What to Know if Your Building is Sold in San Francisco

What happens when your building is sold and you are under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance? Nothing!  That’s right-nothing.  Legislation passed in 2008 now requires the seller and buyer of a multi-unit building to disclose to tenants (in writing) that they cannot be evicted just because the building was sold.  The buyer and seller must also inform the tenants that they cannot have their rent increased or have the terms of their tenancy changed just because the building is being sold or has sold.

If you live in a building that has more than six units, these buildings cannot be converted to condominiums.  However, the worry is that a new buyer/owner/property management company will try to force tenants into signing more restrictive leases.  Often the new owners will give tenants an ‘estoppel agreement.’  This form is often a trap for the unwary.  For example, if you are allowed to park in the building’s garage for free, but you do not include this on the estoppel agreement, you might be charged for parking by the new owners.  You are not required to fill out an estoppel agreement unless your lease specifically mandates that you must.

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Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Tenant Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

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