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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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
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 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 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 seven tenants living in a makeshift boarding house in East Palo Alto.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 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 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
A landlord can increase rent without limitations whenever a unit becomes vacant. This is sometimes called “vacancy decontrol,” and is made possible by the 1995 state law known as Costa Hawkins, which counteracted some of the “strong” rent-control measures previously put in place by cities like Berkeley and SF.
Have you received a rent increase notice? Depending on the situation, we may be able to help.
years of experience in representing tenants.
In San Francisco, vacancy de-control is also regulated by city ordinance §6.14.
Costa Hawkins allows landlords to raise the rent on an otherwise rent-controlled unit to market rate when the “last original occupant” no longer lives in the unit.
In San Francisco, to raise the rent legally, a landlord must file a “Petition for a Determination Pursuant to the Section 6.14 and/or Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act” with the San Francisco Rent Board. A judge will hear evidence presented by the landlord and the tenant and issue a ruling on whether the current tenants are entitled to continued rent control.
Original occupant(s) means one or more individuals who took possession of a unit with the express consent of the landlord at the time that the base rent for the unit was first established with respect to the vacant unit. The original occupant doesn’t have to be named on the lease but must be able to show they moved in at the same time as the named person on the lease. A “Subsequent occupant” means an individual who became an occupant of a rental unit while the rental unit was occupied by at least one original occupant.
If you’re a tenant who’s received notice of this type of petition, it’s not a lost cause. Depending on your relationship with the landlord, the length of your tenancy, and other factors, you may still have a right to rent control. A tenant’s attorney can advise you on the validity of the landlord’s petition, and possibly represent you at the Rent Board.
Costa Hawkins also is the reason why rent control measures can only apply to properties with two or more units. Single-family homes, as well as most condos (when a landlord owns only one unit in the building), are excluded from rent control (with some exceptions).
Costa Hawkins also is the reason why newly constructed buildings are exempt from rent control and eviction control protections in California. While in San Francisco only buildings built prior to June 1979 are covered by the Rent Ordinance, Costa-Hawkins technically sets the cut off for applicable rent ordinances at 1995.