SFAA Government Affairs

SFAA November 2020 Slate Card

SFAA to Appeal Decision on Permanent Prohibition of Evictions

In July of 2020, the San Francisco Apartment Association, San Francisco Association of Realtors, Coalition for Better Housing and Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute filed litigation against the City and County of San Francisco in California Superior Court over its COVID-19 Tenant Protection Ordinance. 

Judge Haines ruled in favor of the City, and on Monday, August 10, the plaintiff organizations decided to appeal the decision.

In prohibiting residential landlords from ever accessing the unlawful detainer procedures, the ordinance forces property owners to try to collect unpaid rent through civil claims or by hiring a collections agency. These processes take years and are rarely successful.

Make a Tax-Deductible Donation to the SFAA Legal Fund Today

Full Lawsuit Here


Donate to the No on Prop 21 Campaign to Fight Statewide Vacancy Control

Prop 21 is a statewide initiative on the November 3, 2020 ballot which would repeal portions of the state’s existing rental housing laws (Costa-Hawkins) and open the door for extreme forms of rent control to be enacted at the local level.

Prop 21 would allow for permanent price caps on all forms of housing, including single family homes and condos.

As the election is quickly approaching, the Prop 21 campaign is in full swing and is fundraising from property owners up and down the state.

The campaign has requested a donation of $100 per rental unit, and donating before 8/31/20 is recommended while the campaign purchases advertising space for the fall season.

You can donate electronically here.

You can send a check to the campaign using this contribution form.


Read more about the Prop 21 campaign here.



Utility Shutoff Legislation Passed by Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors has passed legislation to temporarily prohibit construction projects in residential buildings which require the suspension of water or electricity service to residential tenants, unless the owner provides alternative sources of water and power.

In the meantime, the City has not postponed seismic retrofit deadlines for Tier I, II, or III buildings, nor has it postponed the July 2021 deadline to upgrade fire alarm systems.

You can read a copy of the legislation here.

The legislation will last for 60 days, and can be extended.



Chiu's "Free Rent" Bill Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved AB 1436, on 8/18/20.

AB 1436 by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco would make rental property owners defer rent payments for tenants who are either unable — or unwilling — to pay for housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rent-deferral period would last until April 1, 2021 or until 90 days after the state’s COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted – whichever comes first.

Although Chiu has agreed to offer mortgage forbearance to landlords in his bill, CAA contends this provision would not work.

AB 1436 was approved by the Senate Judicary Committee on 8/18/20.

Stay tuned for ways you can help CAA stop this legislation.



Take SFAA’s August COVID-19 Residential and Commercial Rent Surveys to Help us Monitor the Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Rental Housing Providers

SFAA has been monitoring approximately what percentage of residential and commercial tenants have been unable to pay all or part of their rent during this pandemic, in the hopes of gaining a better understanding about the economic impact COVID-19 is having on rental housing providers. 

Please Complete the August Residential Nonpayment of Rent Survey here.

Please Complete the August Commercial Nonpayment of Rent Survey here.

The surveys will take approximately 5 minutes. Any information collected will be kept anonymous.

SFAA July Covid-19 Survey Results


Temporary Moratorium on Evictions Extended Through August 31, 2020

The City's temporary moratorium on residential evictions has been extended through August 31, 2020.

You can read Mayor Breed's Executive Order here.

The San Francisco Rent Board has prepared an info sheet on the moratorium here.


Updated 8/19/2020
Legislative Advocacy

SFAA’s Government Affairs staff advocates at San Francisco City Hall and with City departments like Building Inspection, Planning, and Public Health on legislation, policies, fees, and ballot measures that impact rental housing providers citywide. Here’s some of what SFAA is working on now:


COVID-19 Tenant Protections (200375)

Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to permanently prohibit landlords from evicting residential tenants for non-payment of rent that was not paid due to the COVID-pandemic; to prohibit landlords from imposing late fees, penalties, or similar charges on such tenants; and making findings increases as required by the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019.

Legislative Digest

 Status: To Be Heard in May 2020. Contact your Supervisor Today!

Rent Increases During COVID-19 Pandemic (200362)
Emergency ordinance to temporarily prohibit rent that would otherwise be permitted under the Administrative Code, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legislative Digest

Status: Signed into law on 4/24/20

Temporary Eviction Moratorium Rules and Regulations for Tenants and Landlords:

Status: Updated on 4/22/20

Residential Eviction Moratorium Extended to 5/22/20

Intermediate Length Occupancy Rentals (191075)

Ordinance amending the Planning Code to create the Intermediate Length Occupancy residential use characteristic; clarifying existing law regarding the enforceability of fixed-term leases in rental units covered by the just cause protections of the Rent Ordinance, prohibiting the use of rental units for temporary occupancies by non-tenants, requiring landlords to disclose in advertisements for such units that the units are subject to the Rent Ordinance, and authorizing enforcement through administrative and/or civil penalties; requiring the Controller to conduct a study to analyze the impacts of new Intermediate Length Occupancy units in the City. Prohibits lease terms of more than one month but less than one year.

File Number: 191075

Legislative Digest

Status: Passed by Board of Supervisors on 5/5/2020


Extending Eviction Control to Units Constructed After 1979
Ordinance to apply eviction controls to units that are exempt from rent increase limitations because they first received a certificate of occupancy after June 13, 1979, or have undergone a substantial rehabilitation; extending the City’s current residential rental unit fee to these units; and making findings as required by the Tenant Protection Act of 2019.

File Number: 191105

Legislative Digest

Status: Passed; Currently in Effect

Statewide Rent Control (AB 1482) Resources

AB1482 Overview

AB1482 Q & A

For more information and CAA approved forms, visit https://caanet.org/ab1482/


Prop 10 2.0 Likely to Appear on the November 2020 Ballot
Title and Summary

Fiscal Impact Estimate Report

California Apartment Association Press Release

San Francisco Chronicle- Rent Control May Be Back On California Ballot


COPA Law Now in Effect
The "COPA" ordinance requires property owners who wish to sell their apartment building to give certain nonprofit organizations the right to make a first offer on the property, as well as the right to match any subsequent offers. The law applies to all properties with 3 or more units as well as vacant land.

As of 9/3/19, anyone selling their multifamily property will have to notify a list of nonprofit organizations of their intent to sell. The nonprofit organizations will then have five days to express interest in the property and 25 days to put in an offer on the property. Nonprofit organizations will then have the right of first refusal to match private offers on the property.

SFAA and other industry groups are reviewing our options to have the courts look at the ordinance and potentially strike it down. Please reach out to the SFAA office for updates on the status of COPA.

Read COPA here.

COPA Frequently Asked Questions

You can donate to the SFAA Legal Fund to support challenges to laws like this here.

SFAA Political Action Committee and Legal Fund
SFAA’s Political Action Committee works to support and recommend local candidates and ballot measures to foster a friendlier environment for rental housing providers. SFAA’s Legal Fund is used to litigate against laws that have passed at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that infringe upon the rights of property owners.


The Code Enforcement Outreach Program (CEOP) is an innovative program designed to improve communication and cooperation between tenants and rental property owners. CEOP is a joint project of the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), SFAA and tenant organizations.

The program’s goal is to get the City and the community to work together to bring housing into code compliance and to achieve the abatement of violations prior to the involvement of DBI and/or the City Attorney’s Office. This program will result in better, faster service to clients and save funds that the Department can use on other enforcement services and programs. CEOP can save property owners money before fines are assessed and attorney fees are necessary.

Community outreach coordination, counseling, and mediation assistance are among the services provided by the SFAA and participating agencies.

Its services are available to all San Francisco rental property owners and tenants including those who are not members of the partner agencies.  If you are a rental property owner and would like additional information or participate in the program contact Charley at SFAA -- (415) 255-2288 or email charley@sfaa.org.

The DBI works in cooperation with these organizations:

  • Chinatown Community Development Corporation
  • Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
  • Causa Justa:: Just Cause
  • San Francisco Apartment Association
  • Tenderloin Housing Clinic

Property Owners

The program provides support owners as they work with the DBI and tenant organizations to bring housing into code compliance. CEOP clarifies the respective rights and responsibilities or property owners and tenants to expedite code enforcement. In addition, property owners may utilize this program if they are having problems with tenants, including disputes involving access to a unit or damages.  For owners the program is able to:

  • Answer your questions about housing Code and compliance issues.
  • Provide a mentor program to counsel and help you to comply with repair requests in a timely manner
  • Mediate between you and your tenants on housing complaints.
  • For further questions about his program, call the Department of Building Inspection, Housing Inspection Services at: (415) 558-6088.


The CEOP helps tenants of rental units in the City of San Francisco obtain the repairs they need. These nonprofit Tenant's Rights Associations can assist tenants:

The Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco 

(415) 703-8644
Causa Justa :: Just Cause
(415) 487-9203

For over a decade these organizations have provided tenant's rights counseling, advocacy, and eviction prevention for all San Francisco renters. They will:

  • Answer your questions about tenant's rights regarding the Housing Code and habitability compliance.
  • Help you notify your landlord in writing about needed repairs and facilitate completion of those repairs before housing inspection services are required.
  • Act as a liaison between you and the Department of Building Inspection when you require Housing inspection services to secure needed repairs.
  • Conduct workshops to educate tenants about their role in ensuing housing code compliance in their rental units.

Good Samaritan

In 2011, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Good Samaritan legislation that was introduced by Supervisor Scott Weiner. This is a critical piece of legislation that assists low-income tenants in securing housing when their rent controlled unit has become uninhabitable due to an emergency or disaster. This program may only be used by tenants who have been living in rent controlled units, and the program is strictly voluntary. This legislation protects both the landlord and the tenants, and the rules are very straightforward.

When a tenant of a rent controlled unit is unable to occupy the unit due to a disaster such as a fire, flood, earthquake, landslide or other event, they can seek out another unit that falls under the rent control ordinance. Once a unit and new landlord have been identified, the tenant and the landlord enter into a written agreement allowing the tenant to occupy the new unit at the pre-disaster rental amount, or up to 10% more.

The initial period of time is 12 months. If the tenant is still unable to reoccupy the previous unit in that amount of time, there is an option to extend the agreement for as long as another 12 months. This extension will be at the landlord’s discretion, and once again is voluntary.

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