Whenever you are having difficulties dealing with your landlord, you may wonder if the frustrations amount to a lawsuit. While it may be tempting to want to go to court over every little spat you may have with your landlord, there are certain situations where you are well within your rights to sue your landlord. Here are some examples...
This occurs when a tenant believes that they were displaced out of their unit due to the wrongful acts of their landlord. Before a landlord or property manager can evict you from your unit, they must provide you with a notice of termination or notice to quit. When they don't, you may have a case for wrongful eviction.
In these cases, you can try to recover differential damages-- the difference between your monthly rent and the actual rental value of the unit. For instance, the rent for your rent-controlled apartment in Hayes Valley in San Francisco is 2,500. Your landlord tells you to leave the apartment because they want to move-in. You leave, but soon after, you discover that your landlord never moved in. Suppose that the monthly rental value is $4,500; this means that there is a rent differential of $2,000. You can try to argue that if it hadn't been for the landlord's bad conduct, that you would've stayed in the apartment for 5 years and, the differential damages would come out to be $120,000. Other damages could include statutory relocations fees, moving costs, and compensation for the emotional distress of being displaced.
The covenant of quiet enjoyment is guaranteed in every lease. It gives a tenant has the right to peacefully enjoy their home, without interference. This means that the landlord has a duty to preserve the rights that include:
If your landlord doesn't support this right or interferes with it, you could sue them by bringing an action for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment.
For instance, if your landlord was performing major remodeling in the apartment next door to you for an extensive time and this physically interfered with you living in your unit, then you could sue them for this. If you prevailed in the lawsuit against your landlord, you would be entitled to remedies for their breach of the covenant.
You may be able to sue your landlord for harassment under state law and in San Francisco, under Prop M, which gives tenants remedies ranging from getting a rent decrease at the Rent Board to monetary damages, including $1,000 for each offense, and criminal penalties. Another circumstance that gives a tenant a reason to sue their landlord is if the tenant is injured. If you're injured on the rental property because of the landlord's neglect, you could sue them for damages.
Were you wronged by your landlord and think that you have grounds to sue them? If you're interested in exploring the possibility of suing your landlord, you will want to understand your rights as a tenant. You will also need to know what kind of case you can make against them. Discuss your options with someone who knows the law and can be in your corner. Talk to an experienced San Francisco tenants' rights lawyer at Wolford Wayne for guidance and information. 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.