Illegal Short-Term Rental Conversions in San Francisco

Gamache et al. v. Airbnb Inc. (filed) Plaintiffs v. Vbro.com and homeaway.com (pending) Plaintiffs v. Flipkey.com (pending) Background and Information San Francisco lawyers filed the first ever lawsuit against Airbnb on behalf of tenants who have been damaged by the illegal conversion of residential housing. In the suit against Airbnb, Plaintiffs are tenants of a single residency hotel which has been converted from affordable housing into an unpermitted and unregulated tourist hotel. The Owners of the hotel use these websites to make a huge profit off the rentals. However, Hooshmand Law Group is preparing to file similar suits on behalf of tenants and apartment owners affected by these websites short term rentals. The conversion of residential units into tourist or transient hotels has significantly contributed to the housing shortage in San Francisco. It is estimated that currently there are more than 6,000 residential properties currently rented in San Francisco for illegal short-term rental. The conversion of residential units in apartment buildings and neighborhoods has had an adverse impact on the other people who live in those apartment buildings and neighborhoods. Guests staying in the short-term rentals create significant additional amounts of foot traffic and security problems due to this increased foot traffic, and the extent of additional customers who are only staying for short stays can be noisy, inconsiderate, destructive, violent, and even dangerous to the people in the surrounding apartments and neighborhoods. The conversion of residential units into short-term rentals, used primarily by tourists, has removed rent controlled apartments from use and caused residential rents in San Francisco to rise as thousands of residential units are no longer...

Living in an Illegal Unit in San Francisco

Living in an Illegal Unit in San Francisco Unfortunately, illegal units exist all throughout the Bay Area.  Typically they are units that have been constructed without permits to make more money.  Be careful – they are very dangerous as they are not inspected by the City and are typically not up to code.  If you are currently living in one, or have moved out of an illegal unit, contact Hooshmand Law Group to determine if you are entitled to damages.  In some cases you can recover your rent, attorneys fees, costs and punitive damages. Ensure your landlord follows the...

Tenants: Talk to an Attorney Before Vacating Your Apartment

In a time when rents are skyrocketing, landlords are trying to replace long term rent controlled tenants with new higher paying tenants.  They try threats, intimidation and other tactics including small buy out offers.  Before considering next steps talk with an attorney who can assist you in reviewing your options.  There are many capable attorneys in the Bay Area, including the attorneys at the Hooshmand Law Group, who can assist you.  Thankfully there are very strong protections for tenants’ rights even if you have already vacated as a result of the landlord’s actions.  It is imperative that if you are facing any sort of threat, in receipt of a 3 day notice, or in the midst of a lawsuit that you contact an attorney...

Before you file that Rent Board Complaint – Think Again!

The Rent Board is a great resource for answering questions related to your tenancy.  The purview of the Rent Board is to provide information regarding your tenancy and to also adjudicate some landlord tenant disputes.  The problem is that if you later file a lawsuit, what was said or done at the Rent Board could damage your case for damages.  We have been through many lawsuits where the landlord argues that the tenants have already been compensated for their damages as a result of a rent reduction and then successfully moves to exclude a lot of key evidence.  The difficulty is that the Rent Board does not address emotional distress damages and the typical rent reduction is minimal with respect to the amount of damages one can recover in a lawsuit.  At a minimum before filing a Rent Board complaint you should talk with the Hooshmand Law Group concerning whether a complaint should be filed and what it should...