Tenant Rights Attorneys in San Francisco
Protecting Tenants in Oakland, the Bay Area & Surrounding Areas
Tenant Law Group is a firm dedicated to protecting the rights of tenants in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Napa, and Sonoma. Since our attorneys never represent landlords, we fight aggressively — and exclusively — for tenants.
The Bay Area is home to some of the most sought-after rental properties in the country. San Francisco recently surpassed New York City as the most expensive city for renters in the United States. Numerous cities throughout the Bay Area have implemented rent ordinances — local regulations governing, among other things, the maximum amount of annual rent increases and the legal justifications for evictions. Given the variety and complexity of these laws and regulations, renters whose rights have been violated are frequently unaware of the various remedies at their disposal.
If you believe that your rent was illegally increased, that you were displaced from a rent-controlled apartment without legal justification or harassed by your landlord, or that your rights as a renter were otherwise violated, we are here to help.
Tenant Law Group handles the following types of cases:
- Failure to repair
- Wrongful eviction
- Recovering money
- Rent board hearings
- Landlord harassment
- Tenant rights counseling
- Fair Employment and Housing Act Violations
Recovering Money in Landlord Disputes
Under certain circumstances, tenants may be entitled to damages for one or more of the following:
- Loss of use of a rent-controlled unit,
- Partial or full refund of rent paid,
- Mandatory relocation payments,
- Out-of-pocket (e.g., moving or medical) expenses,
- Damaged and/or destroyed property (e.g., due to water damage),
- Lost wages,
- Bodily injury, and
- Mental and emotional injury (e.g., anxiety, depression, and fear).
Disputes where money damages are recoverable include displacement from an eviction-controlled apartment without good cause (also known as an illegal, wrongful, and/or constructive eviction), severe landlord harassment, failure to remediate uninhabitable conditions such as pest or rodent infestations, and other situations involving egregious or bad-faith landlord conduct. All California tenants are entitled to safe, healthy, habitable, and peaceful living environments free from harassment, and many Bay Area tenants are entitled to the benefits of rent control and eviction control. If your tenancy has involved one or more of these scenarios, you may be able to recover money damages.
Tenant Rights Counseling
Whether you have an active dispute with your landlord or simply wish to better understand your rights, we are here for you. We offer two types of attorney consultations.
Our half-hour telephone consultation includes:
- Thirty minutes by phone with an attorney to discuss your legal matter;
- A review of any documents you provide before the consultation;
- Answers to any tenant rights legal questions you ask during the consultation;
- A suggested legal strategy to address your landlord-tenant matter; and
- Recommended action items.
Our one-hour Premium Consultation includes all services offered during the half-hour consultation, plus:
- Your choice of phone, Skype, or in-person attorney meeting;
- Thirty additional minutes, allowing for a more thorough analysis of your legal matter;
- Following the consultation, written attorney work product, which includes factual background, legal analysis, and recommended action item sections; and
- Brief ghostwritten correspondence from you to your landlord regarding your legal matter.
Our goal is for the attorney to deliver as much value to you as possible during your consultation. Our tenant lawyers in San Francisco are committed to giving you honest advice to assist you in achieving your desired outcome.
After the expiration of a notice to quit or a notice of termination of tenancy, a landlord may file an unlawful detainer (eviction) lawsuit to recover possession of rental unit. Unscrupulous landlords who are hoping to get rid of tenants paying low rent in rent-controlled jurisdictions may file frivolous or meritless unlawful detainer lawsuits in the hope that tenants will give up without a fight and move out because they cannot afford legal counsel. If your landlord has filed an unlawful detainer lawsuit against you, contact a tenant rights attorney immediately, as the deadline for a tenant response is very short. We are here to help.
Rent Board Hearings
In jurisdictions such as San Francisco, local rent boards render decisions involving landlord petitions for rent increases, substantial rehabilitation exemptions, extensions of time to complete capital improvement work, and tenant occupancy status; and tenant petitions for substantial decrease in housing services, failure to repair and maintain, unlawful rent increase or request for determination of lawful rent, improper passthroughs, failure to discontinue a capital improvement passthrough, proportional rent claim by a subtenant against a master tenant, unlawful initial rent claim by a subtenant, and alleged wrongful evictions.
Among the most common rent board hearings are attempts by landlords to raise rents above the amount permitted under that rent board’s annual rent increase. Showing up to a rent board hearing without legal representation puts a tenant at a significant disadvantage and increases the odds of a landlord prevailing. Our team represents renters throughout the Bay Area at all types of rent board hearings. A final note: Regardless of the outcome of a rent board hearing, you may still be able to pursue other legal remedies against your landlord because rent board hearings are not part of the judicial system.