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San Francisco Tenant SRO’s

San Francisco Tenant SRO’s A single room occupancy (more commonly called SRO) is a multiple-tenant building that houses one or two people in individual rooms (sometimes two rooms, or two rooms with a bathroom or half bathroom), or to the single room dwelling itself. SRO tenants typically share bathrooms and/or kitchens, while some SRO rooms may include kitchenettes, bathrooms, or half-baths. Although many are former hotels, SROs are primarily rented as a permanent...

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...

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...

Confidential v. Confidential, San Francisco Superior Court, November 2011

Plaintiff’s Counsel: David Wasserman, Wasserman Stern, Karen Uchiyama Defendants’ Counsel:  Mark Hooshmand, Michael Smith, Hooshmand Law Group The Plaintiff is attempting to evict a tenant from a rent controlled apartment in San Francisco.  The Plaintiff obtained a default judgment against our client while they were not represented.  After we became involved we immediately moved to set aside the judgment and the Court granted our motion.  Plaintiff then moved to disqualify us as counsel for our client.  The Court denied Plaintiff’s motion.  In the interim the landlord wrongfully rented to a new...

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...
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