Board of Supervisors Passes Supervisor Wiener’s Tenant Protection Notification Legislation

Ordinance requires 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, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Supervisor Wiener’s 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.

“Keeping people stable in their homes is an essential part of confronting our housing crisis,” said Supervisor Wiener. “If a property owner wants to demolish a unit, the tenant living there should not find out after it’s too late to do anything about it. Closing this major loophole in our tenant notice law will allow people to fight to keep their homes.”

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 requires 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.

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