Ordinance will require that tenants living in non-permitted units – like illegal in-laws – be notified by property owners if a permit is sought to demolish the unit, giving the tenant an opportunity to appeal the permit


San Francisco – Today, Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation to require notice to all tenants, regardless of whether their unit is officially recorded, when a property owner files for permits to demolish their units. Under current law, property owners are only required to notice tenants in legally permitted units, which creates a significant loophole that leaves tens of thousands of tenants vulnerable to losing their homes with no notice ahead of time and no opportunity to contest the demolition.

“We are in a housing crisis, and job one is to keep people stable in the housing they have,” said Supervisor Wiener. “Tens of thousands of San Franciscans currently live in apartments that can be demolished without even notifying the resident ahead of time.  This major loophole in our tenant notice law is unacceptable and needs to be closed.  We’re talking about people’s homes, and people should receive notice if the owner wants to demolish their units.”

“These secondary units remain some of the most affordable housing in San Francisco,” said Debra Walker, who serves as the tenant representative on the Building Inspection Commission. “This early notification will protect tenants and encourage property owners to legalize these units instead of demolishing them. That is our priority -- legalizing and preserving these units and trying to avoid displacement in the process.”

Currently, the Building and Planning Code require notice to existing tenants in a building for certain actions, including unit demolition. However, those required to be noticed are only those tenants residing in legally permitted units and not those living in unpermitted units. Supervisor Wiener’s legislation will require that all tenants in a building be noticed, and that a notice be posted within the common space of the building so that anyone living in the building can be aware of the requested demolition permit. If tenants have notice, they can then file a timely appeal of the permit to the Board of Permit Appeals.  Without any notice, they are often unable to file within the 15-day appeal period.

On April 29th, the Board of Permit Appeals issued a resolution urging the Board of Supervisors to close this noticing loophole. The legislation will be heard at the Land Use and Transportation Committee in June. 

Contribute Volunteer


Paid for by Re-Elect Scott Wiener for State Senate 2020. FPPC # 1392654.

Mailing Address: 5940 College Ave., Suite F, Oakland, CA 94618