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San Francisco Tenants Rights Lawyer

San Francisco Tenants Rights Lawyer

San Francisco Tenants Rights Lawyer

If you’ve been a responsible tenant and followed all the rules, it might be hard to believe why your landlord would try to force you to move out. Sadly, even the best San Francisco tenants find themselves forced to move out. Because rents are high and landlords can raise rents once the last original tenant moves out, landlords are incentivized to kick out long term renters. Some landlords even resort to harassing tenants in an attempt to get them to move out. 

Luckily San Francisco has rental laws that provide tenants with protection against wrongful evictions and give tenants the right to take legal action following illegal landlord conduct. If you were improperly forced out of your rental unit or harassed into moving by your landlord, reach out to a San Francisco wrongful eviction lawyer as soon as possible.

Why Would a Landlord Try to Force a Tenant to Move?

In San Francisco, multi-unit buildings built before 1979 are rent-controlled. This means that landlords are limited in how much they can raise a tenant’s rent each year. Rent control in San Francisco is based on when a tenant moves in. Once the last original tenant moves out, a landlord can raise the rent to market rate.  This creates a natural tension between tenants and landlords. Tenants want to stay if they have affordable rent, and landlords want to make more money. Depending on the landlord and how unscrupulous they are, this might lead a landlord to take actions – or refuse to take actions – designed to force a tenant to move. Common tactics by landlords include: refusing to make repairs, hiring unlicensed contractors or unqualified handy-persons to undertake needed repairs, engaging in harassing conduct, or even making up reasons why a tenant has to move out. In certain circumstances landlords may change the locks, or telling a tenant they have to move when they don’t have a “just cause” to evict them.

Protecting Your Rights as a Tenant

If you do decide to take legal action against a current or former landlord, it’s important to have evidence to support your claim. You should always keep detailed notes of every encounter with your landlord and the specific way they treated you. Try to record your landlord’s conduct or take pictures of things like harassing notes, incomplete repairs, pest or mold issues, or other evidence. Perhaps your neighbors also experienced similar issues and can give statements to support your case. 

If habitability issues or a harassing landlord do force you to vacate your unit, you should discuss your legal options right away with a wrongful eviction tenant lawyer who will help you understand your rights and options. 

Prohibited Landlord Conduct in San Francisco

Curious what constitutes harassment in San Francisco? The San Francisco Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance prohibits the following types of conduct by a landlord:

  • Interrupting, terminating or failing to provide housing services required by state or local laws (such as adequate heating);
  • Failing or refusing to perform necessary maintenance or repair work;
  • Failing to complete repairs or maintenance work according to industry standards (this includes work involving mold, asbestos, lead);
  • Abusing the landlord’s right of access (entering without proper notice or a legitimate basis);
  • Attempting to influence a tenant to vacate through intimidation, fraud, or coercion;
  • Threatening a tenant with words or gestures with harm;
  • Interfering with a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the unit
  • Refusing to accept or acknowledge rent payments;
  • Failing to cash a rent check for more than 30 days
  • Interfering with a tenant’s right to privacy

If you are a San Francisco tenant experiencing landlord harassment,  contact us today to discuss your rights. Landlords can be held civilly liable for tenant harassment. Depending on the situation tenants may be entitled to significant compensation for the harm they have suffered. As experienced tenant’s rights attorneys, we can help you pursue justice for what you’ve been through. 

Speak with a San Francisco Tenant’s Rights Lawyer Today

No tenant in San Francisco deserves to suffer harassment from a landlord or be unlawfully evicted from their home. The tenant attorneys at Wolford Wayne LLP stand up for your rights as a tenant.  Contact us for a consultation to discuss your situation and to learn how we might help. We’ve represented hundreds of tenants in landlord harassment cases throughout San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, and we would be honored to assist you, too.

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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.

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