Archive for the ‘housing’ Category

That’s It, the Golden Age of Airbnb in San Francisco is Over: City Starts Accepting Short Term Rental Applications Feb 2nd

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The always-reliable Socketsite has the bad news.

Here it is, just posted by the Planning Department.

Oh, be sure to show them your half-million dollar liability insurance policy that I’m sure you already have (haha!).

If Airbnb is your bidness, you might even welcome these new regs. But if you are the more casual renter-outer, well, brace yourself for dealing with SFGov.

And here’s the kicker:

“You may not rent your unit (in all or a portion) as a short-term residential rental until you have received a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration number from the Planning Department.”

Choose wisely, Airbnbers…

“Short-Term Residential Rental Registry

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications Accepted Beginning February 2nd, 2015.

What is the SF Short-Term Residential Rental Ordinance?
On October 27th, 2014 Mayor Lee signed San Francisco Ordinance No. 218-14, amending the Administrative and Planning Codes to allow some residential properties to conduct short-term residential rentals without violating the requirements of the City’s Residential Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 41A) or the Planning Code. A short-term residential rental is a rental of all or a portion of your residential unit for periods of less than 30 nights. This law will become effective on February 1st, 2015. At that time, eligible Permanent Residents (owners and tenants) will be able to apply to place their residential unit on the Planning Department’s Short-Term Residential Rental Registry.

What can I do with a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration?
With a valid Short-Term Residential Rental Registration you may rent your primary residential unit for periods of less than 30 nights without violating the requirements of the City’s Residential Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 41A) or the Planning Code. This includes renting a portion or your entire unit while you are also present for an unlimited number of nights per year and renting a portion or your entire unit while you are not present for a maximum of 90 nights per year.

How can I apply to be on the Registry?
Short-Term Residential Rental Applications will be made available online and at the Planning Information Center (PIC) located at the ground floor of 1660 Mission Street. To register your unit, you will need to make an appointment with the San Francisco Planning Department to meet with staff and submit your application.Applications must be filed in person by the permanent resident whose name will appear on the registry. Applications may not be filed by representatives or agents. Drop-ins or dropped off applications will not be accepted. The Planning Department will begin conducting intake appointments on Monday, February 2nd. To schedule an intake appointment, please call 415-575-9179 after Monday, January 26th.

You may not rent your unit (in all or a portion) as a short-term residential rental until you have received a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration number from the Planning Department.

Who is eligible to register?
In order to conduct a short-term residential rental you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You must be the Permanent Resident (owner or tenant) of the residential unit that you wish to rent short-term. This means you must live in that specific residential unit for at least 275 nights of any given calendar year. If you are a new resident you must have occupied this specific unit for at least 60 consecutive days prior to your application. If you own a multi-unit building, you may only register the specific residential unit in which you reside.
  • You must obtain liability insurance in the amount of no less than $500,000 or provide proof that liability coverage in an equal or higher amount is being provided by any and all hosting platforms through which you will rent your unit.
  • Your residential unit must not have any outstanding Planning, Building, Housing, Fire, Health, Police, or other applicable City code violations.
  • You may only register one residential unit.
  • Please note that residential units that are subject to the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program and residential units designated as below market rate (BMR) or income-restricted under City, state, or federal law are not eligible to register.
  • Important note for tenants:  The Planning Department strongly recommends that you review your lease before submitting an application. The registration of your residential  unit on the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry does not override any lease agreements, homeowner’s association bylaws, Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), or any other agreement, law, or regulations that prohibit subletting or use of your unit as a short-term residential rental.

Is there an application fee?
Yes. The fee for the initial application is $50.00. Your registration will remain valid for two years (pending the registered unit remains in good standing)

At your appointment you will need to provide all of the following items:

  • A completed Short-Term Residential Rental Application (download application packet here)
  • A Business Registration Certificate issued by the San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office
  • Driver’s License or State Issued ID Card issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date and valid for at least the next 6 months
  • Proof of  liability insurance in the amount of no less than $500,000
  • A signed affidavit agreeing to abide by all conditions of the short-term residential rental ordinance included within the application (download application packet here).
  • A check made out to the San Francisco Planning Department for $50.00
  • At least two of the following listed documents to confirm your primary residency at your residential unit:
  • Proof of a Homeowner’s Tax Exemption. Accepted as a form of residency confirmation only if the proof of a Homeowner’s Tax Exemption is for a property that is either a single-family dwelling or condominium; 
  • Voter Registration Card or Certificate with the address on the application, issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date. You may obtain a copy through the San FranciscoDepartment of Elections;
  • Proof of Vehicle Registration with the address on the application, issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date;
  • Proof of car insurance, showing address of registration, issued at least 60 days prior;
  • Original utility bill, issued by a public utility or PG&E, at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential application date. Copies and printouts will not be accepted. You may only use utility bills as one form of residency confirmation. Cable, cell phone, and internet bills do not qualify.

If you are a tenant of your residential unit you will also need to provide a copy of your lease or rental agreement. Please note that upon receipt of your completed application, the Planning Department will send a notice to the owner(s) of your unit, informing the owner(s) that your application has been received.

What will happen at my intake appointment?
Staff will review your application and related materials for completeness and intake. Only applications deemed complete at the time of submittal will be accepted for intake and further review. Additionally, staff will go over conditions and limitations of renting your unit as a short-term rental.

What happens after I’ve submitted my application?
It is expected that the Planning Department will review a completed application within fifteen (15) business days. If the Planning Department determines that your application meets the criteria then your unit will be added to the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry. You will you receive a “Short-Term Residential Rental” certificate by mail, which contains your assigned Registration Number. This registration number must be included at the top of all short-term rental listings’ descriptions (online or otherwise). We recommend that you place this certificate in plain view within your unit.

What can I do and not do once I have obtained a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Number?
Once you have obtained a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Number, you may use your residential unit as a short-term residential rental without violating Administrative Code Chapter 41A or the Planning Code  under the following conditions:

  • You may rent the residential unit (in all or a portion) while you are not present for a maximum of 90 nights per calendar year.
  • You may rent a portion of the residential unit while you are present for an unlimited number of nights per year.
  • You may advertise your residential unit on any and all hosting platforms under the condition that you list your registration number at the top of all listings’ descriptions.

What you may not do with your Primary Residence registered as a Short-Term Residential Rental:

  • You may not rent your residential unit or a portion thereof for more than 90 nights per calendar year while you are not also present during the time of the guests’ stay.
  • You may not rent illegal residential units or unpermitted spaces associated with your property.
  • If you are a tenant, you may not make more than your monthly rent from your short-term rental fees charged to guests.

Due to the expected volume of requests and inquiries related to this matter, please continue to check back on our website for the latest news and updates pertaining to the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry.

From This Angle, the Church Street Safeway Looks Kind of Stubby – Why Don’t They Build a Massive Apartment Building Above It?

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Just asking.

Of course, the whole place would be a tear-down. Then you rebuild with a brand-new Safeway gro sto below and then a bunch of housing units above. It’d be like a Hayward-style transit village. See?

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Just asking.

With Love from Japan: Earthquake-Proof and Tsunami-Proof Soccer Ball Houses – As Seen at the Randall Museum

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Oh c’mon!

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Head on up to our Randall Museum to see other outside of the box / 20-sided truncated icosahedron ideas on earthquake safety.

From the source, the “Barier” people:

“Is your present house OK? Is it strong enough to endure a great earthquake or flood to be caused by global warming? Barier offers a safe, living space, a multi-functional, elegant and playful space, emphasizing each individual personality.

Barier is a soccer ball-shaped house developed by us (international patent pending). A soccer ball with which you played in your childhood gets bigger like a dream ball and appears as a place to live in. It floats on the sea and can be a rescue ship. We believe it will be a gift to those who never give up a dream.”

1906 Earthquake Shack: Reclaimed Wood From Before It Was Reclaimed

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

This is what they looked like back in the day, before getting gussied up:

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Click to expand

The Next Big One, she is coming. Sooner or later. In the meantime, be sure to check out Earthquake: Life on a Dynamic Planet, a major exhibit at our California Academy of Sciences

Argenta Inquest: How Can a One-Bedroom Apartment in the Twitterloin Qualify as a “Luxury Home”

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

That’s the Question of the Day.

Here it is, the Argenta, at 10th and Market on 1 Polk Street:

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$107K* per year(!) for a one-bedroom – am I reading that right?

I mean, wouldn’t have a second bedroom be a kind of luxury in itself?

*”From $8920” a month times 12 months in a year…

Is It Really a “Stereotype” That Homeless People in San Francisco “Come Here From Somewhere Else?”

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Here you go:

Ad blitz in transit hubs designed to break homeless stereotypes by Heather Knight

Starting Monday, there will be even more. A new ad campaign produced by the Coalition on Homelessness will go up in public transportation hubs and on Muni buses with the intention of breaking stereotypes about homeless people. You know, that they’re freeloaders who come here from somewhere else…

So, aren’t most homeless people in San Francisco (and, of course, most non-homeless people as well) “from somewhere else?”

The answer to that question is yes, yes they are.

So, does lying about facts help to “break” “stereotypes,” Coalition on Homelessness?

I think not.

And that means that asking convoluted poll questions designed to get a desired  answer, well I don’t see how that helps.

Sorry.

But what this kind of thing does do is reinforce stereotypes about certain non-profits in San Francisco…

What It’s Like to Stay at a Mid-Market Hotel for $60-Something per Night: “Budget Inn,” 1139 Market Street

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Well, here’s an upbeat take:

Hotel Tour : Budget Inn San Francisco CA by DieselDucy:

Compare that with Yelp – a very low one-star rating:

“I want to leave, but it’s already 1am and we are both too afraid to leave our locked room. We get 4 hrs or interrupted sleep (the walls are paper thin and the doors have cracks in them), pray that we didn’t get exposed to tuberculosis, hepatitis and/or herpes and book it out of there. Trust me folks, this place isn’t worth the $60. I’ve stayed in $15 hostels while traveling though Europe that were both cleaner and safer than this place.”

And there’s this:

” If you have less than $150 night for a decent place to stay, youre actually safer just camping at golden gate park than any of these SROs…”

And there’s the bedbug allegations, natch.

Choose wisely…

Marin County Housing Projects: Fireplace or Giant Bar-B-Que? You Make The Call

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

I could go either way.

Boy, that’s a lot of smoke.

Burning trees amongst the trees:

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Back in the day, people living in Marin City would tell me that they lived in:

1. Marin County; or

2. Sausalito

T’was ever thus.

The Shame and Embarrassment of Your Building Having a “Soft Story” – This is What It Looks Like

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

If you’d look inside of this crib in the Marina Landfill, you’d see a whole lot of nothing, just parking space for cars mostly.

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Prolly wasn’t a good idea to put up these kinds of buildings in the Marina, but oh well…

ATTENTION RESIDENTS OF THE NEW “NEMA” BUILDING: A Massive Rent Increase is Coming Your Way – ‘Cause No Rent Control

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

But don’t take my word for it, listen to one of your neighbors at 8 Tenth Street, 94103, via the Yelp:

“Please read this if you are considering any non-rent control building in San Francisco. I wish someone had told me this when I moved to the city and chose Nema. Please consider this advice.

If you have visited Nema, you probably can tell that the management, amenities and staff are outstanding. You may also notice that everyone living in the building has just moved from another city or state. Here’s why:

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you rent in a non-rent control building, unless you can sign a multi-year lease. Could you afford a double digit rent increase? 50% rent increase? Is your income doubling next year? It seems far away now, but you will probably want to renew your lease. Now is the time to make a good decision about housing, not next year because you will be paying much more then.”

So basically, buildings built AFTER rent control came to San Francisco in 1979 don’t have no rent control. (The relevant date is printed on your landlord’s Occupancy Permit, but if your crib went up in 1980 or later, don’t even bother checking.)

That means that your friends renting units in older buildings will face a maximum annual rent increase limited to 60% of a certain Cost of Living Index dealing with the Bay Area. That means one-something percent per year.

OTOH, if you moved into the NeMA at $1950 per month last year (as some did, 2nd or 3rd floor, lousy view* – Unit 324, for example**) and your lease is coming up, consider that there are no units available now for less than $2800 (I’m srsly – some studios go for $4000+)

Are you, the NeMA renter, looking at a 40% rent increase soon? 

If not this year, what about the next year too? How long will it take to have a 40% increase for your unit, you know, cumulatively?

Sooner than you think Auslander.

Sooner than you think, Outlander.

Why don’t websites aimed at tourists and newcomers tell you this? Well, because they’re on the take from … The NEMA!

I assign this story to the San Francisco Chronicle – this one writes itself. (This would be a good CW Nevius, I’m seriously.)

*Compared with the rest of the units in the Nema.

**This was not a BMR (Below Market Rate) unit reserved for those people making less than $38,000 per year, no no. Those places went for around $950 per month. I’m talking about market rate units back when market rate was $1950 per month for the least desirable apartments at NeMA – that was all the way back in 2013.