LANDLORD - TENANT LAW
Rent Control San Francisco
In response to rising rents and a shortage of rental housing, several cities in the Bay Area have enacted rent control measures, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Hayward. These regulations restrict the ability of a landlord to increase rents. In addition, they allow evictions only for specific reasons such as nonpayment of rent, breach of the lease, nuisance, and removal of the property from the rental market.
Since the enactment of these rent control laws, they have grown more complex and restrictive. Many landlords and renters alike do not have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities. If you are a tenant or a landlord facing a rent control issue, you need sound advice from an experienced attorney.
What is Rent Control?
Rent control is a policy that limits the amount of rent that can be charged for an apartment or living space, how much the rent can increase over a specific time frame, or both. Laws to control rent prices are in place throughout the state of California.
Why Does California Have Rent Control?
The aim of these policies is to maintain a base of affordable housing for low and moderate income tenants. Rent control is more common in cities, like San Francisco, where competition for limited housing stock raises market prices out of reach for these residents.
How Does Rent Control in San Francisco Work?
The rent control ordinance in San Francisco was passed in 1979 and is enforced by the San Francisco Rent Board. Rent control in San Francisco covers residential rental units in buildings with a certificate of occupancy dating to before June 13, 1979. This includes residential units within mixed use buildings but it does not apply to commercial units. There are also certain exceptions for single family homes and condominiums.
How Do Rent Increases Work in San Francisco?
The San Francisco Rent Board sets the percentage by which landlords can raise rents, up to a maximum percentage per year. Landlords can’t increase rent simply because a new roommate moves in or a baby arrives. Recently, California passed a statewide rent control law, AB 1482, which limits rent increases to 5% plus the CPI or a maximum of 10%, whichever is less, with certain exceptions.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer for Rent Control Disagreements?
AB 1482 is a statewide law that has two main functions: it limits rent increases and removes the right of landlords to evict tenants without just cause. Landlords and tenants are advised to consult an attorney who can help them navigate these complex laws.
At Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C., we are a team of highly experienced landlord-tenant lawyers. Having observed the expansion and evolution of the Bay Area’s rental control laws since the 1980s, we have a comprehensive understanding of these regulations and the legal options available to landlords and tenants.
We have extensive experience representing both sides before the San Francisco Rent Board and other regulatory agencies in the Bay Area. Let us put our knowledge and advocacy skills to work for you.
If you face a rent control or eviction dispute, we can help. Call Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C. at 415-956-6488 or send us an email to schedule your initial consultation.
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