Every tenant in San Francisco has the right to live peacefully in their rental unit, also known as the right to quiet enjoyment. Tenants are also entitled to basic health and safety standards, known as the implied warranty of habitability.
If your landlord is interfering with your ability to use and enjoy your home refusing to fix poor living conditions such that you are forced to move out of your home, you may have claims for a lawsuit known as a constructive eviction.
If your landlord is undermining your safety and comfort, reach out to a tenant rights attorney at Wolford Wayne LLP for guidance on your options.
To legally evict a tenant, a landlord must show evidence of one of sixteen just causes recognized by San Francisco law, as well as follow all required procedures. A “constructive eviction” occurs when a tenant is effectively forced to move out of their home as a result of a landlord’s substantial interference with a tenant’s ability to use and enjoy their home.
A constructive eviction happens when a landlord breaches a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment or otherwise causes a tenant to move out of the rental property through their actions or inactions. For a tenant to claim a constructive eviction, the tenant must be able to show:
Examples of situations that may lead to a constructive eviction include, but are not limited to:
Tenants who have been forced out of their rent controlled homes by constructive eviction may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. In these circumstances having a written record of the problems and notice to the landlord is critical. Tenants may also be able to seek damages for the suffering caused by the constructive eviction.
To bring a case for constructive eviction a tenant must be able to prove that they lived in the unit in question, that there were serious problems under the control of the landlord, and that they moved out because of the problems. While tenants do not have to be living in a rent controlled apartment or house to bring a constructive eviction lawsuit, the damages available to a tenant are typically much higher for long-term tenants in rent controlled units. This is because tenants that are constructively evicted are entitled to “loss of use” damages based on the difference between the rent they were paying at move out and the market rate for their unit for however long they would have stayed but for the landlord’s actions/inactions.
For example, if a tenant was paying $1,000 per month in rent at the time they were forced out due to a severe mold infestation, and market rate was $3,000, they can assert damages in the amount of $2,000 per month for however long they would have stayed. Do note that just because a tenant may have claims for substantial damages does not guarantee that they will get the money, as every case is different.
A constructive eviction may make the future feel uncertain, but it is often possible to seek compensation with the guidance of a skilled legal advocate. If you believe you have been subject to constructive eviction in San Francisco, contact Wolford Wayne LLP for a consultation.
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
As surveillance technology continues to advance, it becomes more and more important to be aware of your privacy rights. For tenants, knowing your rights is critical to feeling safe in Continue Reading
We often get questions at Wolford Wayne about whether tenants must sign a new lease. Depending on the circumstances, a tenant may be obligated to sign a new lease. Understanding Continue Reading
In cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, most tenants are protected from unlawful evictions by local ordinances and state laws. Unfortunately, wrongful evictions are still a common occurrence. When Continue Reading
In San Francisco, there are sixteen “just causes” for eviction. Some of these “just causes” are known as “no-fault” evictions. When tenants have to move out through no fault of Continue Reading
Because most tenants in cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley have rent and eviction control, landlords have limited ways to raise rent or evict long-term tenants. Landlords looking to Continue Reading
Tenants have a legal right to a reasonable degree of quiet, privacy, and enjoyment of their rental property. Unfortunately, landlords do not always honor this right. For example, the landlord Continue Reading
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.