Landlords attempt to evict tenants for many reasons, but not all of them are legal. Unexpectedly losing your home is a traumatic experience, and you may be wondering if you can collect damages for the emotional distress caused by a wrongful eviction.
In San Francisco, tenants with a successful wrongful eviction lawsuit may be eligible to receive financial compensation for emotional distress, although certain limitations exist. Even if the law clearly states that emotional distress damages are available, receiving compensation isn’t always straightforward. In such complex cases, a wrongful eviction attorney can help you explore the possibility of pursuing a lawsuit.
Once the court has determined that a tenant was wrongfully evicted, the judge or jury will examine the facts to determine how much compensation (also called damages) the tenant is entitled to receive. Specifically, the court acknowledges the following types of damages in a wrongful eviction lawsuit:
Usually, to prove that emotional harm was done, you’ll need to demonstrate how your landlord acted poorly, such as if they harassed you during the wrongful eviction, and how it impacted you. Verbal threats and other actions taken to intimidate or scare you may also indicate that emotional distress was directly and intentionally inflicted.
The law permits San Francisco tenants to pursue damages for emotional distress as part of a wrongful eviction case. Under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, tenants may be entitled to a multiplier of three on their emotional distress damages if they can prove the landlord acted in bad faith. In other words, if the jury found you were entitled to $50,000 in emotional distress damages, and that the landlord acted in bad faith the court would automatically treble that damage to $150,000.
Emotional damage sometimes warrants compensation. However, you cannot sue for what essentially amounts to “hurt feelings.” Instead, you must demonstrate how your landlord (or their representative) acted intentionally to inflict unnecessary pain or suffering upon you during the wrongful eviction. In order to accomplish this, you will need to collect evidence with an attorney. We can help you identify ways that your eviction caused you emotional damage, which may include:
Landlords are bound by law to provide a reasonable level of safety and security for their tenants. If you were wrongfully evicted, and your landlord acted egregiously during the process, you may be entitled to emotional distress damages. To receive emotional damages, the tenant will also need to demonstrate that their stress was severe and that it was directly caused by the landlord’s actions.
If you believe you were wrongfully evicted, contact Wolford Wayne LLP for a free case analysis. We provide guidance on your individual circumstances at a consultation. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with our legal team.
Recovered on behalf of a group of 30 tenants living in an SRO in San Francisco who were living with horrendous conditions in their rent controlled apartments, including rodents, bedbugs, mold, water leaks and harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three families living in a building in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood who were forced to live with substandard conditions for years as a result of their landlord’s negligence, including issues with lack of heat, lack of hot water and cockroach/rat infestations.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a couple living in a rent-controlled home in the outer Sunset neighborhood. Our clients were forced to vacate after the landlord served them with an Owner Move-In Eviction Notice. After the landlords failed to move into the property, our clients filed suit for wrongful eviction.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant in Russian Hill. Tenant was forced to vacate her illegal apartment in retaliation for reporting unlawful rent increases to the San Francisco Rent Board.Read More
Recovered for a single long-term tenant in San Francisco. Our client was forced to move out of his apartment as a result of extreme landlord harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three long-term tenants in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood who were constructively evicted due to noise and nuisance conditions created by their downstairs neighbors, which the owner refused to address.Read More
Recovered on behalf of elderly, disabled tenant who was forced to move out of her rent-controlled San Francisco apartment of 50 years after landlord/owner failed to resolve numerous building code violations that remained outstanding for over a decade.Read More
Recovered on behalf of seven tenants living in a makeshift boarding house in East Palo Alto.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two former San Francisco tenants who were evicted via an Owner Move-In Eviction and owner failed to occupy the unit as her primary place of residence.Read More
Recovered on behalf of an elderly long-term tenant who was forced to vacate her long San Francisco apartment as a result of her landlord’s refusal to address longstanding defective conditions, including lack of heat, mold, rodent infestations, and defective plumbing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant who was forced to vacate his home as a result of ongoing, disruptive construction and the owners’ refusal to provide him with alternative housing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco family that was constructively evicted from their home in the Richmond District as a result of unlawful rent increases, defective conditions and tenant harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a tenant living in an illegal “in-law” unit. In this case, a new owner purchased the building and then demolished our client’s unit without permits while she was displaced for seismic retrofitting.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two long term San Francisco tenants who were fraudulently evicted from their home of over twenty years under the pretext of an owner move-in eviction.Read More
Recovered for tenant who was injured when their stairway railing collapsed at the tenant’s Mission District apartment building.Read More
Recovered in action for a group of tenants forced to vacate their San Francisco apartment house due to severe habitability defects including mold and water leaks.Read More
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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.