In San Francisco, there are strict rules for how and when a landlord can evict a tenant. Specifically, the San Francisco Rent Ordinance sets out sixteen “just causes” for eviction. Just causes for eviction include failure to pay rent, breach of a material lease term, and creating a “nuisance.” In order to pursue an eviction, a landlord must provide a valid eviction notice and then file an eviction lawsuit.
Unfortunately, despite clearly set out eviction laws, some landlords attempt to evict tenants without going through the legal process. This is known as a “self-help” eviction and it is illegal.
A self-help eviction occurs when a landlord forces a tenant to move out without going through the legal process. A landlord cannot take matters into their own hands to forcibly remove their tenant. Some self-help eviction methods commonly used by landlords include:
While these seem crazy, we have sadly represented tenants who have dealt with these exact situations on numerous occasions.
Yes. It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant through a self-help eviction. This is a form of what is called a “wrongful eviction.” If you have been wrongfully evicted by your landlord, you may be entitled to financial compensation for losing your home. Our team routinely brings lawsuits on behalf of tenants who have been wrongfully forced out of their homes. Tenants who have been wrongfully evicted may be entitled to a variety of damages, including:
If your landlord is attempting to force you to move, but you have not moved yet, it is critical that you speak with a lawyer or other tenant’s rights professional to ensure you have a clear written record of what is happening and to discuss options. We never recommend that tenants move out unless they have no other choice.
Our firm represents tenants in these cases on what is called a contingency fee basis. This means we do not get paid unless you do. The first step in evaluating a case is to review the evidence – if your landlord insisted you move out, did they do so in writing? Are there witnesses who can speak to what occurred? If you were locked out, did you file a police report? To be successful we will have to be able to prove that the self-help eviction occurred and show the harm that it has caused you. We will help determine what claims to allege and work with you to formulate a successful strategy. As lawyers, be advised that we cannot guarantee an outcome.
If you have been the victim of a self-help eviction in San Francisco, you have the right to seek legal assistance from a wrongful eviction attorney. At Wolford Wayne LLP, we believe that every tenant deserves to be treated with dignity and fairness. Self-help eviction is illegal and unjust, which is why we help tenants fight their landlords in these situations. If you want to learn about your legal options and what you need to do next, contact us today.
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.