Wrongful Eviction Lawsuits

Our office represents tenants in wrongful eviction lawsuits.

A wrongful eviction occurs when a landlord evicts a tenant in violation of a local rent ordinance or California State Law. In San Francisco, Oakland, Berkley and other cities with a local ordinance a landlord can only evict a tenant with a “just cause” for eviction.

Common Wrongful Eviction situations include:

  • Your landlord has evicted you without a “just cause” for eviction
  • Your landlord evicts you pursuant to an Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In and never moves in; does not continue to live in the unit for the required amount of time; or re-rents the unit to a new tenant.
  • Your landlord locks you out of your home
  • Your landlord evicts you without going through the legal eviction process.
  • Your landlord fails to offer you the right to move back in after a temporary eviction
  • Your landlord rents out your rent-controlled apartment to a new tenant following an Ellis Act Eviction

Tenants who have been wrongfully evicted may be entitled to substantial monetary damages. Our office has successfully represented hundreds of Bay Area tenants in lawsuits against landlords. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of tenants in the process. You have rights. Don’t let your landlord bully you out of your home without a fight.

If your landlord has wrongfully evicted you or is threatening to do so CONTACT US to see how we can help.

How Do I Know What My Rights Are?

Now that California has a new state wide law protecting renters, more tenants than ever are entitled to eviction protections. The kind of protections you have still depend heavily on what city / county you live in and the type of building you live in. To figure out your rights consider:

  1. Talking to a qualified tenant’s rights lawyer in your area
  2. Find a local tenant’s union / renter’s rights organization
  3. Look on your city’s website

Whatever you do, if your landlord is telling you to move, DO NOT MOVE OUT until you have spoken to a qualified professional about your options.

What is My Case Worth?

Every case is different and lawyers are prohibited from telling a potential client what their case is worth. However, you may be entitled to substantial financial damages if you have been forced out of your home due to the actions or inactions of your landlord.

Damages in a constructive or wrongful eviction lawsuit include: overpayment of rent; rent differential damages (difference between rent paid and market rate); emotional distress; and out of pocket moving fees, among others. In cities such as Oakland and San Francisco, tenants may be entitled to a multiplier on their damages with a showing of bad faith. Tenants are also entitled to attorney’s fees and costs.

How Much Will it Cost Me to Hire Wolford Wayne?

We recognize that most tenants cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to a lawyer. That is why we represent tenants in constructive eviction lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means we only get paid when you do. This means you do not have to have money to seek justice. We only get paid if and when you do.

Case Studies

These are some of our results and not a guarantee of an outcome.


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 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.


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.

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