Tenant Law Blog

Introducing My New Associate

I’m pleased to introduce my new associate, Courtney Brown.

Courtney Brown graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.

At the Golden Gate University School of Law, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Courtney won numerous academic awards for her achievements in writing, research, and evidence.

read more

The Case of the Locked-Out Tenant Who Hired an Attorney

This case is about a tenant who fought a bad landlord and the hard-working attorney she hired. Based on the antics of the landlord, the court eventually awarded the tenant a considerable amount to money.

The court even labelled the landlord as “vexatious.” In law, it means that the court categorized the landlord as a party who brings actions purely to cause annoyance.

read more

A Lesson about Rent Control from Santa Rosa

I heard a rumor two weeks ago that a number of 60-day notices to raise rents went out to Santa Rosa tenants even while the wildfires were still burning.

Santa Rosa has no rent control. Santa Rosa’s City Council had passed a rent and eviction control ordinance in August of 2016, but according to The San Francisco Chronicle, the California Apartment Association and its allies collected enough signatures to force the City Council to rescind the ordinance or send it to voters.   Residents voted against it in a special election held this past June.

read more

Preserving Your Tenant’s Right to a Jury Trial

If you’re a tenant involved in an eviction action, you’ll probably want a jury trial.

As I wrote in an earlier post, “Your Right to a Jury Trial,” jury members may be tenants themselves and can be more attuned to the difficulties of being a tenant.

But you can’t take this tenant right for granted.  In an unlawful detainer (eviction) case in Los Angeles County, a superior court judge ruled, based on the wording of the California Civil Code, that the tenants could not get a jury trial.

read more

How I Handle Lawsuits with Many Tenants

I represent individual tenants, but I also represent multiple tenants who are suing a landlord. These types of cases can be complex due the number of tenants.

Below is an article I wrote that was published in the San Francisco Attorney Magazine: Fall 2017. It gives an in-depth look at how I handle these complex cases with many tenants as plaintiffs.

read more

City Files Lawsuit Against “Firetrap”

The City of San Francisco is aiming at a landlord who rented an illegal basement space to 20 tenants that the San Francisco Fire Department alleges had many fire code violations.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera stated on August 22 that the City filed a lawsuit against the landlord and others who rented the basement in an Outer Mission building known for the Clean Wash Center Laundromat located on 4680 Mission Street.

read more

The Case of the Master Tenant Who Acted Like a Landlord

I follow court opinions in order to keep current with changes in the interpretation of landlord-tenant laws. I occasionally write about cases that are important to tenants in this blog.

This case, which I call “The Case of the Master Tenant Who Acted Like a Landlord,” is significant because it shows the number of ways the relationship between a landlord, master tenant, and subtenants can go awry.

It’s also a good in-depth look at how tenants handle the high rent in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area. The details below are specific to this case, but on the whole there are similarities to others across the Bay Area.

read more

Rental Rates Driving Tenants Out

Sheila James, an office worker, starts her week by rolling out of bed at 2:15 am to get to her job in downtown San Francisco by 8:00 am.

Because of high rental rates in the Bay Area, she moved to Stockton, where she can rent a 3-bedroom house for $1,000 a month. She used to live in Alameda, and paid $1,600 for a one-bedroom apartment.

She might still be living in Alameda if a developer had not brought her building and evicted her and her neighbors. As a single person, her household income is $80,000 a year, but that’s not enough to afford decent housing in the Bay Area.

read more

First Step to Correct a Housing Code Violation

You believe your home has a serious violation of the housing code.  But you’re not certain.  How can you tell?

“Substantial” compliance is the standard used by the courts.

Landlords are not required to have their properties in perfect, aesthetically pleasing conditions.  In most cases, landlords need what is called “substantial compliance.” This means that the conditions meet the applicable code standards that affect health and safety.

read more

Ready for Aggressive Legal Help?

Talk with a tenant lawyer in an obligation free telephone consultation.

Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Tenant Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Our offices are conveniently accessible to public transportation.

The use of the Internet or this website for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through these media.