Topic No. 256: Parking and Storage Spaces as Housing Services
Landlords are required to have a "just cause" reason to remove or sever specified housing services from a tenancy, including parking and storage. Once parking or storage is taken away by the landlord, the tenant is entitled to a corresponding rent reduction. The tenant or landlord may file a petition with the Rent Board to determine the amount of the rent reduction.
If the parking or storage space is taken away and the parties had previously agreed to an amount for the service, the tenant would generally be entitled to the agreed-upon amount plus allowable annual increases since the amount was set. If there was no agreed-upon amount for the service, the amount of the rent reduction will depend on the facts of each case. The parties may present evidence of parking or storage rates in the same neighborhood at the time the tenant first rented the parking or storage space, the replacement value of the parking or storage space, and what the landlord charges other tenants for the same service.
If the parking or storage space is provided to the tenant after the inception of the tenancy and the tenant does not pay any additional rent for the service, no rent reduction will be granted upon removal of the service. Also, if the tenant rents a parking or storage space in a building but does not live there, and the parking or storage space is not rented in connection with the use or occupancy of the tenant's rental unit, such a rental is a commercial transaction that is not covered by the Rent Ordinance.
The additional amount paid for the parking or storage space is considered part of the tenant's base rent. This is true whether or not the rent for the parking or storage space is paid separately from the rent for the unit. Even when the parking or storage space is rented after the inception of the tenancy, the additional amount paid for the service shall be added to the tenant's base rent. The anniversary date for the annual rent increase also stays the same, even if the tenant has not had the additional service for an entire year.
To receive a copy of the Tenant or Landlord Petition form, you can fax it 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.