Being a landlord in San Francisco is a high risk high reward proposition. It is common knowledge that San Francisco properties can fetch some of the highest rental prices in the world. However, with this great reward comes the complicated and very tenant friendly San Francisco Rent Control laws.
The San Francisco Rent Control laws govern everything from the amount you can raise the rent to the reasons you can evict your tenants. Rent control laws can even regulate the steps you have to take before you can mutually agree to change the terms of the lease, or, negotiate a buy-out of a lease.
Running afoul of the San Francisco Rent Control can result in fines or a tenant being entitled to attorney fees. Attorney fee awards are a particularly dangerous penalty to landlords as, even very minor violations can create a disproportionate liability to a landlord. For example, suppose a landlord violates the local ordinance and the tenants suffers $10.00 in damages. If they are entitled to attorney fees for the violation and bring a suit, and the case is litigated the tenant could very well win $10.00 in damages as well as tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
The end result is that being a landlord of real estate for lease or rental in San Francisco is a veritable minefield. While the Rent Board does offer information that can in theory inform a landlord of the various pitfalls the sheer number of them makes it inadvisable to try and navigate them yourself. The San Francisco based bay area law firm of Jones & Devoy has experience in helping landlords and home owners navigate the labyrinth of laws in SF and can help make sure your money maker does not become a money pit.