Landlord retaliation often begins when a tenant reports their landlord to a government agency, such as to the Department of Housing for housing discrimination or files a complaint against the owner because they're violating housing codes. Next, the landlord tries to increase the rent, evict, or engages in petty game-playing by denying services, such as storage or parking.
Under California Civil Code section 1942.5 (a), when a landlord commits a harassing act against their tenant in response to the tenant exercising their legal rights, it can be considered retaliation. Examples include the following:
Besides the state law, Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland have anti-harassment laws that lists specific acts of retaliation. For example, San Francisco defines the following retaliatory acts as harassment:
If you're in the position of an unsafe environment due to retaliation or your landlord has committed an illegal lockout or utility shutoff, then you can and should call the police. However, if your situation isn't as drastic or immediate, you can still act against your vengeful landlord by suing them for money damages.
Recoverable damages can include emotional distress, moving expenses, out of pocket cost, punitive damages, and return of rent that was paid.
They key to prevailing in a landlord retaliation lawsuit is showing the connection between your action (filing a complaint, pointing out unsafe conditions to a government entity, etc.) and the landlord's response shortly after this. You can also use their retaliation as a defense if they move to evict you.
If you believe that your landlord is targeting you with retaliation, don't let them get away with it. If you connect with a skilled tenants' rights attorney, you can explore the possibility of suing them and getting compensation for the harm that they caused. Our attorneys are here for you and will help you protect your rights. Contact us today to get started.
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.