Part of Rent Board

About us

Location and hours

The Rent Board is located at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 320, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Our office is open for drop-in services Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, not including legal holidays.

Phone counseling is available at 415-252-4600

  • Monday through Friday
  • 9 am to 12 pm and 1 to 4 pm

Our history

The San Francisco Rent Ordinance (SF Administrative Code, Chapter 37) was enacted on June 13, 1979 by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by the Mayor as emergency legislation to ease the city's housing crisis.

The law applies to about 250,000 rental units in San Francisco. Among other things, it limits the amount a landlord can raise a tenant's rent and the reasons a landlord may evict a tenant.

The Rent Board (Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board) was created as part of the law. We help tenants and landlords understand the law and resolve disputes.

We are a special fund department, completely funded through the collection of fees assessed on residential property. We have no general fund contributions in our budget.

Our services

We protect tenants from excessive rent increases and unjust evictions while assuring landlords fair and adequate rents.

Amongst other things, we can help by:

Self-service computer kiosks are also available in our office where you can access capital improvement tools, information about specific petitions and appeals, and view past decisions and buyout agreements

What we don't do

We cannot arbitrate matters that are not part of the Rent Ordinance, including:

  • Alleged breaches of a rental agreement (which must be decided in court)
  • Cases of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation (contact the San Francisco Human Rights Commission for these issues)

We cannot give legal advice. We will let you know when your question is one that should be answered by a lawyer.

Senior staff and important phone numbers

Senior Staff:

Executive Director: Christina Varner

Deputy Director: Barbara Texidor

Senior Administrative Law Judges: Connie Brandon and Joseph (Joey) Koomas

Rent Board Supervisor: Jennifer Rakowski

Chief Information Officer: Amir Omidvari 

Operations and Finance Manager: Catherine Xu


Counseling: Drop-in Hours

Phone Counseling: (415) 252-4600 (current phone counseling hours are described here)

Other Important Phone Numbers:

Rent Board Hearing Coordinator: 415-252-4629 

Rent Board Appeals Clerk: 415-252-4644

Tags: Topic 012