San Francisco Apartment Association
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SFAA is involved in a range of issues designed to support the San Francisco community of landlords and tenants.

The SFAA is proud to collaborate with the Department of Building Inspection and local tenant’s rights organizations on a revolutionary Code Enforcement Outreach program to improve living conditions for all residents of rental property. To help ensure the success of the program, DBI works in cooperation with five nonprofit organizations that represent the interests of rental property owners and tenants.

The program is dedicated to helping owners, tenants, and DBI work together to bring rental housing into code compliance. A particular focus is to seek out individuals with limited or non-English speaking skills. By clearly communicating each group’s rights and responsibilities and providing outreach and support, the program seeks to expedite the code enforcement process.

The goal of the program is to achieve abatement of code violations and bring apartments into habitable conditions before they escalate to a Director’s Hearing or are referred to the City Attorney’s Office- resulting in better service, cost savings, and safer, better living conditions for San Francisco residents.

Established in 1996, the program is a cooperative effort of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, the SFAA, the Chinatown Community Development Center, the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

The Code Enforcement Outreach Program helps property owners and managers in the City of San Francisco understand code compliance issues, and how these issues relate to the tenants in their buildings. Contact the SFAA to:

  • Get Answers to your questions about building code and structural compliance issues.
  • Join a mentor program to help you comply with repair requests in a timely manner.
  • Receive mediation between you and your tenants regarding housing complaints.
  • Participate in citywide classes on the responsibilities of providing safe housing to your residents.

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 landlordís discretion, and once again is voluntary.


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

The DBI works in cooperation with these organizations:

  • Chinatown Community Development Corporation
  • Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
  • St. Peter's Housing Committee
  • 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.