SAN FRANCISCO ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
Chapter 41A: RESIDENTIAL UNIT CONVERSION AND DEMOLITION
SEC. 41A.5. UNLAWFUL CONVERSION; REMEDIES.
(a) Unlawful Actions. It shall be unlawful for
(1) any owner to offer a residential unit for rent for tourist or transient use,
(2) any owner to offer a residential unit for rent to a business entity that will allow the use of a residential unit for tourist or transient use, or
(3) any business entity to allow the use of a residential unit for tourist or transient use.
(b) Records Required. The owner and business entity shall retain and make available to the Department or Building Inspection occupancy records to demonstrate compliance with this Chapter.
(c) Determination of Violation. Upon the filing of a complaint that an unlawful conversion has occurred, the Director shall take reasonable steps necessary to determine the validity of the complaint. The Director may independently determine whether an owner or business entity may be renting a residential unit for tourist or transient use as defined in this Chapter. To determine if there is a violation of this Chapter, the Director may initiate an investigation of the subject property. This investigation may include, but is not limited to, an inspection of the subject property and a request for any pertinent information from the owner, such as leases or other documents. The Director shall have discretion to determine whether there is a potential violation of this Chapter 41A and whether to conduct an administrative review hearing as set forth below.
(d) Civil Action. Following the filing of a complaint and the determination of a violation by the Director through an administrative review hearing as set forth in this Chapter 41A any interested party may institute proceedings for injunctive and monetary relief. In addition, the owner or business entity may be liable for civil penalties of not more than $1,000 per day for the period of the unlawful rental. If the City or the interested party is the prevailing party, the City or the interested party shall be entitled to the costs of enforcing this Chapter, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, up to the amount of the monetary award, pursuant to an order of the Court. Any monetary award obtained by the City and County of San Francisco in such a civil action shall be deposited in the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Housing Affordability Fund less the reasonable costs incurred by the City and County of San Francisco in pursuing the civil action.
(e) Criminal Penalties. Any owner or business entity who rents a residential unit for tourist or transient use as defined in this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor hereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period of not more than six months, or by both. Each residential unit rented for tourist or transient use shall constitute a separate offense.
SEC. 41A.4. DEFINITIONS.
(a) Residential Unit. Room or rooms, including a condominium or a room or dwelling unit that forms part of a tenancy-in-common arrangement, in any building, or portion thereof, which is designed, built, rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied, or which is occupied as the home or residence of four or more households living independently of each other in dwelling units as defined in the San Francisco Housing Code, provided that the residential unit was occupied by a permanent resident on or after February 8, 1981. It is presumed that a residential unit was occupied by a permanent resident on or after February 8, 1981, and the owner has the burden of proof to show that a residential unit is not subject to this Chapter.
(b) Residential Use. Any use for occupancy of a dwelling unit by a permanent resident.
(c) Tourist or Transient Use. Use of a residential unit for occupancy for less than a 30-day term of tenancy, or occupancy for less than 30 days of a residential unit leased or owned by a business entity, whether on a short-term or long term basis, including any occupancy by employees or guests for less than 30 days where payment for the residential unit is contracted for or paid by the business entity.
(d) Permanent Resident. A person who occupies a residential unit for at least 60 consecutive days with intent to establish that unit as his or her principal place of residence.
(e) Conversion or Convert. The change of the use or to rent a residential unit from residential use to tourist or transient use.
(f) Owner. Owner includes any person who is the owner of record of the real property. Owner includes a lessee where an interested party alleges that a lessee is offering a residential unit for tourist or transient use.
(g) Interested Party. A permanent resident of the building in which the tourist or transient use is alleged to occur, the City and County of San Francisco, or any non-profit organization exempt from taxation pursuant to Title 26, Section 501 of the United States Code, which has the preservation or improvement of housing as a stated purpose in its articles of incorporation or bylaws.
(h) Director. The Director of the Department of Building Inspection.