Tuesday, January 31, 2017

UPDATE: San Francisco Legislation Requiring Choice in Internet/Communication Providers for Tenants of Commercial and Residential Properties

UPDATE - January 31, 2017

Supervisor Mark Farrell's legislation allowing tenants the choice of internet/communication providers was signed in late December 2016 by Mayor Ed Lee, and is now in effect as of January 22, 2017.

Please take a moment to review this legislation with your team to ensure that you are in compliance with the new law. This measure was the effort of many in the business community but major changes that were beneficial to the tenant and, more importantly, the BOMA building owner, were due to the efforts of our immediate-past chair of the BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Committee Chair, Manuel Fishman.

The law codifies a process that BOMA members have already been carrying out: allowing their small-business tenants to choose their internet provider that comply with physical constraints of the building and that tenant's lease. Thankfully, thanks to BOMA's efforts, that is still the case but your property management team may have to work closely with the tenant and communications provider to ensure that both the BOMA building owner and tenant's interests are respected.

Questions? Concerns? Please feel free to reach out to johnb@boma.com.

Original Post - December 1, 2016

You may have read about a proposal from Supervisor Mark Farrell that would allow internet access from any communications service provider for any tenant that asks for it – in both commercial and residential buildings. Thanks to the quick work and expertise of Manuel Fishman and Marty Smith, your Government Affairs Committee Chair and Vice Chair, the measure - while not addressing all of the industry's issues - is still workable for BOMA San Francisco members.

Your feedback is requested no later than December 5, 2016. 

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on the measure on December 6, 2016.

It has been moving quickly through the legislative process at San Francisco's City Hall and BOMA members thank our San Francisco business community partners for their input. We also thank Supervisor Farrell for allowing our members the opportunity to suggest practical changes to the legislation that allows the tenant to choose their internet/communications service provider AND protects the commercial property owners ability to feasibly accommodate the request.

In fact, our BOMA members already do this. The commercial real estate industry is a tenant driven business and the relationship between a building owner/manager and their tenants is paramount.

Commercial building owners understand that tenants should have the ability to ask for communications access and, like most agreements between a building owner and a tenant, they are considered unless the building owner’s property cannot safely and efficiently accommodate the request. In other words, one of the major considerations by the building owner is if the request is feasible based on the real-world constraints of the built environment.

Please send your comments to johnb@boma.com and kenc@boma.com.

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