Earlier this month, legislation was introduced by San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member Mark Farrell that could significantly impact apartment firms. As introduced, the bill could prevent property owners from controlling access to their buildings by any city-authorized internet, cable or telecom provider (ISP) that has received a service request by an occupant of the building. The proposal covers both apartments and commercial office buildings. Under the legislation, a property owner would be entitled to “just and reasonable compensation” from a provider for its use of the owner’s property. The legislation would allow an owner to challenge the proposed compensation by a provider, and set “reasonable conditions” to access the building, but those parameters are unclear. The bill would impose a civil penalty of up to $500 per day against a property owner who does not allow access without cause.
The legislation has been referred to committee but action by the full Board is uncertain at this time. NMHC/NAA are monitoring this proposal as well as any legislative or regulatory developments that could impact a multifamily owner’s ability to control access to their properties by communications service providers.