Tweak to apartment law could free up more housing in San Francisco 

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Corporations might no longer be able to use apartment units like they are hotel rooms.

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu introduced legislation Tuesday that would protect rental housing from short-term corporate uses, otherwise known as “hotelization.”

Chiu said the proposal closes a loophole in city law by prohibiting corporations from signing leases with property owners that are longer than 30 days, but then allowing out-of-town employees to stay short-term.

The legislation strengthens the 1981 Apartment Conversion Ordinance, which made it illegal for certain residential properties to be occupied on a lease of less than 30 days in a building of four or more units.

“Hotelization reduces the already-limited housing available to San Franciscans and creates quality-of-life issues for our residents,” Chiu said. “We have to do more to protect rental housing in San Francisco.”

Chiu said one example of the problem is that an estimated 46 of 341 units at a Golden Gateway complex are leased by corporate entities.

The legislation also empowers nonprofit groups to assist residents with enforcement.

The board must approve the legislation for it to become law.

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