San Francisco Legislative Update (2020): “Intermediate Length Occupancy” Now Regulated


Ordinance 78-20, sponsored by Supervisor Peskin, amends the Planning Code to regulate “intermediate length occupancy” of residential dwellings. The Planning Code now defines intermediate length occupancy as “A Residential Use characteristic that applies to a Dwelling Unit offered for occupancy by a natural person for an initial stay, whether through lease, subscription, license, or otherwise, for a duration of greater than 30 consecutive days but less than one year”.

Intermediate length occupancy is now prohibited for buildings with three or fewer units. It is a principally permitted use for buildings with four to nine units, provided that no more than 25% of the units are occupied in this manner. And for buildings of ten or more units, conditional use authorization is required. Further, only 1,000 of these uses are allowed in the City, and rent-controlled units may not but used this way.

Finally, Ordinance 78-20 prohibits “non-tenant uses”, which is when “the landlord is allowing the unit to be occupied by a person or entity who is not a “tenant” as defined in [the Rent Ordinance]”. Given the broad definition of “rental units” in the Rent Ordinance (i.e., all dwellings in the City), this would appear to prohibit the use of dwellings by a property owner’s family members, and many other common sense uses that most property owners would assume to be lawful.