Short Term Rentals and Evictions

There’s been a significant change in the rules for short-term rentals in the past few months, which will have an impact on some tenants.

Because of the demand for short term rentals in the highly desirable city of San Francisco, the Residential Unit Conversion Ordinance was amended in February to allow tenants to rent all or a portion of their unit for tourist or transient use with certain conditions.  However, this does not override any prohibitions against short term rentals that you might have in your lease.  Even if you do register and receive a valid Short-Term Residential Rental Registration, a landlord can still evict you for violating the lease.

Even if the landlord tries to impose a new lease provision that prohibits a short-term rental of your home, he or she cannot evict you for violating a new lease covenant unless you received and accepted the change in writing along with a written notice from the landlord stating that you need not accept the new term.

If there are no restrictions in your lease and if you do rent all or a portion of your home for a short period, you still have to comply with the Residential Unit Conversion Ordinance. If you don’t, the first violation is not considered a “illegal purpose” for which you could be evicted, provided that you cured the violation within 30 days.

This issue has many complex aspects to it. You should consider talking to an experienced tenant attorney to ensure you are protecting your tenant’s rights.


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Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Real Estate Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Mary Catherine Wiederhold
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Courtney Brown
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