Common Questions

Know Your Rights. Hooshmand Law Group is dedicated to protecting tenants in the Bay Area and empowering tenants with knowledge and strategies to resolve their housing disputes.  We relentlessly pursue compensation for clients who were wrongfully evicted or damaged as a result of negligence by landlords.  Work with our experienced, persevering attorneys to get the maximum result. Every day our attorneys provide recommendations to tenants in San Francisco, Oakland, and other Bay Area cities.  Call us to schedule a phone consultation or submit your questions online through our website and our attorneys will respond via email or phone depending on your preference. I live in an illegal unit. Do I have tenant’s rights? My landlord is trying to evict me from an in-law unit, basement, garage, or illegal apartment. Do I have to move? How do I know if my unit is illegal? I received a 60-Day Notice to vacate because the Owner or Owner’s Relative wants to move into my unit. What happens now? My lease is up. Do I have to move? What is Rent Control? What does having “Just Cause” to evict mean? How do I know if I should pursue a lawsuit and How should I Choose a Law Firm? Common Questions from Tenants: I live in an illegal unit. Do I have tenant’s rights? Yes, you have rights including suing to recover your rent payments.  The law provides that no rent is owed for the rental of an unpermitted illegal in-law unit (Gruzen v. Henry, Carter v. Cohen) though it is important to talk with an attorney regarding these issues. My landlord is trying...

SF City Attorney Joins Fight Against Landlords That Rented 20 Illegal Units in Laundromat Basement

San Francisco’s city attorney is suing the owner and occupant of a building where he says 20 people were living in squalid, unsafe conditions in the basement of a commercial laundromat. Hooshmand Law Group represents the tenants in a separate lawsuit filed in February. Read more — SF Lawsuit Claims 20 Lived in Laundromat Basement ‘Death Trap’ – NBC Bay Area...

Hooshmand Law Group Files Suit Against Landlord Who Converted Laundromat Basement Into 20-Unit Residential Space

San Francisco Chronicle: …The basement beneath the Clean Wash Center at 4690 Mission St. was known as 5 Persia Ave., an address that doesn’t exist on any map. It was unknown to city building and fire authorities until firefighters, acting on an anonymous tip, inspected the illegally converted storage space one month after the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland killed 36 people at a converted warehouse Dec. 2. Soto and 18 other former tenants, many of whom speak little English, are now suing their former landlord for damages after the city determined it was too hazardous for them to remain there. “No one should be living in this place,” said Idin Kashefipour, their attorney… Lt. Jonathan Baxter, a spokesman for the Fire Department, called the basement a “death trap.” “We determined immediately that there were very egregious fire code violations that were present, that we believed would result in death of occupants if a fire or disaster occurred at that building,” Baxter said. A little more than a month after the inspection, city officials found that none of the code violations had been fixed. They gave the residents 48 hours to leave…The suit contends that the residents’ ouster constituted a no-fault eviction under the city’s rent ordinance. That would entitle those who lived at 5 Persia to thousands of dollars, including reimbursement of the rent they paid to Paredes and money for their “severe emotional distress,” according to the suit. SF Chronicle: Inside the SF Laundromat basement where 2 dozen people...

Judge Rules in Favor of Tenants – Landlord Ordered to Complete Renovations

The Hooshmand Law Group, and attorneys Mark Hooshmand and Tyson Redenbarger, helped the displaced tenants of the Bristol Hotel win a case against the owner for failing to complete renovations in a timely manner. After a three day trial, the San Francisco Superior Court ordered the owner of the Hotel to complete the renovations and return the tenants to their renovated units by August of 2017. The tenants were originally displaced in 2013 for what was claimed to be a three month renovation. However, years later, when work was still incomplete, the tenants filed a lawsuit to enforce their rights to return to Bristol Hotel. The Court’s order is a victory for the tenants who are now entitled to return to their rent controlled units at their prior rent. The Court also ruled that the Bristol Hotel must be properly renovated to code and that the City must approve the work. The Court also approved that a receiver be appointed if the owner failed to complete the renovation. The receiver would have the right to sell the...

City of San Francisco Prevails Against Landlord Anne Kihagi

A recent tentative decision, in favor of the City of San Francisco and tenants, the Court found that landlord Anne Kihagi, and many of her LLCs, were acting in violation of the City’s laws and had wrongfully evicted a number of tenants. Kihagi was found to have illegally forced tenants to leave their apartments though harassment, false owner move in evictions, false relative move in evictions, and other unlawful practices. The Court has tentatively fined Anne Kihagi $2.4 million dollars and issued extensive injunctions curtailing her illegal practices. Information on the case and copies of the Court’s tentative statement of decision can be found...

Hooshmand Law Group Wins Jury Verdict In Favor of Tenants in Fraudulent Relative Move-In Eviction

The Hooshmand Law Group has obtained a judgment in excess of $460,000 for a public school teacher who was wrongfully evicted pursuant to the Owner and Relative Move-In (OMI/RMI) provision of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance (statute below).  After a two-week trial the jury found that the landlords, who had recently purchased the 4-unit building in San Francisco, had acted in bad faith and knowing disregard of the law when they terminated the Plaintiff’s tenancy on the pretext that their brother would be moving into the unit.  The San Francisco Rent Ordinance requires that a landlord or relative for whom a unit is vacated must have a good faith intent to occupy the unit for a period of thirty-six consecutive months.  Often, however, the owner or relative never move in and instead the Landlord rents the unit out at a much higher price. The OMI/RMI provisions of the rent ordinance are among the few “no-fault” bases for evicting a rent controlled tenant, and landlords often abuse these provisions to charge higher rents at current market prices.  Indeed, a recent investigative report by NBC Bay Area found that 1 in 4 evictions under the OMI/RMI law could be fraudulent.  (link below)  While landlords are required to register these evictions with the San Francisco Rent Board, the city does not actively monitor OMI/RMI evictions to ensure the rules are followed.  As a result, many tenants move out and never look back to find out if their former Landlords have complied with their end of the bargain. Tenants evicted under a false OMI/RMI are often displaced from San Francisco entirely, and are...

We Stand With Oakland

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire, their families, and the community. While the housing crisis in the Bay Area is at an all time high, the health and safety of tenants should not be put at risk. We believe that these tragedies can be avoided and urge property owners and landlords to ensure that their units are in compliance with all state and local...

$1,000,000 Total Recovery for Long-Term Tenant Wrongfully Evicted Under a False Owner Move-In

The Hooshmand Law Group recovered $1,000,000 for a tenant who had lived in his unit for more than 40 years before being falsely evicted pursuant to the owner move-in exception under San Francisco Law. The San Francisco law requires that an owner move-in eviction follow certain strict guidelines. The landlord in this case did not follow the guidelines and intended to make a profit on the unit. The owner attempt to conceal the falseness of the eviction; however, the Hooshmand Law Group helped prove the violation and recover significant damages. The recovery compensated the tenant for the loss of a rent controlled unit, damages and emotional...