Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Unauthorized Dwelling Unit Blues

Under current law, San Francisco homeowners whose property includes an Unauthorized Dwelling Unit, or UDU, have few good options. A UDU is defined in San Francisco Planning Code Section 317(b)(13) as one or more rooms within a building that have been… Read More
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Painted Ladies at Alamo Square in San Francisco California USA

Uncommon Bonds: Exploring the World of Tenancies in Common

A Tenancy in common (TIC) is a form of property ownership with a rich history in California, dating back to the early days of statehood. In a TIC two or more individuals or entities collectively hold an undivided interest in real property with a cont… Read More
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Suburban Houston Development

San Francisco’s Family Housing Opportunity Special Use District – Formulated for Failure?

A bill sponsored by Supervisors Myrna Melgar and Joel Engardio, creates a citywide “Family Housing Opportunity Special Use District” (SUD). The bill passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors on July 25, 2023 and is expected to be signed by M… Read More
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Eminent Domain: When Government Has the Right to Take Your Property

Eminent Domain concerns the right of the government or other authorized entity to force a sale of private property for “public use.” The law of eminent domain is grounded in both federal and state constitutions, and as long as certain statutorily… Read More
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Refusal to provide housing. Bank refuse to give a mortgage loan. Low credit score. Confiscation of pledged property. Building commissioning. Building codes. Cancellation of deal buying real estate

San Francisco Enacts Harsh New Penalties for Code Violators

San Francisco property owners should think twice before commencing construction projects without proper permits and approvals. On March 21, 2023, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed Ordinance No. 220878, which significantly increases fines… Read More
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Businessman using his laptop computer and smartphone to fill out online personal income tax return form for tax payment, personal income tax calculation.

San Francisco’s Commercial Vacancy Tax: Have You Reported?

The last day of February marks the end of the first reporting period for San Francisco’s new Commercial Vacancy Tax. The tax was approved in March of 2020 by more than 70% of San Francisco voters, and is codified in Article 29 of the San Francisco… Read More
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Worker using silicone for walls and door frame inside the house - renovation fixes.

The “Builder’s Remedy” May Bring Relief to Bay Area Housing Developers Starting February 1

The Housing Accountability Act (HAA) limits the ability of a local government to deny housing development projects so long as the project complies with all applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards. However, the HAA also contains a pote… Read More
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Eight row houses, newly constructed with fall colors

Should San Francisco Developers Ready Themselves for the Builder’s Remedy?

San Francisco is facing an upcoming deadline to submit its new Housing Element to the state by January 31, 2023. If it fails to meet this deadline, savvy developers may be at the ready to submit projects under the “builder’s remedy” on February… Read More
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Home agents are using a calculator to calculate the loan period each month for the customer.

San Francisco and Berkeley’s Proposed “Empty Homes Tax” on Vacant Residential Units

This November, San Francisco and Berkeley voters will see the “Empty Homes Tax” initiatives (EHTs) on the ballot for consideration. If passed, the EHTs would impose a substantial tax on each person who maintains a “vacant” “residential unit… Read More
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Property law concept. Key from real estate and gavel.

The Time to Permit Your “Intermediate Length Occupancy” Unit is Now

With relatively little fanfare, two years ago the Board of Supervisors adopted strict new rules to regulate ‘Intermediate Length Occupancy’ (ILO) units. An ILO unit is defined as a dwelling unit that is rented for more than 30 days but less than… Read More
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