Tenant Law Blog
The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office received a significant legal victory over a landlord and their agent earlier this month. Between May 2013 and May 2014, Chuck Post, agent for Lem-Ray Properties I DE, LLC (or Lem-Ray for short) ran ads on Craigslist and ApartmentsInSF.com for studio apartments at 935 Geary Street in San Francisco. The ads stated Section 8 vouchers would not be accepted.
In my last two blogs, “Don’t Get a Buyout for Your Landlord: Part 1“ and “Don’t Get a Buyout for Your Landlord: Part 2,” I discussed how landlords favor buyouts. In this blog, I’ll take an even closer look at the amounts paid to tenants to show the pitfall for you as a tenant accepting a buyout.
In my last blog, “Don’t Get a Buyout from Your Landlord: Part 1,” I discussed the San Francisco Tenant Buyout ordinance and how it was created to protect you as a tenant.
In this blog, I’m looking at the statistics to show you the meaning behind the numbers. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and understanding the trends will help you protect your tenant rights.
As an attorney, I’ve learned not to say “never.” There’s always exceptions.
Still, never accepting a buyout is a good rule of thumb.
A buyout is when your landlord offers you cash in exchange for you vacating your home. When landlord waves thousands of dollars in your face, it’s hard to think clearly. After all, that kind of thing doesn’t happen every day.
The law can be complicated. That’s why I suggest tenants reconsider representing themselves in disagreements with the landlord.
A recent case, Sayta v. Chu, was heard by the Court of Appeal here in San Francisco. It’s a notable case to post about in this blog because it demonstrates how complicated the law can be.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Mary Catherine Wiederhold
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San Francisco, CA 94109
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