Supervisor Sandra Fewer

The brainchild of lame-duck Supervisor Sandra Fewer, San Francisco’s new “Housing Inventory” law will require San Francisco landlords to submit details such as occupancy status and rental rates to the city on an annual basis.

“By providing a more accurate picture of our rental housing stock in San Francisco, this Housing Inventory will help the Rent Board better do its job and will benefit the city as a whole,” according to a statement issued by Fewer.

The law would assess each unit an additional $5-$12 above the current Rent Board fee. According to the Budget and Analysts report on the legislation, those fees would provide around $2 million revenue that would be used to fund an additional 14 full-time staffers for the Rent Board.

Gaetani views this legislation as excessive, wasteful, and potentially divisive. There is no clear benefit to the public in having the Rent Board possess such information, and the true costs of administration are still not known. 

Additionally, and perhaps more seriously, is the potential for privacy violations that could come as a result of individual tenants having their rental rates published for everyone to see. Just as neighbor relations have suffered since Prop 13 caused huge disparities in tax payments for homeowners, there is concern about animosity between renters who see others in similar apartments as theirs benefiting from huge financial advantages due to legacy rent control.

We will continue to work with our partners in property management and landlord advocacy to overturn or mitigate counterproductive legislation such as this.

Managing the increasing complexity of rental housing laws is one of Gaetani’s specialties as the premier property management company in San Francisco. For expert information about navigating these changing waters — and making sure you recoup everything to which you are entitled —  please contact us.

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