California works very hard to provide a high level of protection for its residential renters. Both the state and many local communities, including Oakland, have passed protective legislation for their citizens who live in rental properties.
Under California law, it is illegal for a landlord to try to force a tenant to abandon a rental unit by using force, willful threats, or menacing conduct. The law also prohibits threats to disclose a tenant's or the tenant's guests' immigration status or to take or remove the tenant's property from the unit without consent. Under the same law, a tenant can file a civil action against a landlord whose conduct violates the statute and recover damages of up to $2,000 per violation.
The Oakland Tenants Protection Ordinance prohibits a series of bad faith acts by landlords. Among them are:
Under the TPO, landlords are also prohibited from retaliating against tenants who exercise their TPO rights. If a tenant believes that the landlord has retaliated against the tenant or has violated certain other provisions of the ordinance, the tenant may bring a civil action against the landlord. In order to bring the action, the tenant must first notify the landlord of the alleged problems and allow fifteen days for curing the violation.
If the landlord does not timely cure the violation – or provide timely notice of a need for additional time for repairs, the tenant can file suit and recover up to $2,000 per violation. Under certain circumstances, the tenant may recover attorney's fees and court costs, punitive damages, treble damages, and injunctive relief to enjoin the violation(s).
The city of Oakland also requires that landlords treat tenant deposits in accordance with the law. Security deposits must be returned within 21 days of the tenant leaving the unit. If not returned by that day, the tenant can make a written request for the funds or a statement indicating any changes against it. If the landlord fails to comply, the tenant can sue for the amount withheld and up to twice that amount if it was withheld in bad faith.
If you believe that your Oakland landlord has violated California law or the TPO or Rental Adjustment Program or has retaliated against you for exercising your tenant rights, contact an Oakland tenant harassment attorney for assistance. Contact us as soon as possible for an initial consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you obtain your tenant rights and damages that may be owed to you.
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.