SFAA Government Affairs

Legislative Advocacy

SFAA’s Government affairs staff advocates at City Hall and City departments like Building Inspection, Planning, and Public Health on legislation, policies, and ballot measures that impact rental housing providers citywide.

Repeal of Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act

Assembly Bill 1506

Assembly Bill 1506, which would repeal the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, has been scheduled for a legislative hearing before the California Assembly Housing and Community Development committee in Sacramento on January 11, 2018 at 9am in Room#4202.

The Costa-Hawkins Act does three main things:

  • Allows rents to be set at market value when a tenant moves out (vacancy decontrol)
  • Exempts single family homes and condominiums from rent control
  • Prohibits rent control on buildings built after June 13, 1979

If AB 1506 passes, cities throughout California would be able to:

  • Prohibit you from setting the asking rent for an apartment when it becomes vacant
  • Place single family homes and condominiums under rent control and eviction control
  • Place buildings built after 1979 under rent control and eviction control

It’s incredibly important that you make your voice heard to say “NO on 1506” by reaching out to Committee Chair David Chiu to let him know how this bill would negatively impact you and your tenants. Be prepared to provide your address to let him know you are a constituent.

Assembly District 17-- Assembly Member David Chiu (co-sponsor of AB 1506)
Capitol Office: (916) 319-2017
SF Office: (415) 557-3013
Contact Form

Text of Assembly Bill 1506: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1506



Initiative Statute-Expands Local Governments’ Authority To Enact Rent Control on Residential Property

Individuals are also collecting signatures to place a measure on the November 2018 ballot which would do the same thing as AB 1506- repeal the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. The measure has not yet qualified for the November 2018 ballot. If the measure qualifies for the November 2018 ballot, SFAA and CAA members will be asked to contribute to a statewide opposition campaign.

Title and Summary: https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/Title%20and%20Summary%20%2817-0041%29.pdf

10/24/17: Consider Housing a North Bay Fire Victim Today

SFAA is working with the City of San Francisco to offer Good Samaritan tenancies to victims of the fires in the Wine Country and the North Bay.

Good Samaritan tenancies are typically one or two year tenancies that are offered at below market rate to victims of a natural disaster. Good Samaritan tenancies differ from typical rent-controlled tenancies in that at the expiration of the lease term, the property owner has the right to extend the tenancy, end the tenancy, or adjust the rent to fair market value.

If you have a vacancy that you’d be willing to use to help somebody in need, please consider offering your apartment to a victim of the California fires. Please contact Ben Amyes at the San Francisco Human Services Agency via email or phone at Benjamin.Amyes@sfgov.org or 415-557-5370 if you are able to offer housing in this time of need.

For technical questions about the Good Samaritan law and program, please contact Charley Goss at the SFAA at charley@sfaa.org or 415-255-2288.

Read more about the Good Samaritan program 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.


Updated Fire Safety Regulations

The City and SFFD have finished updating and simplifying last year’s Fire Safety regulations. The City has passed Ordinance 164-17 to repeal and amend many of last year’s requirements related to diagramming and mapping individual apartments and floorplans.

Instead of diagramming your building’s apartments and common areas, you can fulfill your obligations under this law by communicating the following to all residents in writing or via email by January 1, 2018:

  • The location of all fire extinguishers on the resident’s floor, along with the dates of last servicing
  • The location of all emergency exits on the residents floor, and a statement that they must remain unobstructed
  • The location of all fire escapes on the resident’s floor if applicable, and the dates of last inspection
  • The location of the building fire alarm control panel and all manual pull stations on the resident’s floor, if applicable
  • The date when the building fire alarm system was last inspected and tested, and confirmation that the building fire alarm system is certified
  • Instructions on how to confirm that the smoke alarms are in working condition, and a statement of when the smoke alarms were last replaced
  • Instructions on how to confirm that the carbon monoxide detectors are in working condition, and a statement of when the CO detectors were last replaced
  • The phone number of the appropriate contact within the SFFD for reporting suspected violations of these requirements: (415) 558-3300
  • Instructions (provided by the City) in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino directing persons who wish to view general fire safety guidance in any of these languages to do so on the Fire Department’s official website and providing a link to this website. (http://sf-fire.org/fire-safety-tips-san-francisco)
  • Any other information that would assist a resident to escape or prevent a fire in the building
  • Instructions and a website link to access the fire safety training video that the SFFD shall post and maintain on the internet – (Video available Jan. 1, 2018) (http://sf-fire.org/new-fire-safety-requirements-building-owners)


Building Owners must keep a copy of the notice which includes this information for two years. These requirements apply to buildings of 3+ units.


Fire Safety requirements as part of another ordinance last year, which requires the posting of template language about Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm information and Building Contact telephone information, remains unchanged and is still in effect and required by City law.

Ordinance 164-17: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=5338078&GUID=1ACBAE60-EB34-459E-9313-BB2A09E8591F

More information about the City’s Fire Safety regulations is available from the SF Fire Department here: http://sf-fire.org/new-fire-safety-requirements-building-owners

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