Escalating rents are hurting tenants and causing evictions in San Jose. Things are bad.
There’s a limit on how much landlords can raise rents, but it’s a whopping 8% a year. This is far more than in cities with rent control. A San Francisco landlord only can increase rates on a rent-controlled apartment based on a percentage of the Consumer Price Index. The allowable rent increase from March 2015 through February 2016 is 1.9%.
Easy to evict
The booming rental market in San Jose is only good news for landlords. San Jose landlords can simply evict tenants for no reason if they think they can get a more money than the 8% increase per year. Thankfully, tenants in San Francisco have protection. San Francisco landlords must have a “just cause” to evict tenants in rent-controlled homes.
Discrimination of the poor
No law in San Jose stops landlords from discriminating against low-income renters with Section 8 vouchers. This frequently forces tenants to live in complexes with numerous housing violations. Surprisingly, the number of complaints about substandard housing has decreased. Advocates say that tenants are afraid to complain because of the fear of being evicted. In one case, former tenants in condemned building have banded together to sue the former landlord in a public interest lawsuit.
Hope for the future
Tenants Together has just opened a legal clinic in San Jose. The city of San Jose is contemplating changes in the law. These are happening because the situation is so dire. While tenant protections are in place in the San Francisco, no one should take them for granted. My cases are about individual landlords trying to break the law.
Is your landlord violating the law? Are you being evicted? You should consider calling an experienced tenant attorney. Protect yourself. Know your rights.