Building Code to require landlords to register vacant and abandoned buildings and equips the Building Department with enforcement tools. Section 103A.4.1 of the Building Code now defines a vacant and abandoned property as one that is:

(1) is unoccupied and unsecured,
(2) is unoccupied and secured by boarding or other similar means,
(3) is unoccupied and unsafe as defined in Section 102A of this Code,
(4) is unoccupied and has multiple code violations, or
(5) has been unoccupied for over 30 days.

To comply with the statute, landlords must annually register with DBI and pay the registration fee. They must also post a notice (with the current name, address, and phone number of the owner of record), obtain liability insurance, maintain the property and secure it against unauthorized entry. However, a property will not be considered vacant and abandoned if if it does not contribute to blight, is ready for occupancy and is actively being offered for sale or lease.