Attention All Multifamily Property Owners: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently amended the San Francisco Health Code by adding Article 19M relating to multi-unit residential rental properties where less than one hundred percent (100%) of the units are designated as smoke free. The new ordinance requires that owners/building managers:
(1) Complete a process to designate each unit as either smoke-free or smoking optional, initially based on the current lease agreement, and include that designation in residential vacancy listings;
(2) Before offering a unit to a rental applicant, provide to that applicant a list designating units in the building that are smoking optional;
(3) Disclose in writing to any rental applicant whether the property owner has designated the rental unit as smoke free or smoking optional, prior to entering into a new lease or rental agreement.
Q: Which properties are affected?
A: All multi-unit residential rental properties where less than one hundred percent (100%) of the units are designated as smoke free.
Q: What is the designation process?
A: The steps of the designation process are the following:
- Provide written notice to each existing tenant clearly stating the proposed initial designation of their unit as smoke free or smoking optional.
- Provide each existing residential tenant with at least 30 days to review the proposed designation and make comments, before finalizing the initial designation.
- If the existing residential rental unit has a current lease designating the unit as smoke free, then the proposed designation shall be smoke free.
- If the existing residential rental unit does not have a current lease designating the unit as smoke free, then the proposed designation shall be smoking optional,
- Tenants in a unit with a proposed designation as smoking optional may request that the property owner designate the unit as smoke free.
Q: What’s the timeline to complete the designation process?
A: Property owners must complete the designation process by December 31, 2013 if you own 50 residential rental units or less and by December 31, 2014 if you own 51 residential rental units or more.
Q: Anything else I am required to do?
A: Yes! A few more simple steps…
- Develop and maintain a master list that identifies the location of smoking optional units and notify tenants that this list is available upon request in the leasing office or from building management.
- Include in residential vacancy listings the unit designation as smoke free or smoking optional.
- Provide a list to rental pplicants showing the designation of units in the building that are smoking optional, before offering a unit to that applicant;
- Disclose in writing to any ental applicant whether the property owner has designated the unit for rent as smoke free or smoking optional, prior to entering into a new lease or rental agreement.
Q: Can a property owner change an existing lease regarding smoking?
A: A property owner cannot change an existing lease unless the tenant requests a change during the designation process and only if the change is from smoking optional to smoke free. This ordinance does not change existing procedures for modifying leases once the unit is vacated. Please see link to SB 332 regarding changes to leases and SF’s Rent Control Ordinance.
Q: How can I enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Cole Hardware?
A: Owners who complete their forms before December 31, 2013 can click on and enter a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to Cole Hardware by visiting http://sanfranciscotobaccofreeproject.org/smokefreeSF/ .
For additional information or questions, please call (415)581-2448 or visit www.smokefree-SF.org.