In 2015, there was numerous amendments to the SF Rent Ordinance, known as the Kim Amendment or Rent Ordinance 2.0 which made substantial changes affecting evictions and tenant rights. Here is a summary of the changes:
- In an eviction for nuisance, the tenant nuisance conduct must be “severe, continuing or recurring in nature.”
- For an eviction for illegal subletting, the tenant must be served with a 10 day pre-termination notice with opportunity to cure the violation; If the violation is not cured, the Owner can proceed with a Three Day Notice to Perform Covenant [of rental agreement] or quit;
- For an eviction for breach of covenant [of the rental agreement], the violation of the rental agreement be “substantial.”
- It prevents owners from evicting tenants from illegal in-law units for illegal use.
- For all eviction notices, it requires the use of a new Rent Board multi-language form.
- The Amendment creates vacancy control for five (5) years after certain kinds of evictions. Vacancy control means that the rent cannot be raised to market. It would be after an owner move-in eviction, demolition eviction, sale of a condo eviction and lead remediation eviction.
- There is a major change in occupancy limitations. Many existing rental agreements seek to limit occupancy to a named tenant or number of occupants. The Amendment allows occupancy of up to two people for a studio, three persons in a one-bedroom apartment, four persons in a two bedroom apartment, six persons in a three bedroom apartment and eight persons in a four bedroom apartment. The Rent Board has indicated that the Amendment is retroactive, so it would apply to existing leases; For an owner, in future leases, it would be important to specify the number of actual bedrooms and prohibiting tenants from converting other rooms to bedrooms.
- Acceptance of subtenants: It provides that if a tenant requests consent for having additional subtenants/roommates, the landlord must accept them regardless of any lease provision having an occupancy limitation. If an owner fails to approve a subtenant within 14 days, he/she is deemed to have approved these subtenants. It may impact owner rights under the state Costa-Hawkins law, which allows, in general for owners to raise rent where the original occupant no longer permanently resides it the rental unit. It also prevents an owner, absent rent board approval from charging additional rent for additional occupants. An owner is also prohibited from considering the creditworthiness of subtenants .