The SFAA is dedicated to keeping our members informed about new and proposed laws in San Francisco while fighting to protect the rights of rental property owners. Because San Francisco land use policy changes so often, it is nearly impossible for property owners to keep abreast of the new laws.
Here are issues we've tracked in the past:
- Governor Signs CAA Sponsored Tenant Relocation Bill
On Friday, September 7, Governor Brown signed AB 1925 (Ma and Yee – D-San Francisco) legislation that provides that in San Francisco a landlord cannot be forced to pay a tenant household more than $275 per day plus actual moving expenses (if it is necessary for the landlord to move the possessions of the tenant household) for temporary relocation. The landlord will have the option to provide a comparable dwelling unit and pay any actual moving expenses, in lieu of the compensation daily rate. The tenant shall remain responsible for the payment of rent. AB 1925 overrides an existing San Francisco law that requires landlords to pay just over $5,000 per tenant to move the tenant out temporarily. This bill is a significant victory for San Francisco owners. (CAA Position: Support)
Also, Governor Brown signed SB 1055 (Lieu – D-Torrance), legislation that prohibits a landlord from requiring electronic funds transfer (EFT) as the only form of rental payment. (CAA Position: Support)
A number of bills of interest to the multi-family housing industry have survived and are on the Governor’s Desk awaiting final action including CAA sponsored AB 1679 (Bonilla – D-Concord), legislation that allows property owners to deposit any remaining portion of the security deposit directly to a bank account designated by the tenant and allows property owners to provide a copy of the itemized security deposit statement along with supporting documents to an e-mail account provided by the tenant. Current law only allows the return of the check and the supporting documents by first class mail. (CAA Position: Support).
For a final look at bills that made it to the Governor’s desk or failed passage, please click here. (updated 9/11/12)
- Redesign of the business tax system
At the request of the Mayor and Board of Supervisors President, the Controller’s Office has been working with the Treasurer’s Office, the City Attorney’s Office, and local businesses on a redesign of the City’s business tax system. Please review the most recent proposal and how it would affect your properties or business (Gross Receipts Fees and Gross Receipts Rates). (updated 7/24/12)
- Condo conversion
Supervisors Mark Farrell and Scott Weiner have introduced legislation at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting to allow any building that either participated in or could have qualified for the 2012 condo lottery to convert to condos, provided that a specified fee is paid. Read more here (see item 120669). (updated 6/12/12)
- Five or fewer parking spaces
Supervisor Scott Weiner has sponsored and introduced legislation to simplify the requirements and administrative fees and work for individuals renting 5 or fewer parking spaces to non-residents. The legislation will exempt people who rent 5 spaces or less to non-residents from requirements to: obtain a certificate of authority, make monthly tax prepayments, obtain a parking tax bond, pay the Revenue Control Equipment compliance fee. The legislation will also offer an amnesty from parking taxes, interest, penalties and fees owed for tax periods more than 2 years before the date the legislation goes into effect. Read more here and here. (updated 6/6/12)
Board of Supervisors President David Chiu introduced legislation March 27 that would protect rental housing from short-term corporate uses, otherwise known as “hotelization.” Chiu said the proposal closes a loophole in city law by prohibiting corporations from signing leases with property owners that are longer than 30 days, but then allowing out-of-town employees to stay short-term. Read more in the SF Examiner. (updated 3/27/12)
Bills CAA is supporting
Referred to as a “common sense” bill by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, CAA sponsored AB 1679 (D-Bonilla) has successfully moved unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee and off the Assembly Floor. This bill permits a landlord and a tenant to mutually agree to have the landlord return a security deposit through an electronic transfer into the tenant’s bank account and to deliver an itemized security deposit statement by email to the tenant.
Current law is very stringent in its requirement that any remaining security deposit and itemized statement must be provided by the landlord to the tenant personally or by first-class mail, postage prepaid. The requirement to return a security deposit by a physical check was first placed in statute decades ago, long before the advent of modern technology, electronic fund transfer options, and email. Today, more tenants are asking that the landlord return any remaining security deposit directly into their bank account.
CAA’s Legislative Steering Committee has met and taken a support position on a number of quality bills that will have a positive impact on the rental housing industry if signed into law. Here is an overview of those bills.
AB 2521 (D-Blumenfield) – Landlord-Tenant: Personal Property - AB 2521 provides that the landlord may retain or dispose of a tenant’s property that is left behind after move out if the landlord reasonably believes that the total resale value of the property is less than $700. Current law is $300.
SB 1055 (D-Lieu) – Rental Payments: EFT - SB 1055 would prohibit a landlord from requiring electronic funds transfer (EFT) as the only form of rental payment. The bill allows for other forms of payment, including EFT.
AB 1610 (R-Wagner) – Special Access: Liability - AB 1610 would give businesses a specified period of time to address and possibly correct special access (ADA) violations without fear of litigation. AB 1878 (R-Gaines), AB 2325 (R-Norby), SB 1163 (R-Walters), and SB 1186 (R-Dutton) all provide similar protections.
- Carbon monoxide regulations in 2011 and 2013
California’s Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 requires that all residential property be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector when the property has a "fossil fuel" burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage. The law provides that:
- All single-family homes, including individually-owned condominiums, (owner or tenant occupied) must be equipped with a detector.
- All other residential units must be equipped with a detector on or before January 1, 2013.
A carbon monoxide detector may be battery powered, a plug-in device with battery backup, or hard-wired into the dwelling unit with a battery backup.
“Fossil fuel” is defined as coal, kerosene, oil, wood, fuel gases, and other petroleum or hydrocarbon products, which emit carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion.
Get more details here. Read the carbon monoxide detector requirements for new construction and units undergoing alterations here.