Mosser Co. v. San Francisco Rent Stabilization & Arbitration Bd.Annotate this Case
Mosser’s nine-unit residential apartment building is subject to rent control under the San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance, which limits rent increases to tenants in occupancy. Under Civil Code section 1954.53, which provides that “an owner of residential real property may establish the initial rental rate for a dwelling or unit,” local jurisdictions are authorized to impose rent control limiting rate increases until “the original occupant or occupants who took possession of the dwelling or unit pursuant to the rental agreement with the owner no longer permanently reside there.” Brian, then age 13, moved into the apartment with his parents in 2003. When his parents and siblings left the apartment in 2013, Brian remained, with the landlord’s consent. The San Francisco Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board and the trial court concluded that Brian, although a minor when the rental agreement was entered and not a signatory to the rental agreement, was an “original occupant” entitled to the continued protection of the rent control provision. The court of appeal affirmed; the law, as written, does not permit vacancy decontrol until all lawful occupants vacate the premises.