In 2021, there were 391 legally recorded tenant buyout agreements in San Francisco. This was more than the 333 buyouts recorded in 2020.
If you live in a rent-controlled home in San Francisco, it is possible that your landlord will approach you with a tenant buyout proposal. Through a tenant buyout, a landlord can re-rent the unit out for a higher price than they are able to charge you under the Rent Ordinance, move in or sell it.
It is important for tenants to seek legal counsel when considering a tenant buyout. Always speak with a San Francisco tenant buyout attorney before accepting one or negotiating terms. The attorneys at Wolford Wayne LLP can help you understand your rights and ensure you are getting the best possible deal should a buyout be right for you.
A tenant buyout is a voluntary agreement between a landlord and a tenant wherein a landlord agrees to pay a tenant a lump sum of cash or other consideration in exchange for permanently vacating the property. Buyouts occur predominantly in cities with rent and eviction control because landlords are heavily restricted on their ability to force tenants to move or to raise their rent.
We get asked this all the time and the annoying answer is: your tenant buyout is worth what you are willing to accept, and your landlord is willing to pay. Every tenancy and property is different. Different risks, different options and different people. At Wolford Wayne our job is to help you understand the different factors that impact your buyout negotiation and to help you negotiate the best deal possible. Sometimes the best buyout is the one you don’t take!
Tenant buyouts are highly nuanced and we recommend you never negotiate a buyout without a tenant lawyer on your side.
We do not typically recommend meeting with your landlord. Often this is a tactic to put pressure on you to take a lesser offer. As soon as you have been approached about a potential buyout, we recommend contacting a lawyer to discuss representation in negotiations.
Often landlords will suggest keeping things casual by not involving attorneys. In reality landlords will often have attorneys assisting them in the background and do this in an effort to keep you from hiring your own attorney.
It depends. Sometimes, a landlord might suggest that they have grounds for an eviction, but that they will not pursue an eviction if the tenant accepts a buyout deal. Never assume your landlord has proper grounds for an eviction without having our attorneys evaluate your circumstances. Your landlord cannot retaliate against you if you refuse to accept a tenant buyout.
Tenants have rights regarding tenant buyouts. Under the San Francisco Ordinance, a tenant has the following rights:
Tenant buyouts can be complex and difficult to navigate. If you have been offered a tenant buyout, you should first speak with a San Francisco tenant attorney. The attorneys at Wolford Wayne LLP handle tenant buyouts and have the experience you need to ensure you make the right decision based on your circumstances. You can contact us here if you’re ready to seek guidance during a tenant buyout situation.
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco couple who were forced to give up their home of over twenty years after their landlord's dog attacked and killed their dog.
Recovered on behalf of an Oakland tenant who suffered a serious injury due to her landlord's negligent maintenance of her home.
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant who suffered personal injuries and was forced to vacate his home of fifteen years after dealing with many months of environmental contamination and disruptive and nuisance construction conditions.
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.
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.
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.
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant in Russian Hill. The tenant was forced to vacate her illegal apartment in retaliation for reporting unlawful rent increases to the San Francisco Rent Board. Our client was forced to vacate after her landlord served our client with a series of eviction notices and told her the apartment was unsafe to live in.
Recovered for a long-term tenant in San Francisco. Our client was forced to move out of his apartment as a result of extreme landlord harassment.
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.
Recovered on behalf of an elderly, disabled San Francisco tenant who was forced to move out of her rent-controlled San Francisco apartment of 50 years after the landlord/owner failed to resolve numerous building code violations that remained outstanding for over a decade.
Recovered on behalf of seven tenants living in a makeshift boarding house in East Palo Alto.
Recovered on behalf of two San Francisco tenants who were wrongfully evicted via a fraudulent owner move-in eviction where the owner failed to occupy the property as their principal place of residence.
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.
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant who was forced to vacate his home as a result of ongoing, disruptive construction and the owner's refusal to provide him with alternative housing.
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.
Recovered on behalf of a tenant living in an illegal unit who was wrongfully evicted. Our client was forced to vacate under false pretenses while her landlord undertook supposedly necessary construction and then was never allowed to return.
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.
Recovered for a San Francisco tenant who was injured when her stairway railing collapsed.
Recovered in action for a group of tenants forced to vacate their San Francisco apartment due to severe habitability defects, including mold and water leaks.