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The rules and regulations governing condo conversions are complicated and vary widely depending on the city, county, and state in which the property is located. Even different neighborhoods within the same community may have different rules related to condo conversions. And many of these regulations are subject to change at any time.

Local regulations may vary in terms of the type of protections offered to renters, the number of units that can be converted each year, and the approval process itself. There are inspections to contend with, timelines to comply with, and eligibility requirements related to eviction history, tenant rights, and rent control to consider. And, of course, market conditions vary widely from one city to the next, and one neighborhood to the next.

The bottom line is EVERY property is unique and no two projects have the exact same requirements. Each project must be evaluated individually in light of current local, county, and state regulations.

Even savvy real estate developers and investors find condo conversion a daunting process without an expert familiar with the farrago of regulations to guide them.

Here is a brief overview of the different condo conversion rules in San Francisco and Oakland: 



Until recently, San Francisco property owners who wanted to convert their building to condo homes had to enter an annual city-run lottery. Only 200 units were selected each year; everyone else had to wait until the next year to test their luck. As a result, some applicants had to wait 10 or even 20 years to convert — and some were never selected. 

In 2015, San Francisco suspended the traditional condo conversion lottery and, in its place, implemented an “Expedited Conversion Program (ECP)” to help address the backlog of TICs waiting to be converted to condos. However, buildings with non-owning tenants are excluded from the ECP program.



All buildings in Oakland can be converted to condominiums, but the regulations vary depending on the number of units and whether or not the building is located in an “impact area.”


Disclaimer:  The rules and regulations governing condo conversions are subject to change at any time at the discretion of city, county, and state officials.


WHITE TIGER teams with leading legal experts experienced in the condo conversion process to guide you through the tangle of laws and regulations