With an average rental value of over $3,000, Berkeley boasts one of the nation’s fast-growing housing markets. Home prices hit record levels this year, leaving many landlords eager to cash in on their San Francisco, Napa, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Jose properties. This often translates to pressuring tenants to abandon their leases or accept buyout offers. Unfortunately, landlords who can’t convince their tenants – especially tenants in rent-controlled units – to vacate the premises often resort to unlawfully harassing occupants.
Tenant harassment takes many forms and may entitle Berkeley claimants to special damages and eviction protections. Discuss your case with the dedicated tenant harassment lawyers in Berkeley at Wolford Wayne LLP by calling (415) 649-6203 or connecting with us online.
Both state and local laws prevent landlords from engaging in bad faith harassment. For example, Cal. Civ. Code § 1940.2 makes it illegal for landlords – either directly or through their agents – to engage in the following conduct for the purpose of pressuring tenants to vacate their units:
Berkeley cities such as San Francisco (§ 37.10B) prohibit similar conduct and provide specific remedies with local rent boards and law enforcement agencies. For example, San Francisco prohibits landlords from turning off utilities, refusing to make repairs, or otherwise interfering with the tenant’s rights in bad faith. Our dedicated Berkeley tenants harassment lawyers might help claimants recover damages under tenants’ rights laws.
Under California law, wrongfully harassed Berkeley tenants may recover up to $2,000 for each violation in small claims court. They might also obtain additional damages for underlying tortious and criminal conduct, such as assault, extortion, theft, or discrimination. Many tenant harassment cases also involve further criminal or civil legal violations. Certain cities, such as San Francisco, provide additional remedies to wrongfully harassed renters. For example, S.F. tenants might recover three times their actual financial losses, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees for unlawful landlord harassment. Experienced Berkeley tenant rights lawyers might also use harassing conduct to defend against unlawful eviction actions, obtain rent reductions, and prevent future harassing conduct through injunctions.
Landlords have become increasingly creative in their attempts to force Berkeley tenants to terminate their leases or accept buyouts. Refusing to cash rent checks, delaying standard maintenance, and causing increasing discomfort are common tactics. If you’ve been subject to landlord retaliation for refusing to accept buyouts, threatening conduct, or traditional harassment by landlords or their agents, you might recover substantial compensation and attorneys’ fees. Confidentially discuss your claims with Berkeley tenant harassment lawyers at Wolford Wayne LLP by calling (415) 649-6203 or connecting with us online.
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.