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San Francisco Anti Harassment Proposition M

San Francisco Anti Harassment Proposition M (a) No landlord, and no agent, contractor, subcontractor or employee of the landlord shall do any of the following in bad faith or with ulterior motive or without honest intent: 1. Interrupt, terminate or fail to provide housing services required by contract or by State, County or local housing, health or safety laws; 2. Fail to perform repairs and maintenance required by contract or by State, County or local housing, health or safety laws; 3. Fail to exercise due diligence in completing repairs and maintenance once undertaken or fail to follow appropriate industry repair, containment or remediation protocols designed to minimize exposure to noise, dust, lead, paint, mold, asbestos, or other building materials with potentially harmful health impacts; 4. Abuse the landlord’s right of access into a rental housing unit as that right is provided by law; 5. Influence or attempt to influence a tenant to vacate a rental housing unit through fraud, intimidation or coercion; 6. Attempt to coerce the tenant to vacate with offer(s) of payments to vacate which are accompanied with threats or intimidation; 7. Continue to offer payments to vacate after tenant has notified the landlord in writing that they no longer wish to receive further offers of payments to vacate; 8. Threaten the tenant, by word or gesture, with physical harm; 9. Violate any law which prohibits discrimination based on actual or perceived race, gender, sexual preference, sexual orientation, ethnic background, nationality, place of birth, immigration or citizenship status, religion, age, parenthood, marriage, pregnancy, disability, AIDS or occupancy by a minor child; 10. Interfere with a tenants right...

Bay Area Unlawful Detainer Lawsuits

Bay Area Unlawful Detainer Lawsuits An unlawful detainer action is a specific type of lawsuit which mainly addresses the issue of possession i.e. the right to occupy the apartment. The landlord files this type of action in order to recover possession of the apartment. The San Francisco Rent Ordinance only allows evictions in certain instances so long as the unit is a maprotected unit. Trials are set in these matters within a very short period of time so it is imperative that all protections are afforded. To begin the unlawful detainer process, a landlord must properly serve a 3 Day Notice. The form of the 3 Day Notice must follow strict guidelines or else it can be challenged. Without a valid 3 Day Notice the entire unlawful detainer may be dismissed. Should an answer be filed without challenging the 3 Day Notice, certain defects may be waived. It is imperative that you consult an attorney who has knowledge of these proceedings in order to afford you of all of your options when responding to an unlawful detainer...

Illegal Units

If you have rented or rent an illegal unit contact us to recover damages. Depending on where you are and the facts and circumstances surrounding your rental you may not have to pay rent if you rent an illegal unit. An illegal unit is not the same as a unit that has problems with heat or mold or other issues but is generally one that was constructed without permits from the city. The San Francisco Rent Board, a great reference for any landlord tenant issue, identifies the following regarding illegal units. Topic No. 253: Renting an Illegal Unit A rental unit that is not a legal unit with the City is nevertheless subject to the Rent Ordinance unless exempt for another reason. To determine if a unit is legal, you will need to review the relevant public records at the Department of Building Inspection. Tenants in illegal units who contact the Department of Building Inspection to report code violations should be aware that the inspector might cite the owner for having an illegal unit. In such cases, this means that the unit may have to be demolished or removed from residential use because it cannot be brought up to code requirements. Demolition or permanent removal of the unit from housing use is a “just cause” for eviction under the Rent Ordinance. However, the landlord must first obtain all necessary permits to remove the unit before an eviction notice can be given. The eviction notice must comply with the requirements of the Rent Ordinance as well as state...

Just Cause Eviction

Tenants in the Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley have additional protections in the form of limitations on a landlord’s ability to evict. This means that a landlord can only evict for specific reasons the most common of which is the non-payment of rent. However, it is imperative that if you believe the landlord is retaliating against you for requesting repairs, or simply to increase your rent if you have lived in one place for a long time, that you contact attorneys dedicated to defending you against an eviction or unlawful detainer...

Retaliatory Eviction Defense – CC 1942.4. CC 1942.5

Retaliatory eviction is where a landlord takes actions against a tenant for requesting repairs, complaining to the Department of Building and Inspection, or taking other actions to stand for your rights. The California legislature has provided for protections should a landlord retaliate and a landlord’s actions are presumed retaliatory if they begin within 6 months of the particular...

Wrongful Eviction

San Francisco has very stringent rules in place to protect tenants’ rights. In many instances, landlords ignore these rules in order to maximize their income and often at the expense of their tenant(s). Despite the existence of numerous avenues for landlords to become apprised of the laws they must follow, landlords simply carry on business as usual. In order for a landlord to evict a tenant from a rental unit covered by the Rent Ordinance, a landlord must have a “just cause” reason that is the dominant motive for pursuing the eviction. Oftentimes, landlords create false reasons to evict a tenant so that they can increase the rent. These actions are in direct violation of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance. There are very specific just cause reasons for eviction under Ordinance Section 37.9(a). Some tenancies that are exempt from the rent increase limitations of the Ordinance may still be subject to the eviction controls of the Ordinance, which means that tenants in these categories can only be evicted for a “just cause” reason. This includes tenancies that are eligible for an unlimited rent increase under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act or Rules and Regulations Section 1.21 because the unit is not the tenant’s principal place of residence. The eviction controls also apply to tenants whose rents are regulated by another government agency such as Section 8 vouchers, Section 8 certificate holders and the HOPWA program which provides Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS. If a landlord evicts or tries to evict a tenant unlawfully, the landlord is subject to civil and/or criminal liability. The tenant may bring a civil...

San Francisco Tenants Union

Since 1971, the SF Tenants Union has been fighting for the rights of tenants and for the preservation of affordable housing in San Francisco. From the struggle for rent control in the 1970s to 1998’s Proposition G (to end the abuses of OMI evictions), the Tenants Union has been the city’s leading advocate for tenants.  For both members and non-members, the SFTU operates a drop in counseling clinic at 558 Capp Street (in the Mission District – cross street is 21st Street; Capp runs parallel to Mission St and is one block east of Mission). Counseling hours are available by calling 282-6622. The SF Tenants Union offers invaluable counseling to those facing evictions, unlawful detainers and tenant related issues.  For more information, check out San Francisco Tenants’ Union...

San Francisco Rent Board Decisions and Advice

The San Francisco Rent Ordinance regulates rents and evictions for certain residential rental units in San Francisco. There is no commercial rent control in San Francisco. The Rent Board’s primary function is to conduct hearings and mediations of tenant and landlord petitions regarding the adjustment of rents under the City’s rent control laws. The Rent Board also investigates Reports of Alleged Wrongful Eviction, although the Rent Board’s authority in such matters is limited since only the Court can decide whether an eviction is legal. The Rent Board cannot arbitrate matters that are not part of the Rent Ordinance. For example, the Rent Board does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate alleged breaches of a rental agreement, which must be decided in court. The Rent Board also cannot hear cases concerning issues of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, as such matters are outside of its jurisdiction. The Rent Board’s website is an invaluable resources with a tremendous wealth of information regarding tenant’s...

Eviction Protections Rile Up Tenants and Landlords

“The public comment bell rang throughout Monday’s Land Use Committee meeting as tenant rights advocates and property owners stated their case for or against expanding just cause protection laws to housing units built after 1979. In his raspy voice, Supervisor John Avalos outlined his reasons for bringing the new measure to the table: the economic crisis and increased foreclosures, and the discrepancy in just cause eviction protections between tenants who live in pre-1979 buildings and those who live in post-1979 buildings.” Click here to read more. Published in MissionLocal magazine, Novebmer 3, 2009....
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