Topic No. 254: Charging for Additional Occupants Prohibited
There is no authority in the Rent Ordinance for a rent increase based on additional occupants in a unit. Therefore, the Rent Board Rules and Regulations prohibit landlords from charging more rent solely for additional occupants, including a newborn child. This constitutes an unlawful rent increase, even if the lease or rental agreement provides for the additional charge. Since the Ordinance provides that tenants cannot waive their rights under the Ordinance, any agreement to pay such additional rent is void as contrary to public policy. Tenants who pay additional rent for additional occupants may file a Tenant Petition to void the increase and obtain a refund of the overcharges.
If a landlord experiences an increase in the costs of operating the building due to additional tenants, the landlord may file a petition for a rent increase based on an increase in operating and maintenance expenses. A landlord may also file a Petition for Approval of a Utility Passthrough if costs for gas and electricity increase.
To receive a copy of the Tenant Petition or Landlord Petition forms, you can fax them to yourself through our Fax Back system by calling 252-4660 or visit our website at www.sfgov.org/rentboard. The forms are also available at our office.