rent-neg_lede.jpgIt’s time, local real estate blogger Luba Muzichenko reminds us, for San Francisco’s annual rent increase. So what’s the damage this year, and is it reasonable for landlords to expect it from tenants?

Beginning March 1, 2011, the Rent Board tells us, landlords can increase the rent on most rent controlled properties (that is, most apartments in buildings that were constructed before June 13, 1979) by 0.5%.

“In accordance with Rules and Regulations Section 1.12,” they say “this amount is based on 60% of the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose region for the 12-month period ending October 31, which was 0.9% as posted in November 2010 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Hmm, last thing I expected was to be nostalgic for last year, when the increase was only 0.1%

For a bit of perspective, I turned to real estate expert Philip Ferrato, Contributing Editor for Curbed SF. Do the poorer among us, I asked him, need to stress about this year’s increase breaking the bank?

“This year’s rent increase is .05%, or $5.00 a month per $1000.00, or $60.00. If you feel the need to negotiate that, you need to get out more often, especially since it’s only .01% next year. Or find a cheaper apartment,” Ferrato said.

He hastens to add that “like anything else to do with real estate in San Francisco, it’s complicated. You may be entitled to an exemption from the increase but don’t know it- in which case it’s worth researching. Here’s a good place to start.”

So, wait, I have no chance of convincing my landlord that my rent should go down, not up?

Apparently, I’m out of luck, as Ferrato says that, in his estimation, “re-negotiating your lease is so 2009. Occupancy rates are up, landlords are under less pressure, and tech companies are hiring. That ship has sailed.”

All that said, if you do think your landlord’s trying to pull a fast one on you, we have a tenants rights columnist right here at the Appeal, you can reach him at tenant@sfappeal.com

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • robotsongs

    What?! My rent’s going up a whole SIX DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS?!?!?!?

    GOSH DARNIT!

    When’s The Man gonna stop screwing us little people, MMMMAAAAAAANNNNNN!

  • robotsongs

    What?! My rent’s going up a whole SIX DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS?!?!?!?

    GOSH DARNIT!

    When’s The Man gonna stop screwing us little people, MMMMAAAAAAANNNNNN!

  • shinzon

    Ferrato sounds like a douche.

    Also, my landlord is still charging new tenants $200 less than two years ago, so the market isn’t as hot as Ferrato thinks.

  • shinzon

    Ferrato sounds like a douche.

    Also, my landlord is still charging new tenants $200 less than two years ago, so the market isn’t as hot as Ferrato thinks.

  • shinzon

    Ferrato sounds like a douche.

    Also, my landlord is still charging new tenants %13.4 less than two years ago, so maybe the market isn’t as hot as Ferrato thinks.

  • shinzon

    Ferrato sounds like a douche.

    Also, my landlord is still charging new tenants %13.4 less than two years ago, so maybe the market isn’t as hot as Ferrato thinks.

  • Eve Batey

    Aw, man! I think we can disagree with a person without calling them names! But, not that it matters, Philip is not a douche, and I certainly appreciate his insights, he follows the market more closely than the rest of us have time or interest to.

    For my anecdotal part, I live in the far Outer Sunset, hardly (NYT withstanding) the most desirable location in the city. When the apartment above me opened up, my LL raised the rent very significantly and, I thought (mainly from skimming craigslist) far above market rate in this area. I, myself, thought “the market is not as hot as my landlord thinks.”

    The place was rented out on the first day on the market, to a nice, upwardly mobile couple who would not look out of place in Noe Valley.

    Granted, this is one incident (see, this is why I asked Philip for his insights, that’s all I got), and maybe the OS is hotter than the overall market. I am sure there are other LLs like yours, shinzon, and I am sure there are others like mine. My suspicion is that the two balance one another out, leading Philip to make the assessment that he did.

  • Eve Batey

    Aw, man! I think we can disagree with a person without calling them names! But, not that it matters, Philip is not a douche, and I certainly appreciate his insights, he follows the market more closely than the rest of us have time or interest to.

    For my anecdotal part, I live in the far Outer Sunset, hardly (NYT withstanding) the most desirable location in the city. When the apartment above me opened up, my LL raised the rent very significantly and, I thought (mainly from skimming craigslist) far above market rate in this area. I, myself, thought “the market is not as hot as my landlord thinks.”

    The place was rented out on the first day on the market, to a nice, upwardly mobile couple who would not look out of place in Noe Valley.

    Granted, this is one incident (see, this is why I asked Philip for his insights, that’s all I got), and maybe the OS is hotter than the overall market. I am sure there are other LLs like yours, shinzon, and I am sure there are others like mine. My suspicion is that the two balance one another out, leading Philip to make the assessment that he did.

  • Josh

    Landlords who informed their tenants in January, can submit for a rental increase as of March.

    Landlords have to give 60 days notice.

  • Josh

    Landlords who informed their tenants in January, can submit for a rental increase as of March.

    Landlords have to give 60 days notice.