Why ALL California Tenants Should Vote Yes on Prop 10

Fifteen cities across California have some form of rent control.  But in each of these cities, rent control is limited in scope. In Los Angeles, the program is confined to apartment buildings constructed prior to October 1978.  Similarly, rent control in San Francisco is limited to units in existence as of June 13, 1979--the date the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance (commonly known as the San Read More

Understanding Loss of Use (Rent Differential) Damages

In the landlord-tenant context, the term “loss of use” refers to one of the most important measures of money damages available to a tenant wrongfully evicted from a rental unit–particularly in a city with rent control (e.g., San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Mountain View, Richmond, East Palo Alto, Emeryville, and Hayward).  “Loss of use” generally refers to a renter’s inability to reside at a unit the Read More

Attention San Francisco Renters! What the Passing of Prop F Means for You

Although this comes as no surprise to most Bay Area residents, San Francisco is the most expensive city for new renters in the United States.1  The opportunity for profits has motivated unscrupulous landlords to engage in all types of nefarious behaviors to displace otherwise law-abiding tenants from coveted rent-controlled apartments.  These behaviors often culminate in the filing of unlawful detainer (eviction) Read More

Tenant Rights that Cannot Be Signed Away in a Lease

Unless you move straight from your parents’ home or college dorm room into a home you already own, odds are you’re probably going to be signing a lease for residential rental property at some point in your life.  These multipage documents can be so packed with legalese that tenants often just assume the best and sign. Not surprisingly, many Bay Area landlords present tenants with take-it-or-leave-it leases that Read More

Understanding the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

Under California law, every residential lease contains two implied promises (or “covenants”) that apply regardless of whether they explicitly appear in a rental agreement.  One is the warranty of habitability, which provides that rented properties must meet certain minimum standards of liveability, as set forth in California Civil Code section 1941.1 and California Health and Safety Code sections 17920.3 and Read More

Be a Wary Tenant: Four Signs of Housing Discrimination

It took awhile, but you finally found a clean and spacious one-bedroom apartment in the Mission that you can afford.  According to the property management’s website, the rental unit is available. However, when you call for a viewing, you get an odd response. The property manager seems friendly until you provide an ethnic surname.  The caller begins to hedge and suddenly claims the apartment is rented. One week Read More

The Bay Area is One of the Most Bed Bug-Infested Places in the United States: What to Do Next if You Have a Bed Bug Problem

Anyone who’s ever lived with bed bugs will likely tell you it was one of the worst experiences of his or her life. Bed bugs may not carry disease, but some people react to their bites by developing itchy red welts that resemble flea bites.   Infestations are notoriously difficult to treat.  If not detected early, bed bugs can take over entire buildings, moving easily from one unit to the next.  Unless all infested Read More

Five Tips for Tenants in Search of a Rental Unit After an Eviction

Getting evicted can be devastating, but it doesn’t mean you can never rent again. If your landlord is attempting to recover possession of your rental unit, you may be able to avoid the eviction process entirely if the landlord is engaging in illegal behavior. Contact us to go over your options. If, however, you’ve already been evicted—either formally through an unlawful detainer (eviction) lawsuit or informally Read More

What Are Buyouts?

As individuals continue to flock to the Bay Area, demand for rental housing exceeds supply, driving up rents. Many Bay Area renters live in cities with both rent control and eviction control. Rent control limits how much a landlord can increase rent each year. Eviction control prohibits landlords from evicting tenants except for certain specified reasons. Rent control and eviction control ensures long-term renters Read More

Gratitude

Originally Posted August 3, 2016 prior to our name change to Tenant Law Group, PC in 2018.    The other day, two former clients reminded me why I became a plaintiff’s attorney. I had first met the two, a married couple, nearly two years ago. They were tenants who had endured severe harassment at the hands of a former landlord. I filed suit on their behalf and pursued claims against the landlord. Over Read More