Tenant Law Blog

A Repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Act?

There’s a battle ahead. And it’s already started.

The first strike occurred on February 17, when California Assembly Members David Chiu (Democrat-San Francisco), Rob Bonta (Democrat-Alameda), and Richard Bloom (Democrat-Santa Monica) introduced a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

Why should you care about this? Because the Costa-Hawkins Act has significant implications to you as a tenant, particularly if you live in San Francisco and other places in California that already have rent control.

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I’m Glad to be a Californian

Last Wednesday, at the San Francisco Lawyers Club Inn of Courts Supreme Court luncheon, I was honored to introduce the Chief Justice of California.

As the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, she influences how laws are interpreted. As I wrote in an earlier blog, The Case of the Winning Defendant,” court opinions matter to you as a tenant.

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Richmond’s Rent Control Measure Hangs On

Richmond’s rent control is under attack by the California Apartment Association.

The first strike came on January 6th, when the California Apartment Association filed a lawsuit against the City of Richmond over the rent control measure, which went into effect this past December 30th.

It’s no surprise that the Association, which represents landlords, would file a lawsuit. It spent slightly over $1 million to defeat rent control measures on the ballot this past November in Richmond, Mountain View, San Mateo, Burlingame, and Alameda, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Don’t Be Fooled by the Recent Decreasing Rent News

There’s been a bunch of articles recently touting the improved rental market in San Francisco and other cities in the Bay Area.

“Winter Continues to Cool Off San Francisco’s Rental Market,” claims SFCurbed. “S.F. Rents Down More Than Any Other Large U.S. City,” states SFGate. “Bay Area Tenants Get Some Relief as Rents Continue to Slide” says The Mercury News.

Yes, recent statistics show a cooling off on the upward rise of apartment rents in San Francisco and in some other parts of the Bay Area. The asking rate might even be a little reduced from 2016’s levels.

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The Case of the Winning Defendant

Court opinions can be like reality television shows. They both have lots of drama.

Unlike reality television, though, court opinions include lots of fun legal stuff.

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Checklist for Tenant Estoppels

The landlord or his realtor presents you with a document asking you about the details of your lease. You sign it without thinking about it. Did you just unknowingly give away some of your tenant rights?

In my last blog, “Tenant Estoppel Certificates: The Hidden Trap,” I wrote about the importance of tenant estoppels. This is a form you might receive if your landlord sells your building.

If you’re not in the legal field, you could get fooled into thinking that estoppels aren’t important.

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Money and Owner Move-in Evictions

Can you get money from your landlord if he wrongfully used an owner move-in eviction?

Maybe. An investigative report by NBC Bay Area suggests that it’s relatively easy. But be forewarned: you as a tenant will likely have hoops to jump through.

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Did Rent Control Win Big at the Ballot Box?

If you didn’t like the results of the presidential election, there still might be a bright spot for you as a tenant.

Five Bay Area cities had tenant rent control measures on the ballot last Tuesday. All of these measures were created through voters collecting enough signatures.

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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

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