Filing a complaint

Is my neighbor's short-term rental operating legally?

Do they have a City-issued registration number?
A residential unit (home) may not actively host/advertise short-term rental guests (staying for less than 30 days) without a City-issued registration number (or with a complete application pending with the Office of Short-Term Rentals).

Please note that both a business tax certificate (from the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector) and a short-term rental registration number (from the Office of Short-Term Rentals) are required.

Do they live in the unit?
Even if a unit has a City-issued registration number, the permanent resident must continue to reside in the specific dwelling unit for at least 275 nights a year.

Are they renting too many "unhosted" nights when they aren't there?
Even if a unit has a City-issued registration number, they may not conduct unhosted rentals (where the resident is not present overnight during the guest's stay) for more than 90 nights per year.

You may wish to contact other City departments for some common complaints associated with short-term rental activity.

If it appears the issues noted below are also related to short-term rentals (rentals of less than 30 days), at a specific dwelling; and/or the short-term rental activity does not seem consistent with neighborhood character (e.g. more than five sets of distinct tourists staying at the same time), then please contact our Office as well (see "Filing a complaint" below).

For excessive noise or parties, call the San Francisco Police Department non-emergency line at (415) 553-0123.

For illegal construction or a possible un-permitted dwelling unit, contact the Department of Building Inspection online or call (415) 558-6088.

For improper trash disposal or overflowing sewage, dial 311 or visit sf311.org.

How do I find out if a property has a City-issued registration number?

Visit the City's Property Information Map, search for the address of the property, and click on the 'Planning Apps' tab. A Short-Term Rental Certificate will be listed (at the bottom of the Planning Apps screen) if one is currently active on the property.

Please note that pending applications for a Certificate are not displayed on the Property Information Map.

Filing a complaint

If you believe a property is operating illegally, you may file a complaint by sending an email to
shorttermrentals@sfgov.org or by calling (415) 575-9179. You may also download a complaint form and send it to us via email or USPS.

After we receive your complaint we will investigate, which may take several weeks.

When filing the complaint, please provide the following information:

  • Address of possible violation, including unit number (if known) or floor number
  • Dates and descriptions of activity observed
  • Any other relevant details that may be available, like the name of the possible host, or links to possible online listings, etc.

You may file this complaint anonymously if you wish, although it is helpful for our staff to have your contact information available so that we can follow up with you if needed. If you request to file your complaint anonymously, your contact information will be kept in a separate confidential file (please note that complaint information may still be subject to subpoena by a court). You may also leave a complaint by voicemail at (415) 575-9179.

Please note that monthly rentals (rentals and stays of at least 30 days or more, per guest/reservation), are not considered short-term rentals, and are not subject to review by the Office of Short-Term Rentals. So, if for example a property is being advertised on a hosting platform (website), but all rentals require a 30-day minimum stay, that would not be a short-term rental issue.

However, if there is an overcrowding issue (e.g. six or more separate renters at the same time in a given home), in both short-term (or longer rentals) that issue may still be subject to separate Planning Department Code Enforcement, as a Group Housing issue.

Lastly, if short-term or monthly (for example) rentals are occurring at a deed-restricted affordable housing property, or at a below-market-rate (BMR) unit, that may be subject to separate review by Planning Department Code Enforcement and the Mayor's Office of Housing.

Spanish Translation:Si tiene alguna inquietud sobre un alquiler ilegal a corto plazo y desea presentar una queja de forma anónima, puede dejar un mensaje de voz al (415) 575-9179.
Tenga en cuenta que los alquileres a corto plazo se definen como alquileres pagados para estancias de huéspedes de menos de 30 días por visita.
Asegúrese de indicar la dirección del hogar y el tipo de actividad que usted o sus vecinos han notado.

Chinese Translation: 如果您擔心非法短期租賃,並且您希望匿名提交投訴,您可以致電(415)575-9179 發送語音郵件。
請注意,短期租賃定義為每次訪問少於30天的客人入住的有償租賃。
請務必註明家庭住址以及您或您的鄰居注意到的活動類型。

Tagalog Translation: Kung may inaalala kayo tungkol sa hindi legal na paupahang short-term o pangmaiksing panahon at gusto ninyong mag-file ng reklamo nang hindi nagbibigay ng pangalan, puwede kayong mag-iwan ng voicemail sa (415) 575-9179.
Pakitandaan na binibigyang depinisyon ang paupahang short-term bilang may bayad na paupahan para sa pagtigil ng mga bisita, kung saan hindi lalampas nang 30 araw kada pagbisita.
Pakitiyak na mailagay ang address ng bahay, at ang uri ng gawain na napansin ninyo ng inyong mga kapitbahay.
Kung puwede, pakisabi sa amin kung kailan ninyo pinaniniwalaan na unang nagsimula ang gawain ng pagpapaupa, kung sino ang nagpapatakbo ng paupahan, kung aling bahagi ng ari-arian ang ginagamit, at kung ilang umuupa ang tumitigil sa ari-arian kada takdang panahon ng pagpapaupa.

Download Complaint Form

Fines and penalties for illegal short-term rental hosting

Violations of the City’s short-term rental laws are subject to penalties of at least $484 per day for each dwelling unit in violation. These daily penalties begin on the day that a Notice of Violation is issued by the Office of Short-Term Rentals, and continue to accrue until the violation is fully abated (the short-term rental activity ceases). Repeat violations may be subject to escalated penalties ($968, per day, per dwelling unit, for a 2nd violation) and referral to the City’s Attorney’s Office for additional civil and/or criminal penalties.

San Francisco City Attorney's Office pursues $5.5 million penalty from scofflaw owners over illegal Airbnb rentals: https://www.sfcityattorney.org/2018/05/01/herrera-pursues-5-5-million-pe...