The New Vacant Homes Tax

January 12, 2023

The New Vacant Homes Tax

Proposition M Explained. 

If you own a vacant residential unit in San Francisco you may be subject to a new tax initiative starting January 2024. The measure is an effort to put empty units back onto the market and provide more housing. Details are below.

Whether you are wondering if you should rent a unit, sell it, or you’re considering an investment property, we are here to help! Give us a call.

Who is affected?

Property owners of condos, lofts, TICs, or Co-Ops in a 3-unit building or larger. San Francisco’s Empty Homes tax will tax owners who leave their units vacant for 182 days (6 months) or longer, whether consecutive or non-consecutive.

Who is exempt?

Single-family homes and duplexes are exempt. Units “occupied or intended for occupancy primarily by travelers, vacationers, or other transient occupants” are not subject to the tax. This excludes hotel rooms from the tax. Nursing homes and residential care facilities are also exempt.

Are there any limits to the 182 day Empty Home Tax clause?


  • Any period during which the owner uses the unit as a principal residence and has claimed the Homeowner’s Exemption for property tax.  
  • Any period that the owner has leased the unit to unrelated, permanent tenants.  A one-year period following the completion of construction of the unit.  
  • A period, up to one year, between an application for a building permit, and the issuance or denial of the application.  
  • A one-year period after the issuance of a building permit.  
  • A two-year period following any disaster which has made the unit uninhabitable.  
  • Any period in which the owner(s) is in long-term care, or a period after the death of a previous owner who was the unit’s sole occupant.

How Prop M Works?

The vacancy tax is based on the square footage of a unit plus how many years it has been left vacant. It is designed to address the 75.9% of property vacancies.


Revenue from this tax will go towards subsidies for seniors and low-income households, and pay for more affordable housing.



ARTICLE 29A Empty Homes Tax (Feb 7. 2022)

Economic Impact Report - City & County of San Francisco


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