SFAA Advocacy

Political and Legislative Advocacy at the State and Local Level: San Francisco’s landlord-tenant and housing laws are heavily regulated, with new legislation impacting rental housing providers introduced almost every week at City Hall and the state Capitol. SFAA and CAA’s Government Affairs staff works proactively on legislative proposals that impact the rental housing industry. SFAA staff also interfaces with the City Agencies which regularly interact with property owners, including the Department of Building Inspection, the Rent Board the Planning Department, the Fire Department, the Treasurer and Tax Collector, and more.

SFAA Political Action Committee: The SFAA’s Political Action Committee (SFAA PAC) supports candidates for local political office like the SF School Board, the Board of Supervisors and Mayor, the City Attorney, state representatives, and more. SFAA’s PAC works to identify and cultivate relationships with promising recruits for elected office. The SFAA PAC also supports ballot initiatives which benefit property owners, while also working in conjunction with other Political Action Committees and organizations to oppose ballot measures and tax increases which are harmful for property owners.

SFAA Legal Fund: SFAA staff works proactively on new proposals during the legislative process, meeting with policymakers and stakeholders to craft rules and regulations which are workable for housing providers. However, in a city with more then 66% renters, votes at the Board of Supervisors don’t always go SFAA’s way. The SFAA Legal Fund serves as a backstop to strike down and overturn unconstitutional or illegal local ordinances which violate the rights of SFAA members.

Local Ballot Measures and Campaigns


COVID-19 Tenant Protections (Local Eviction Moratorium)

Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to prohibit landlords from evicting residential tenants for non-payment of rent that came due on or after April 1, 2022 and was not paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and to prohibit landlords from imposing late fees, penalties, or similar charges on such tenants.

Sponsor: Dean Preston
Legislation: https://sfgov.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5445227&GUID=5967D79D-EDA2-411A-A482-D604383018F5 
Status: Passed 

Tenant Organizing 

Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to require residential landlords to allow tenant organizing activities to occur in common areas of the building; require certain residential landlords to recognize duly-established tenant associations, confer in good faith with said associations, and attend some of their meetings upon request; and provide that a landlord’s failure to allow organizing activities or comply with their obligations as to tenant associations may support a petition for a rent reduction.

Sponsor: Aaron Peskin
Legislation: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=10514976&GUID=1E551549-F00F-493B-B2DB-4C5CFBB8880C 
Status: Passed 

Residential Vacancy Tax 

Excise tax on owners keeping certain residential units vacant, to fund rental subsidies and the acquisition, rehabilitation, and operation of affordable housing.

The measure would impose a tax on any “residential unit” in a building that is unused or vacant for half a year or more (182 days)—even if it is not half a year consecutively. The tax depends on (1) the size of the unit in square feet, (2) what year the tax is imposed (the rates increase year-over-year until 2026), and (3) whether the unit remains vacant for multiple years in a row. It starts at $2,500/unit in 2024 for the smallest vacant unit (< 1,000 square feet) and caps out at $20,000/unit for any unit over 2,000 square feet that is taxed in 2026 or later and that was vacant the year before as well.

Sponsor: Dean Preston
Legislation: https://sfelections.sfgov.org/sites/default/files/20220207_ExciseTax.pdf 
Status: Needs 9000 signatures to qualify for the November 2022 ballot.

Automatic Sprinkler Requirements for Existing High-Rise Buildings 

Ordinance amending the Fire Code to require automatic sprinkler systems in existing high-rise buildings; and affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Sponsor: Aaron Peskin
Legislation: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=10401536&GUID=5078C726-EF52-4FA2-B519-5BAA5F599780 
Status: Introduced on 1/11/22. Sponsor is convening a working group consisting of SFAA, SFFD, SFPUC, and other stakeholders.

Tenant Opportunity to Cure; Eviction Protections

Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to require landlords pursuing certain types of evictions to first provide their tenants 10 days written notice and an opportunity to cure, unless the eviction is based on an imminent health or safety issue or the non-payment of COVID-19 rental debt; and making findings that the eviction protections in the Rent Ordinance are more protective than those found in State law pursuant to California Civil Code, Section 1946.2.

Sponsor: Dean Preston
Legislation: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=10341833&GUID=9C9CB71D-1B0B-437B-AD4D-B7DE38F69604   
Status: Passed 

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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.

Give Now to the Political Action Committee

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.

Give Now to the Legal Fund

Unit Registration 2021

Please reach out to SFAA’s Government and Community Affairs Manager, Charley Goss, via email or phone at (415) 255-2288 ext. 114 if you have questions.