The Board of Supervisors enacted the San Francisco Rent Ordinance in 1979 as emergency legislation to alleviate the city's housing crisis. The ordinance created the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board (Rent Board) in order to safeguard tenants from excessive rent increases and to assure landlords fair and adequate rent. Landlords may make annual rent increases in order to keep up with inflation, but the increases may not exceed 7%.
The Rent Board employs hearing officers to conduct hearings in order to certify rent increases for capital improvements, arbitrate other rent adjustments by petition of either the landlord or the tenant, and conduct investigative hearings and evictions. Decisions by the hearing officer concerning any rent adjustment are final unless vacated by the Rent Board on appeal.
Rent Board staff members are not permitted to give any legal advice or to provide information on general landlord and tenant matters outside the scope of the ordinance (e.g. rent withholding, tenant privacy / landlord entry, security deposits, harassment, and other related issues).
For more information about the San Francisco Rent Board and its services, contact them at:
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 320
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: (415) 252-4602
Fax: (415) 252-4699
Info-To-Go (24-hour info line):
The amount that landlords may increase rent is governed by the Rent Board. Each December the Rent Board calculates and publishes the allowable rent increase. The formula used is 60% of the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as reported by the Bureau of Labor. Landlords must give tenants 30 days notice of rent increases, and the notice must include both the dollar amount and the percentage amount of the increase. Tenants may seek advice from the Rent Board regarding rent increases.
All housing in San Francisco is protected under rent control laws except:
- Buildings constructed after June 15, 1979
- Public or government subsidized buildings
- Hotels, if you have lived in the unit less than 32 days
- Single family homes and condominiums
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