SF Apartment : December 2017


Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Bed Bug Legislation: Send existing tenants (who haven’t already been notified) the Bedbug Notification (CAA Form 36.1—Bedbug Notification) form by January 1, 2018.

The SFAA Residential Tenancy Agreement already includes the required disclosure for new tenants, and this has been included in the lease since the local law went into effect. Although required since 2012, some San Francisco landlords may not have provided the required disclosure to existing tenants, so CAA has created a new disclosure form to help in this regard (CAA Form 36.1—Bedbug Notification). The form is available at SFAA, or online at the SFAA or CAA websites.

Fire Legislation: In August 2016, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed legislation aimed at promoting fire and life safety, reducing the risk of fires, and preventing property damage from fires. These laws, which have been incorporated into the San Francisco Fire Code, establish new requirements for the owners of residential buildings.  

By January 1, 2018, owners of buildings with three or more units must provide tenants with the Fire Safety Information Disclosure. By January 31, 2018, owners of all rental units must provide each tenant with written notice regarding smoke alarm requirements on a form provided by the SF Fire Department. By January 31, 2018, owners of buildings with three to eight units must file a Statement of Compliance with the fire department regarding the annual testing of their fire alarm systems. For detailed instructions and sample disclosures, visit sf-fire.org.

Proposal to Repeal Costa-Hawkins Act

A potential 2018 statewide ballot initiative has been filed to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act—the law that blocks rent-control laws from single-family homes and apartments built after that year. The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) filed the paperwork for the initiative, calling it the Affordable Housing Act, but it hasn’t yet been approved for the November 2018 ballot.

According to the report filed, the Affordable Housing Act would change the language to read: (a) A city, county, or city and county shall have the authority to adopt a local charter provision, ordinance or regulation that governs a landlord’s right to establish and increase rental rates on a dwelling or housing unit. (b) In accordance with California law, a landlord’s right to a fair rate of return on a property shall not be abridged by a city, county, or city and county.

Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) filed a similar proposal (AB 1506) earlier this year; however, the California Legislature didn’t move forward with it.

Assembly Bill 797

Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 797, written by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks). The bill extends the existing California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal program by two years (to 2020). The intent is to reduce natural gas use in homes and buildings and to help the state’s efforts to meet greenhouse-gas reduction goals, improve overall air quality, and boost economic growth.

The CSI Thermal program provides consumer incentives to heat water and air using solar thermal technology. According to California Solar Energy Industries Association (a co-sponsor of the bill), so far, this program has reduced natural-gas use in California by more than six million therms each year, offsetting 32,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to taking 6,900 cars off the road each year.

For more information or to register for the rebate program, visit www.csithermal.com.

Property Tax Relief for Fire Victims

According to the Board of Equalization, people who own property in Butte, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Solano, Sonoma and Yuba counties who have experienced at least $10,000 in property damage in the October wildfires are eligible for tax relief.

Eligible property owners have one year to file a claim with their county assessor. They will receive a temporary reassessment of their property, based on the current value in the damaged condition. After the property is rebuilt or repaired, the original assessment value will be restored. Property owners can also apply for a deferral of their next property tax payment without penalty or interest.

For more information, visit the Board of Equalizations website: boe.ca.gov.

Good Samaritan Program

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 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, 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.

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.

Going Modular

San Francisco is building modular housing to help end homelessness in the city. The first site will be at 1068 Mission Street—at Seventh and Mission Streets, adjacent to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Building. The project will help meet the mayor’s goal of reducing homelessness by 50% by 2020.

In exchange for completing the project in three years, the federal government sold the land to the city for only $1. The site could potentially accommodate 250 modular studios spanning two buildings (one of the two would be dedicated to homeless seniors).

According to the SF Chronicle, the plan is to use off-site modular construction in the hopes of saving time and cost. Kate Hartley, acting director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community and Development, told the Chronicle that this is just the start. The city is also planning off-site modular development for homeless veterans on Treasure Island and a 120-unit affordable housing development in Mission Bay.

“Our goal is to build units as fast as possible, so we can get people off the streets as fast as possible,” says Hartley.

Recology Holiday Schedule

Recology is closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For collection days that fall on Sunday, December 25 or Sunday, January 1, containers will be serviced the following Monday.

Christmas trees will be collected from January 2 to January 14. Place clean, unflocked trees curbside for pickup. Make sure all tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands and lights have been removed. For trees taller than six feet, cut in half.

SFAA Website Revamp

The SFAA has upgraded and redesigned its website for a better user experience. Members can now more easily access forms, register for events and classes, view videos of member meetings, browse the magazine, and review the vendor directory, among other improvements. Users should enter their member number to log in to the website.

SFAA October Member Meeting

The October 16th SFAA member meeting was held at the Jewish Community Center in Kanbar Hall. The meeting began with the monthly Legal Q & A, moderated by Dave Wasserman of Wasserman & Stern, followed by a welcome from Eric Andresen, SFAA Board President. Andresen also addressed updates to the local fire legislation and deadlines for the new state bedbug ordinance. The meeting was sponsored by Recology Sunset Scavenger.

The meeting turned over to Robert Collins, Executive Director, San Francisco Rent Board, and Christina Varner, Deputy Director, San Francisco Rent Board for an update on tenant financial hardships, capital improvements, Kim Law rules and regulations, and buyouts. Their update was followed by a member question & answer session.   

For handouts, videos, resources and minutes from the member meeting and more information on the legislative updates, go to www.sfaa.org .