The Office of the Assessor-Recorder's Real Estate Watchdog Program allows members of the public to participate in ensuring all real property is assessed when it undergoes a change in ownership. 

The California Constitution (Revenue and Taxation Code, Section 60) requires that real property be assessed at its full cash value when that property undergoes a change in ownership.  The San Francisco Administrative Code, Chapter 10, authroizes the Office of the Assessor-Recorder to recommend a reward to an informant who may be paid for information leading to the detection of an underpayment of property tax resulting from an unreported change in ownership. 

In order for a Watchdog to qualify for a reward, the following criteria must be met:  

  • Assessor-Recorder must certify that the unreported change of ownership will result in a re-assessment leading to the actual collection of tax revenue
  • Watchdog must not have participated in concealing the unreported transfer
  • Information furnished must be information unknown to the Assesesor-Recorder (e.g., NOT newspaper articles, online websits, etc.)

If you have identified a citizen that has failed to report property values and evade property taxes, or if you have specific knowledge or information that supports an unreported change in ownership, we would recommend contacting 3-1-1, San Francisco's customer service center, and filling out a Watchdog Complaint Form which can be accessed by clicking here.  If your complaint involves new construction, please register your 3-1-1 Service Request with the Assessor-Recorder -- Real Property Division. All complaints will be carefully evaluated to determine whether it warrants an investigation. An informant is not eligible for a reward unless the submission is complete.