Be aware of a new tenant buy-out law

Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord in San Francisco, you’re going to want to learn more about the proposed Tenant Buyout Agreements ordinance. SocketSite has posted seven key points that you’ll want to review.

Keep in mind that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This new law will likely lead to more Ellis Act evictions, which could become the more appealing, less complicated alternative. The net effect will be less rental housing stock. It’s been passed by the Board of Supervisors, but not yet signed by the mayor.

San Francisco Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Kim and Mar are sponsoring the ordinance, with Farrell dissenting in committee. The ordinance will:

1) Require notice prior to any negotiation. Landlords will be required to provide tenants with written notice of their rights and file a Rent Board form indicating which rental unit could be the subject for the negotiations.

2) Require written agreements. All buyout agreements must be in writing and include tenant-rights provisions.

3) Provide a 45-day recission period for tenants. Tenants may rescind a buyout agreement for up to 45 days after execution.

4) Require buyout agreements to be filed with the city and made public. Landlords will be required to file copies of buyout agreements with the Rent Board along with paying a filing fee.

5) Require an annual reporting of all buyouts. The Rent Board would be required to provide an annual report to the Board of Supervisors.

6) Provide for penalties for non-compliance. These would be both monetary and civil.

7) Prohibit condo conversions for buyout-emptied units. This holds for buyout agreements signed after October 2014.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email

Skip to content