Apply to raise rents for capital improvement costs

If you've made capital improvements to a property within the last five years, you can apply to pass through some of the cost to the tenants.

What to do

1. Learn about Capital Improvement Petitions

Find more information about specific rules and requirements for Capital Improvement Petitions here

2. Fill out the correct Capital Improvement Petition form

There are different forms and requirements for properties with 1-5 residential units and for properties with 6 or more residential units. To determine the number of units, all residential units on the same property must be counted, even if they are in different buildings. Commercial units do not count for purposes of this rule, although a portion of the cost must be allocated to commercial units that benefit from the capital improvement work.

There is also a special capital improvement petition form for seismic work required by law.

Each form includes specific instructions for filing a Capital Improvement Petition.

3. Submit your form by email, mail, or in-person

Rent Board

25 Van Ness Avenue
Suite #320
San Francisco, CA 94102

4. What happens next

  • Once a petition is determined to be complete, the Rent Board sends a copy of the petition to the tenants and any other parties named in the petition.

  • Usually within a few months after the petition is filed, it will be scheduled for a hearing before a Rent Board Administrative Law Judge. The Rent Board sends a Notice of Hearing to all parties and representatives at least 10 days before the hearing date.

  • Requests for postponements must be submitted in writing and will be granted only when there is good cause, such as travel plans made prior to receipt of the Notice of Hearing. Evidence of conflicting plans must be submitted with the request for postponement.

  • After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will issue a written decision that will be mailed to all the parties and their representatives. If no appeal is filed, the decision becomes final. If an appeal is filed, portions of the decision may be stayed until the Rent Board Commission acts on the appeal.

  • If payment of a capital improvement passthrough would present a financial hardship for a tenant, he or she may seek relief from payment of the increase by filing a Tenant Financial Hardship Application with the Rent Board. A tenant must wait to file the Hardship Application until the tenant has received either a rent increase notice from the landlord or written decision from the Rent Board. Once the tenant has filed the Hardship Application, the tenant does not have to pay the capital improvement passthrough unless the Rent Board issues a final decision denying the Hardship Application. If the Hardship Application is denied, the tenant will have to pay the capital improvement passthrough retroactive to the effective date on the rent increase notice. If the Hardship Application is granted, relief from payment of the capital improvement passthrough may be for an indefinite period or a limited period of time, depending on the nature of the tenant’s financial hardship.

Get help

Rent Board

25 Van Ness Avenue
Suite #320
San Francisco, CA 94102

Mon to Fri, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (closed holidays)

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Last updated March 1, 2024