What You Need to Know as a Landlord
Avoid late fees and being sent to collections!
Paying the Rent Board Fee is something San Francisco landlords have been doing for years. It was simple. Before, the bill was included with the property tax statement and paid along with one’s taxes. When this was the case, no additional effort was required by the landlord and the city received its money.
However, the City has sadly decided to make the process more complicated, in turn hurting middle-class property owners. As a result, owners are now required to pay the fee separately. If a landlord fails to do this, even if unknowingly, they will be subject to fines and sent to collections!
It’s important for landlords to stay aware of this new law and to promptly submit payment when required.
What is the San Francisco Rent Board Fee?
The San Francisco Rent Board states that “The City collects a per-unit fee for each residential dwelling unit that is subject to the Rent Ordinance. The fee funds the cost of operating the Rent Board.”. For the 2021 – 2022 tax year, the fee is $59 per apartment unit and $29.50 per residential hotel room. View the full fee structure here.
In previous years, the fee was billed by the tax collector’s office and billed directly through the owners’ property tax statement. This year, this will be removed as a line item on the property tax statement, and instead billed directly through the Rent Board.
At ReLISTO, we understand that this may cause confusion and potential difficulties for landlords. We are prepared to help landlords through this transition and aim to be a resource for landlords during this time. We’ve put together a list of resources and quick facts about the Rent Board Fee changes, view that here.
What Do You Need to Know as a Landlord in 2022?
How Will The Fee Be Billed?
Rent Board Fee notices will be sent out through the mail starting early January along with information on how to pay. Landlords need to be looking at for this notice in the mail, as late fees will be charged for delinquent payments.
How Can Landlords Pay?
Along with the notice, landlords will receive a registration link to the online portal where they are able to make payments. Once set up with the online portal, landlords can pay with an e-check, or through debit or credit with a small fee.
If a paper check is preferred, landlords are able to make the payment this way by either sending the check through mail, or dropping it off at the Rent Board’s San Francisco office location (25 Van Ness Ave #320).
Are Late Fees Assessed?
Fees are due by March 1st. If unpaid, late fees WILL be assessed along with the possibility to be sent to collections.
“The Rent Board will add a 5% penalty to the amount of the fee if the fee has not been paid by March 1, an additional 5% if the fee has not been paid by April 1, and an additional 5% if the fee has not been paid by May 1. If the fee remains outstanding as of June 1, the Rent Board will refer the matter to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenue.” – SFRB
Timely payments and staying out of collections is so important since this can have a direct impact on your credit. Having an account in collections shows as a negative item a credit report that can have a severe impact on your score as well as your ability to apply for loans, open credit accounts, and more.
How Can Landlords Collect the Fee From Tenants?
Landlords are permitted, by Section 37A.6 of the Administrative Code to recover 50% of the Rent Board Fee from tenants. The fee may be charged directly to the tenant or deduction from the tenants’ security deposit interest. View our security deposit calculator to calculate the security deposit interest owed to the tenant along with the Rent Board Fee amount.
When billing the tenant, the fee must be billed on a statement that specifically states the fee amount owed by the tenant for each year, as well as any security deposit interest for each year. Tenants must pay within 30 days, however non-payment of the fee by the tenant is NOT just cause for eviction.
ReLISTO is Prepared to Help
We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty and confusion with the new fee structure, so we are available as a contact and resource to our landlords.
Above all, we want to help landlords transition smoothly to this new fee structure and set them up for success.
San Francisco Rent Board: https://sfrb.org/
Rent Board Fee Information: https://sfrb.org/fee
ReLISTO Rent Board Fee Resources: https://www.relisto.com/san-francisco-rent-board-fee/
Online Payment Portal: https://portal.sfrb.org/FrontPortal/Page/RenderPage?tabId=20
Security Deposit Calculator: https://www.relisto.com/calculators/calculator/rent-board-fee
Who Are San Francisco Landlords? In 2003, San Francisco had one of the largest percentages of individually owned rentals in the country. This is an exception as rentals are typically owned and managed by large professional management companies. Here is the report conducted by the city with shares some of these details. https://www.relisto.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/2003-SFLandlordSurveyReport_ReLISTO.pdf