In an effort to bring San Francisco’s residential “in-law” units out of the “shadow economy” and address the city’s dwindling affordable housing options, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu will introduce legislation today that would allow property owners to legalize one existing in-law unit per lot by submitting a formal application and paying a nominal fee.

Chiu said there are at least 30,000 of these secondary dwelling units in the city, which include converted attics, basements, garages and backyard structures, and property owners would need to obtain permits for any construction needed on the units to ensure their safety.

But many property owners and landlords are concerned about possibly being turned in for in-law units that are currently illegal, which would “lead to a loss in income or possible lawsuit,” while others fear higher taxes due to property tax reassessment and reportable rental income, overcrowding, insufficient street parking, and rent control protections that would make tenant evictions more difficult and more costly.










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