Do I Have a Case?
Call Tenant Law Group at
(415) 801-8878 or Click
Here for a Free Case Evaluation
Our office handles a variety of landlord-tenant matters. While landlord-tenant
disputes often arise, not all bad landlord behavior gives rise to legal
Broadly speaking, the types of cases below are among those in which we
most often represent clients:
- In a rent-controlled and just cause for eviction city (e.g., San Francisco,
Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Mountain View, Richmond, East Palo Alto,
Emeryville, and Hayward), a landlord forced the tenants to leave a rent-controlled
apartment without just cause (e.g., due to severe, unabated habitability
issues) and/or with purported just cause but with fraudulent intent (e.g.,
fraudulent owner-move-in eviction).
- In any city, after multiple written notifications by the tenant of multiple,
severe habitability issues, the landlord failed to make needed
repairs, forcing the tenant to leave and find a new home, causing the tenants
to incur financial loss.
- In any city, the landlord continued to collect rent, demand rent, issue
a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit, or raise rent more than 35 days after
a public official (e.g., in San Francisco, the Department of Building
Inspection) notified the landlord in writing of the need to make certain
repairs to the rental unit.
- In any city, the landlord threatened the tenants with physical violence
and/or harmful action (e.g., reporting immigrant tenants to Immigrations
and Customs Enforcement).
- The landlord engaged in harassing or otherwise illegal behavior, forcing a tenant over age 65 and/or with
a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more
major life activities to lose their primary residence.
- The landlord harassed and/or discriminated against the tenant on the basis
of the tenant’s race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity,
gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin,
ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, genetic information,
medical condition, citizenship, primary language, and/or immigration status.
This list is representative, but not exhaustive. Even if you are not sure whether your case merits legal representation, we encourage you to call us at (415) 801 8878 or click here for a complimentary case evaluation.
The Consultations We Offer
Tenant Law Group offers three types of attorney consultations:
Silver Attorney Consultation (30 Minutes + Video Conference + Tenant Rights
- A 30-minute consultation via Zoom or by phone with a tenant rights attorney,
- A review of any documents you provide prior to your consultation,
- A meticulous and detailed legal analysis of your matter,
- A verbal summary of your rights with regard to your specific circumstances,
- A verbal recommended action plan, and
- A $25.00 rebate for Clients who provide written feedback after their consultation.
Gold Attorney Consultation (60 Minutes + Video Conference + Tenant Rights
- Everything included in a Silver Consultation (including the $25.00 rebate
for Clients who provide written feedback after their consultation), PLUS
- 30 additional minutes (60 total) with a tenant rights attorney via Zoom
or by phone.
Platinum Attorney Consultation (60 Minutes + Video Conference + Tenant
Rights Attorney): $249.00
- Everything included in a Gold Consultation (including the $25.00 rebate
for Clients who provide written feedback after their consultation), PLUS
- 30 additional minutes (90 total) with a tenant rights attorney via Zoom
or by phone.
For more information, please visit the
Get Help Now page.
Do I Have a Contingency Case?
One of the most common questions potential clients ask is whether they
have a strong tenant law contingency case. In contingency cases, the client
does not pay the attorney an hourly fee; instead, the attorney’s
fee is a percentage of the settlement or judgment.
Here are some factors we consider when evaluating tenant law cases for
- Value of loss of use or rent differential damages. Victims of illegal evictions from a rent- and eviction-controlled unit
can recover “loss of use” or “rent differential”
damages. These damages are the value of the difference between the monthly
market value rent and the actual monthly rent paid at the time of the
illegal eviction multiplied by the number of months the tenants intended
to remain at the rent-controlled unit. For example, assuming (a) a rent
of $2,000.00 per month at the time of the illegal eviction, (b) a fair
market monthly rent of $4,000.00 per month at the time of the illegal
eviction, and (c) an anticipated term of 8 more years; loss of use damages
would amount to $192,000.00 [($4,000.00 – $2,000.00) rent differential/month
× 12 months/year × 8 years). As noted above, the rent ordinances
of the following Bay Area cities include both rent control and just cause
for eviction: San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Mountain View,
Richmond, East Palo Alto, Emeryville, and Hayward.
- Severity of habitability issues and/or interferences with quiet enjoyment
during tenancy. All California tenants, regardless of the amount of monthly rent, are
entitled to minimum living standards and quiet enjoyment of their rental
unit. Where landlords knowingly fail to provide minimum living standards
or quiet enjoyment, tenants can recover up to the full amount of rent
paid starting from the time the tenants first notified the landlords of
- Egregiousness of landlord conduct. Generally, the more egregious the landlords’ actions or failures
to act and the more sympathetic the tenants, the stronger the case. Egregious
landlord conduct includes discrimination against tenants on the basis
of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression,
sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial
status, source of income, disability, or genetic information; entry into
rental units without notice; and physical threats.
- Failure to make repairs within 35 days of government agency notice. In California, a landlord is legally prohibited from demanding rent, collecting
rent, issuing a notice of a rent increase, or issuing a 3-day notice to
pay rent or quit if (1) the rental unit has one or more habitability issues;
(2) a public official has instructed the landlord in writing to repair
these issues; (3) the issues have not been repaired after 35 days, and
the delay is without good cause; and (4) the issues were not caused by
the tenant. Any tenant whose landlord has failed to make repairs more
than 35 days after receiving a written notice from a government official
may recover all subsequently paid rent.
- Recovery of attorney’s fees and costs. In most disputes or lawsuits, each party pays its own attorney’s
fees and costs (i.e., case expenses). However, sometimes a law or contract
will require the losing side to pay the winning side’s attorney’s
fees and costs. Many rent ordinance violations allow the winning (prevailing)
party or prevailing tenant to recover attorney’s fees and costs.
Likewise, many leases include a prevailing party provision. If we can
establish a clear violation of your rights, the prospect of paying attorney’s
fees and costs provides the tenant with a strong advantage.
Since we consider a variety of factors in determining whether we can represent
a tenant on a contingency fee basis, we encourage you to call us at
(415) 801 8878 or click
here for a complimentary case evaluation.
Are We a Good Fit for You?
If you meet most of the following criteria, we are probably a good fit for you:
- You are a tenant or former tenant. We frequently work with urban professionals,
recent immigrants, low-income households, families with children, single
parents, and senior citizens.
- You have always or almost always paid your rent on time.
- You have been harmed by a landlord who acted maliciously or in bad faith.
- You are hardworking and try to maintain a positive outlook, even under
- You have a life, family, and/or job that keeps you too busy to worry about
the details of your case, and you are comfortable letting us handle the
entire process for you.
- If your goal is to recover money damages, you intend to move out, are in
the process of moving out, or have already moved out of the problematic
- If your goal is to recover money damages, you understand it could take
months or even a year or more to resolve your case, and you are fine waiting
that long if it means a better outcome for you.
- You need a law firm you can trust to offer well-informed recommendations
and advice (that you are prepared to follow) to move your case along as
smoothly as possible.
What Types of Cases Are Not a Good Fit for Tenant Law Group?
While we handle a variety of landlord-tenant disputes, we have found that
some cases are not the best fit for full-scope legal representation, such
as cases where a landlord behaved rudely but did not otherwise violate
the tenant’s rights, cases involving minor repair issues or minimal
interference with the tenant’s quiet enjoyment, and cases where
the only issue arises out of a landlord’s withholding of a security
deposit. While we have found that full-scope representation in these types
of cases is not generally appropriate, an attorney consultation may provide
you with the information and answers you need. Contact us at
(415) 801 8878 or click here for a complimentary case evaluation and for more information about our