By the action of five supervisors (Avalos, Campos, Chiu, Daly and Mirkarimi) Proposition F (“Renters’ Financial Hardship Applications”) was placed on this June’s municipal ballot. The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® is actively opposing the proposition.
As many REALTORS® know, Proposition F would allow renters to file a petition claiming financial hardship at any time with respect to any rent increase. Payment of the rent increase would be stayed for a period of 60 days from the date of filing or until a hearing is held and a decision issued by an Administrative Law Judge.
In determining whether the renter’s claim of financial hardship is to be granted, the Rent Board and the Administrative Law Judge would base their decision on:
- Whether a tenant in a household is either unemployed or has had wages reduced by 20 percent or more compared to 12 months prior, or whose sole income consists of government benefits such as Social Security, SSI, SDI or similar benefits and has not received a cost of living increase in the past 12 months;
- Whether the rent including the increase comprises or will comprise 33 percent or more of the tenant’s gross income;
The renter’s assets also are to be considered in making the determination.
Upon a finding that the tenant has financial hardship, the Administrative Law Judge will order that the rent increase will not be in effect for a specific period of time based on the tenant’s circumstances and schedule a review at the end of that period. If the rent increase is later allowed, it will take effect as of the date the tenant’s income or assets changed to permit the increase.
The Committee to Preserve Rental Housing is working to defeat Proposition F because of the likelihood that passage of the proposition will prompt rental property owners to use the Ellis Act to remove their properties from the rental market, thereby diminishing the supply of rental housing in the city. Two direct mail communications produced by the committee can be viewed by clicking on the links below. The committee is joined in its opposition to Proposition F by such diverse organizations as the Alice B Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR).