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(415) 552-9060

San Francisco Tenant Lawyers

Welcome to the online law office of Crow & Rose.

Dave Crow and Solvejg Rose are uniquely prepared, experienced tenant rights lawyers. We are advocates for our clients on the full range of legal issues facing tenants, consumers and others in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tenant Law

We are best known for an aggressive tenant rights law practice — which focuses solely on the representation of tenants — the Crow & Rose law firm has years of experience defending unlawful detainer (eviction) actions.

We will represent you when you sue your landlord for breach of the warranty of habitability, harassment and owner-move-in (OMI) wrongful eviction. We help tenants negotiate tenant buyouts with their landlords, but only after a complete analysis of applicable landlord tenant law and discussion of a tenant’s options.

The firm’s practice also includes tenant representation in mediation and arbitration at the Rent Board. If you are a tenant and have a problem with your landlord, need eviction help, want to sue, or just want to stand up for your tenants rights call us. Crow & Rose represents commercial tenants.

We will not represent a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, nor will we represent a master tenant evicting roommates.

Personal Injury

We aggressively represent personal injury plaintiffs. If you have been injured, you deserve full recovery. We often work with medical professionals who provide holistic and alternative, less traditional treatment.

Civil Litigation

We are dedicated to providing creative and cost-effective representation to help our clients successfully resolve litigation and other legal disputes. Crow & Rose offers experience in a broad range of civil litigation matters, including business litigation, real estate litigation, and alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration.

Crow & Rose also offers comprehensive legal services including creative problem solving, counseling, advocacy, and successful appellate work. If you need to appeal a decision, call us for a free consultation.

Offices conveniently located in downtown San Francisco at the Montgomery MUNI/BART station. Contact Dave Crow or Solvejg Rose at(415) 552-9060 or complete the form on our Contact the Tenant Lawyers page.

We accept credit cards—Visa, MasterCard and Discover. (3% additional charge for all credit card payments.)

contact us now
(415) 552-9060

Tenant Attorneys

Dave Crow

dave.newDave Crow combines broad life experience and deep personal commitment as a tenant advocate and homeless services attorney that make him uniquely qualified to resolve a wide range of legal issues.

Dave earned his Juris Doctor from New College of California Public Interest School of Law in San Francisco.

Employed at the Homeless Advocacy Project of the Bar Association of San Francisco from 1997 until 2002, his last two years there were spent as a National Association for Public Interest Law (Equal Justice Works) fellow.

Mr. Crow’s award-winning advocacy included work on the myriad of complex legal issues facing traditionally under-represented tenants, including those from the homeless, at-risk and disabled communities.

He established the firm in 2002, specializing in representing Bay Area tenants. Solvejg Rose joined him as a partner in 2005, adding several new facets to the firm. Dave Crow’s private legal practice emphasizes eviction defense, wrongful eviction and other landlord tenant and real property matters, with additional representation of personal injury plaintiffs.

Dave currently serves as a tenant commissioner on the San Francisco Rent Board.

Solvejg Rose (Of Counsel)

solvejg.newSolvejg Rose’s unique legal background spans the full panoply of legal practice and research—from criminal courts to civil courts; from private sector to public sector; from Europe to the United States.

An attorney still qualified to practice law in Germany, Ms. Rose was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2004.

In Germany, she attended the University of Goettingen Law School and received her graduate degree from the University of Leipzig. She also studied Swedish law and international trade law at the University of Stockholm.

After graduating, Ms. Rose served in the Law Clerk Program for the Free State of Saxony. She wrote judicial decisions, drafted municipal statutes, and worked closely with several judges to craft decisions.

Ms. Rose’s legal counsel to tenants and other clients was honed during her four years at the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Homeless Advocacy Project, where she represented and provided legal counsel to clients in a wide variety of legal matters, including SSI/SSDI disability benefits, landlord tenant law, and unemployment insurance benefits. Ms. Rose has successfully represented tenants in Rent Board hearings and at trial.

Ms. Rose is an accomplished litigator. She has also written numerous wills, living trusts and is currently representing plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits.

My Master Tenant’s Fallen In Love, Am I Screwed?
Welcome to Rentpocalypse 2012! Have a seat, but don't stay too long.
Toilet Traumas
I have an ongoing problem with the toilet. The hose that fills up the tank gets clogged and sprays water all over my entire bathroom.
Troll in the Basement
A landlord who lives in his own in-law unit is usually so penurious that you can hear him squeak when he tiptoes up to your door to eavesdrop—the ultimate Cheese Ball.
Does My Landlord Need To Reimburse Me When I Can’t Use The Garage?
I think that a court would see the loss of the garage for two days as a reasonable loss of use.
This Is Why You Take Photographs At Move In
Since she refused to do a walk thru, can we be held liable for the damages that were existing when we moved in? We took pictures of everything right after we moved in and they are date imprinted.
Locked Out Of The Laundry Room
Do tenants have a right to use the building's community laundry room during posted hours?
My Landlord Isn’t Depositing My Rent Checks, Should I Worry?
My landlord has not been depositing the checks I send to them for rent.
What Are My Rights If My Building’s Not Rent Controlled?
If candidates for mayor or any other office say they don't want to extend the just cause eviction provisions of the Rent Ordinance to buildings built after 1979, tell them to fuck off.
Can My Landlord Refuse To Add My Domestic Partner To My Lease?
Any refusal to rent to your domestic partner based on a debt is a refusal based upon credit worthiness--an unreasonable refusal.
My Landlord’s Threatening To Evict Me Because My Boyfriend Moved In To Take Care of Me
To paraphrase David Mamet, the landlord business is a people business. It's a fucking people business.
My Landlord Said I Could Add Roommates, Then Changed His Mind
You should read Rules & Regulations §6.15B and follow the steps provided each time you want to add new roommates.
Does My Illegal In-Law Make My Single Family House Into A Rent-Controlled Building?
You have stepped into the landlord's shoes. You rent the unit independently and you have assumed many of the risks. Why do you wanna be a !$&#@!$ landlord anyway?
When It’s Time To Hire A Private Eye To Go After Your Landlord
My landlord claims he lives in my building, but he doesn't. How can I prove it?
Can Someone Be A Subtenant If They Aren’t Paying Rent?
The caretaker could be a subtenant because she is providing cat care and security for a free place to stay, but the analysis does not end there.
My Boyfriend Moved Out, And My Rent Went Up
The landlord would argue that you are not an original occupant and, despite the fact that you paid rent directly to her agent, she did not waive his right to increase the rent.
Can My Landlord Raise My Rent By $300/Month?
Some of the best deals in town, illegal in-laws can be pleasant places to live, until the landlord starts screwing around with the tenant or a new owner wants to remove the unit from the market.
How Do I Get My Landlord To Pay For Property Damage They Caused?
The pipe to the radiator wasn't sealed correctly so steam filled the apartment for more than 8 hours, saturating the walls and ceiling, causing the kitchen linoleum to peel.
I Think My Master Tenant Is Scamming Me
It's not enough that we in the tenant defense business have to deal with unscrupulous and/or uninformed landlords, we have to deal with tenants who decide they own their units and rent them out like landlords.
Surprise! You’re Not Getting Your Deposit Back!
I moved out of my apartment a year ago. My landlord's representative did a walkthrough and said everything was ok. They sent me a letter after I moved saying I owed them money. So, is it too late to get my security deposit back?
Why An Absentee Master Tenant Is A Bad Idea
SF Tenant: It's always a bad idea to rent a room in an apartment with an absentee master tenant. Too many things can go wrong.
My Landlord Filed For Bankruptcy, Is My Deposit Gone Forever?
I know my old landlord has filed for bankruptcy. He did not return my security deposit after I moved out. Can I get my money back?
Do I Have To Subsidize My Landlord’s Improvements On Another Building?
Common courtesy should dictate that the landlord inform you, in advance, that the repairs were going to commence
Bad Master Tenant
The truly bad master tenant collects all of the roommates’ rent and then, for whatever reason, doesn’t pay the landlord. Usually you find out about the problem too late, when you're being evicted.
Our Landlord’s Sawing Is Making Life Miserable
You have an opportunity to be powerful here. I'm not talking about the power of, "I'm going to sue your ass." I'm talking about the power of genuine human interaction.
Does My Landlord Need To Clean My Chimney?
If you are using the fireplace correctly and smoke is still billowing into your apartment, then it looks like a chimney cleaning is in order.
I Think We Have A Squatter In Our Garage
Strictly speaking, squatters do not need to be formally evicted, that is served with notice and sued in unlawful detainer.
A Neighboring Restaurant’s Rats Are Attacking My Apartment
While the rats may be coming from the restaurant, shouldn't my landlord be doing something to ensure that our building is safe?
Are Broken Elevators Against The Law?
The elevator at my building has been out of order for more than a month, and we have no indication that repairs will take place anytime soon. This situation has made life miserable for people on the upper floors, who must lug laundry and groceries up to six flights.
Do I Really Get A Life Time Lease If My Apartment Becomes A Condo?
The new condo conversion law provides that that any tenant (not just elderly, catastrophically ill or disabled tenants) must be offered a life time lease.
If I Need To Break My Lease, Am I Responsible For Finding A New Tenant?
You are not responsible for finding another tenant. That's the landlord's job! If he doesn't try to find another tenant he is not mitigating his damages.
They Don’t Call Em Landlords for Nothing
For over one thousand years dating back to the days of ye olde English estate, a landed lord could do anything he desired to his tenants because he owned them.
How Do I Get My Deposit Back If My Building’s In Foreclosure?
The banks and owners will all tell you that your security deposit is, poof, gone, up in smoke. Not true.
I Think My Landlord Is Crazy, Do I Need To Move Out?
The bridge you don't want to burn is a bridge to nowhere. You were never going to get a good reference from your landlord, Captain Ahab, anyway.
My Absentee Master Tenant Was Scamming Me And My Landlord
Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Tenants: Never, ever rent a room from an absentee master tenant!
How Do I Ask For Permission To Get A Dog?
I've been living in a fourplex since December 2005. I'd really like to get a small dog, but I don't know how to go about asking my landlord. So my question is: how can I ask my landlord for permission to have a dog, without getting rejected?
Why Won’t My Landlord Discuss My New Lease With Me?
You make your landlord uncomfortable. He knows, at least subconsciously, that he did nothing to deserve the rent increase he's requesting.
Should I Take A $40,000 Buyout Offer?
I am 65 years old. I've lived in my apartment for 22 years. I pay just under $900 for a junior one bedroom on the top floor in the San Francisco Mission district.The landlord offered me a buyout to vacate for $40,000. Should I ask for $60,000?
Can My Landlord “Bank” My Annual Rent Increases?
"Landlords: They are legion, they do not forgive, they do not forget. Expect annual rent increases."
Can My Landlord Search My Apartment For Pot?
SF Tenant asks: Can my landlord give me a notice to enter to search my apartment for pot?
Hey, Landlord, Show Me <em>Your</em> Credit Report
Given the current financial crisis, it's time to revise Civil Code § 1950.6 to allow tenants to get landlords' credit reports. The law should require reciprocity.
What Constitutes a “Decrease In Services”?
The roof leaks, the linoleum is peeling, there's mold and nobody picks up the garbage. Can we file a petition for decreases in services?
My Living Room Is Covered In Lead Paint Dust
The Environmental Protection Agency has very stringent requirements for renovation projects that could be contaminated with lead.
Does A Mistake In My Lease Give Me Free Rent?
This is just a mistake in the drafting of the lease. You're not going to get a free month's rent. You should, however, be able to point out the mistake to get out a month early.
Losing Your Security Deposit For Subletting?
The fact that the tenant was, arguably, an illegal subletter has absolutely nothing to do with the refund of his security deposit
Sorry, CitiApartments, “Routine Inspections” Are Illegal
I've rented the same apartment from Citi Properties for 6 years. Up until about 6 months ago, they kept the building tidy, had an on-site manager, and did monthly bug inspections. Now they're trying to sell the building and they have gotten rid of all that stuff. The only thing they do now is "inspect" each unit once a month.
Is The Rule Of Seven Really A Thing?
A Rule of Seven, if it existed, would be a stupid, vindictive and financially unsound practice that could only be justified by ignorant superstition, evidence that some landlords have SPOOKS in their brains.
My Sink Stinks
My sink is bubbling up water and sludge like a geyser every few hours. I can't use my sink to do dishes and the smell is awful.
Will The Board Of Supes’ Soft-Story Retrofit Requirement End Up Costing Me A Bundle?
Like the issue of soft-story retrofits, the San Francisco capital improvements Ordinance and Rules are complicated and dense.
Is My Landlord Lying To Tenants And Claiming They Don’t Have Rent Control?
Your relationship with your landlord will change if you complain. The next time you see him he will have donned his crown, his tights and his cod piece.
Adding A Roommate, Losing A Garage
I think the best strategy is to remove the items from the garage. Then consider filing a petition for decrease in services at the Rent Board.
Why Is My New Management Company Asking Me So Many Questions?
The document you are describing sounds like an estoppel certificate, a tenant questionnaire designed to collect information to present to a potential buyer of the property.
When Can My Landlord Ask For My Annual Rent Increase?
Your one-year lease guarantees your rent for one year, not 11 months. This is even true in Bakersfield and Yuba City!
Wet, Cold, And Moldy
All of the units' bedroom closets have huge mold problems on the walls. The landlord's best response is to just to keep bleaching the walls. Other areas of each apartment have mold the landlords only "solutions" are to cover the areas over with paint or tile.
Tenant in San Francisco: What’s Wrong with Working in a Bookstore?
If you are a tenant, there is nothing wrong with working in a bookstore, as long as you are working in three of them.
When I Break My Lease, Is My Roommate Screwed?
As you scramble to get out of the lease and your greedy landlord tries to increase the rent you forgot about the person who will be hurt under this scenario--your subtenant.
Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
It is rarely justifiable for a tenant to campaign for the eviction of another tenant.
Even Dracula Had to Have an Invite Before He Could Enter
In California, the landlord does not have to have an invitation, but he does have to give a 24-hour written notice to enter. The notice has to specify the date, the time and reason he wants to enter.
Why Won’t My Landlords Take A Rent Check From My Partner?
You need to gather evidence that your partner moved into the unit at the same time you did, despite not being named on the lease.
Why Do You Assume All Landlords Are Rich?
Anyone who didn’t come in with yesterday’s rain knows that rich people always complain about not having enough. It’s in their nature.
Why Can’t My Wife Sign Our Rent Check?
If you are the only signatory to the lease, one could argue that you should be the one signing the rent checks. If both you and your wife are named on the lease then your landlord is just being an idiot.
Is My Landlord Trying To Evict Me For Smoking?
I received a letter from the management company stating that they had received an "official complaint" that smoke originating in my unit has continually permeated into surrounding units.
Can I Replace My Sink Without My Landlord’s Permission?
Tenants: You have to remember that you don't own your unit. Rarely is it worthwhile to improve a property you don't own. It never makes sense to improve a rental unit without the landlord's written permission.
Roach Recourse?
Do I have any recourse if I keep seeing roaches? I'm not sure if I can live with them!
Management Company Only Pretends We Have A Resident Manager
The landlord installed a phony resident manager in violation of California law.
Landlord Consent, Roommates, Red Herrings, Three Dog Night
It doesn’t make sense to give the landlord a say in picking your roommate. The original tenant or tenants are still responsible for paying the rent.
Landlord Crybabies <i>Forced</i> To Ellis Because Landlording Became So Unpleasant
If being a landlord is so unpleasant, why don't you just sell your building without evicting the tenants?
Prohibited Pets Could Put You In The Doghouse
It doesn't seem that your dog is causing any damage or threatening the neighbors, but that is not the issue. The fact is that you are in breach of your lease and could be evicted for having your pooch because it seems like the lease has a clear "no pets" provision.
My Former Landlord Won’t Return My Security Deposit Or Call Me Back
If every tenant in California wrote to his or her state legislators every time a landlord ripped off a security deposit, maybe the law could be re-written to reflect proactive preventions enacted by many other states.
I Stopped Paying My Rent Because Of Maintenance Issues, Now I’m Getting Evicted
The landlord took three months to fix broken flashing on the roof over my daughter's bedroom. Every time it rained, it rained in my daughter's room. Should I fight the eviction or pay the rent?
Can I Have My Living Situation “Both Ways”?
Pay the rent. That's the best single piece of advice I can give to tenants. You'd be surprised at how many landlord issues disappear when you pay the rent.
How Can I Avoid Getting Screwed By Landlords Pulling Application Fee Scams?
California Civil Code §1950.6 governs the collection of application fees, a namby-pamby, bullshit law does not contain a remedy for its violation.
Do I Still Need To Worry About Getting My Deposit From Citiapartments?
When Urban Pioneer refuses your request to apply your security deposit to the rent, remind them that you will sue them for the any money they keep.
Is It Too Late For Me To Sue To Get My Security Deposit Back?
Landlords steal security deposits because they can. They bank on the fact that many tenants will simply walk away.
Can Our Landlord Kick Us Out When Our Roommate Moves?
Remember, because you live in a house, a single-family dwelling, you are only protected by the "just cause" provisions of the Rent Ordinance, not the price controls. The landlord can increase the rent as much he wants to.
My Landlord’s Selling My Building, And Now I Have To Fill Out A Bunch Of Forms?
The forms you described are legally characterized as "estoppel certificates." Estoppel is the fancy legal term for preventing a person from asserting a fact or a claim inconsistent with a position they previously maintained.
Should I Propose A Buyout to My Landlord?
Correctly or not, landlords figure that a tenant offering a buyout may be ready to move voluntarily anyway--as in already found a new place and wants some quick cash to exit.
Can My Landlord Hang On To My Deposit For Utility Bills?
Civil Code § 1950.5, the statute dealing with the collection and refund of security deposits, does not allow deductions for utility bills.
Do I Have To Keep Using The Crappy Furniture That Came With My Apartment?
Read the lease as broadly as possible to see if any language applied to removing the furniture could be used to evict you for breach of contract.
My Building Manager Says I’m Denying Access To My Apt., But I’m Not!
The building "manager/lawyer" did not answer my questions about him and then accused me of denying access.
Living In A Chain Reaction Of Broken Promises
World history is a chain reaction of broken promises. You gotta own up and take responsibility.
A Just Cause Eviction Does Not Mean “Just ‘Cause Your Landlord Said So”
San Francisco tenants who love their apartments and begin to believe "there's no place like home" are those most in danger.
Does My Unusual Lease Mean My Landlord Can Hang Out In My Apartment?
Landlords become obsessed with the inherent power bestowed upon them by their position. When the greed gets psychotic, the psychotics torment their tenants.
My Landlord Said I Didn’t Have To Pay Rent, But Now She Wants It
Are we required to pay the landlord rent she claims we owe, even once other arrangements had been made?
The Eviction Shuffle: Not Like Perry Mason
If you are representing yourself, imagine an episode where Perry isn’t familiar with the rules, the judge hates him and Hamilton Burger has a perfect record.
Is My Rent Being Raised In Retaliation For My Repair Complaints (And Is That Legal?)
The lease says condo, but the Exhibit B says it's not...yet. So are we included in the rent control ordinance as a condo unit, owned by the building subdivider?
My Landlord Is Selling My Building, How Pessimistic Should I Be?
Landlords who buy houses with in-law units rarely want an "already-installed tenant and their monthly check."
How Do I Get My Landlord To Fix The Elevator?
Elevators are very expensive to repair and/or replace. Most landlords would rather use a duct tape and bubblegum approach than spend the dough to do the job correctly.
Another Tenant Screwed by Costa Hawkins
Costa Hawkins--a bi-partisan law enacted in 1995 by the band of pandering griftocrats we call our state legislators.
How Can I Get My Landlord To Consistently Heat My Apartment?
You should not have to heat your apartment with your oven. That's the bottom line here. It's dangerous, expensive and while it is not per se illegal, if you start a fire, you're going to get blamed for it.
My Building Has Turned Into A Den Of Crime
You evidently don't understand a basic tenet of life in the United States of America. If you're poor, you must live in a crime-ridden shit hole.
Stop Wishin’ And Hopin’ To Get Your Deposit Back, And Get To Court
Phone calls never, ever convince a landlord to refund a security deposit. To wait six months and think you might not have to sue is simply wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'.
The Eviction Shuffle: Should I Dance?
if you’re going to become the belle of the ball, that is win, you should learn to perform as many of the steps as possible.
Tenants, Thugs and CDOs
A local tale of unmitigated greed and the criminal enterprise of one family to corner the residential real estate market in San Francisco, buying large rent controlled buildings and ousting long-term tenants by any means possible led to the shady world of collateralized debt obligations, derivatives and the real villains.
There’s A Mouse In My (Boarding) House
If you think that living with roommates is a pain in the ass, try living in a boarding house.
You May Not Have To Sign That Lease, But Here’s Why You Should
Landlords generally don't want to lock themselves into fixed term leases for fixed rent. Why? Because they want to keep their options open.
Am I Still The Master Tenant If I Moved Out Of My Apartment For Six Years?
Technically speaking you are a master tenant, but you cannot demonstrate that you are an original occupant because you moved out for six years.
Does My Landlord Have To Fix My Broken Dishwasher?
A dishwasher is a housing service provided to the tenant as part of the initial rent. It is the landlord's responsibility to repair the dishwasher.
If Our Roommate Moves Out, Can Our Landlord Jack Up Our Rent?
I reread Rules & Regulations §6.14, which as usual, has the effect of a combination of Seconal and Wild Turkey. Your boyfriend is not an original tenant/occupant, but the landlord still cannot increase the rent.
Grand Theft Security Deposit Again?
Landlords steal hundreds of million of dollars in security deposits from tenants every year, aided and abetted by our so-called representatives who will not cross their real estate industry/landlord masters.
My Landlord Died, Am I About To Lose My Apartment?
Like the unicorn, rent controlled apartments are mythical and fast becoming extinct, especially when they become objects of desire for Twitter-motherfuckers and bubble-headed investors.
My Neighborhood’s Too Dangerous, Can I Break My Lease?
When a tenant breaches a lease, in this case by moving out before the end of the term, a landlord suffers damages.
Sue For Security Deposit Or SOL?
The landlord refused to return my deposit on the many occasions that I demanded it, with no explanation. I have even attempted to contact the main management company with no luck.
Can My New Landlord “Bank” My Rent Increases From Before She Owned My Home?
The San Francisco Rent Board has always been careful to consider the question of return on investment when establishing guidelines to deal with rent increases.
SF Appeal Tenant Troubles: Rents Are Dropping, Can I Renegotiate?
How should I negotiate? Write a letter now or wait until lease renewal on 3-1-10, when it goes month to month? I love the building and I am a great tenant. Help!
Need a New Roommate? Father Knows Best
Why do you need the landlord’s consent? Because it says so in the lease and you will be in breach of the lease if you don’t get his consent.
Can My Landlord Make Me Pay To Replace The Carpet?
Normal wear and tear to carpets, drapes and other furnishings cannot be charged against a tenant's security deposit. (Civil Code Section 1950.5(e).)
Why On Earth Would I Have To Pay My Building A $200 Move-Out Fee?
Unfortunately anyone who proposes a "move-out fee" with a straight face won't have a sense of humor. There's no way you can make him laugh and, like the Toon Patrol weasels, make him fly away and disappear.
Should I Rent An Apartment That’s In Bad Shape?
Do you rent the unit, despite it's relatively minor problems, or do you point them out to your prospective landlord and risk losing an opportunity to rent a reasonably priced apartment?
Can I Get Evicted For Adding A Lock To My Closet?
I want to put a lock on my closet. Is that permitted in an SRO hotel?
My Building’s Being Sold, Do I Have To Get Out?
Our building is being sold. We have not been given notice to vacate yet, but anticipate that it will be sold pretty quickly. We are trying to figure out if we would be given relocation benefits.
My Landlord’s Trying To Punish Me For Complaining About Lead Paint
I have a two-year-old. The management company is retaliating against me because I complained about lead paint chips in the bath tub.
Read Your Lease
Most leases have a clause governing assignment and subletting. When you add or replace roommates you are subletting part of the unit, so the subletting cause in your lease applies.
How Do I Dump A Deadbeat Roommate?
What are the laws governing kicking out one of your roommates?
My Landlord Won’t Let My Boyfriend Move In
our landlord may not be required to give you permission to let your boyfriend move in.
A Rent Increase Question Puts The “Lord” In Landlord
I have contacted the landlord and all they can say is that "it's been raised to market value" and "we are not being discriminatory with the unequal increases." My question is, is it within their (landlords') rights to raise rents in a disproportional manner?
Poodle In The Microwave: Three Common Tenant Misconceptions
Tenant urban legends. If you are a tenant, don't get sucked in.
My Landlord’s Jacking My Rent Way Up After I Complained About Maintenance
Unfortunately, the building was built after 1979 and you are not covered by the San Francisco Rent Ordinance. You may as well be living in Bakersfield.
Does My Landlord Owe Me Interest For My Security Deposit?
Someone recently told me that in San Francisco, a landlord is supposed to give tenants a yearly check for the interest accrued on their security deposit.
My New Landlord Wants To Jack Up My Rent For “Operating And Maintenance Expenses Passthrough”
In California, tenants should be emailing their legislators every second of every day, to demand repeal of the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Civil Code section 1954.50 to 1954.535).
Pigeon Poop Problems
The problem is that the windows and building are filthy grimy and covered with pigeon poop on the outside. If I open the window the soot all blows into our apartment and I don't even want to know what diseases could come from the poop.
Wrongfully Evicted And *Still* Can’t Get My Deposit Back
Check to see if she has already rented the unit. If she has and she is still trying to take your security deposit she will be unjustly enriched (more cool legalese.)
If I’m Rich, Am I Still Protected By Rent Control?
I make $400,000.00 per year and I don't want to pay a penny more than I have to. Am I protected by rent control?
Can I Get Away With Putting My Apartment On Airbnb Without Informing My Landlord?
If your lease requires the landlord's written permission to sublet, get the landlord's written permission and have at it.
How Do I Figure Out The Interest My Landlord Owes Me For My Deposit?
Use the San Francisco Security Deposit Interest/Rent Board Fee Calculator to figure your interest and Rent Board fees and remind the landlord that she owes you.
My (Ex) Girlfriend’s Moving Out, Will My Rent Be Going Up?
The landlord cannot increase your rent beyond the allowable increase set by the Rent Board because you are an original tenant on the lease.
Is There A “What Lies Can We Get Away With This Month?” Group For Landlords?
If landlords know they can lie to their tenants and the court about retaining a security deposit and only get a slap on the wrist, why wouldn't they lie?
Can I Trust Urban Pioneer To Pay Back My Deposit?
Will Urban Pioneer refund San Francisco tenant's security deposit?
Can My (Troll) Landlord Give A 24-Hour Notice For Entry That Lasts All Week?
Landlord trolls with a Caligula complex are particularly dangerous because many of them are richer than god and they have a divinity delusion to boot.
Do I Risk Losing My Apartment If I Take An Out Of Town Temporary Job?
Given the facts as you relate them, you shouldn't have any problem "moving" to Los Angeles to accept a temporary contract job.
How Do I Get Affordable Heat?
I live in an apartment that does not have adequate heating. The house doesn't have gross violations; there isn't mold, leaks, or gaping holes in the walls or windows. However, it is really drafty and the building is old so it does not keep out the cold.
My Landlord Wants Me To Add My Boyfriend To My Lease. Do I Have To?
Tell your landlord that it's beneficial to her to allow you to add your boyfriend as a subtenant. If you move out she can increase the rent to market rate.
I Think My Roommate Is Crazy, How Can I Get Her Out?
Master tenants make me mad when they rip off their roommates or their actions, knowingly or ignorantly, place innocent roommates' housing in jeopardy.
Tenant Buyouts
If you negotiate a buyout with your landlord, you don’t want to be the guy plummeting off the cliff. That is why we will help you if you decide to take a buyout.
My Building’s For Sale, Should I Worry?
What are my tenant rights in San Francisco when the building goes up for sale?
My Landlord Forged Documents To Get Me Evicted
Your landlord pulled one of the oldest, dirtiest tricks in the landlord playbook. We in the business call it "sewer service."
Are The Buyout Terms My Landlord’s Offering Acceptable?
Should we sign the buyout agreement the landlords provided or renegotiate?
Tenants, Don’t Hire a <em>Landlord</em> Lawyer!
The first question you should ask a "tenant" lawyer is: Do you represent landlords against tenants? If the answer is yes, that should be the last thing you ask.
Can My Landlord Keep My Deposit Because He Wants To Replace The Range Hood?
California state law governs the collection and return of security deposits. It applies to all California tenancies from Weed to Chula Vista, even San Jose.
Are There Penalties For A Late Security Deposit Interest Payment?
There is no penalty for late payment of security deposit interest in San Francisco.
Is It Legal For My Landlord To Change The Terms Of My Lease After 12 Years?
It is clear and supported by case law that a unilateral change requiring insurance in a residential, rent controlled, lease can be defeated in court.
My Landlord Went Through My Closet
You've probably noticed that there are several major themes in landlord tenant relationships. This one is the, "It's my property and I can do anything I want. Just call me Massa and be grateful that you pay me $31,800.00 per year for the privilege."
Smoky The Guest
The neighbor's boyfriend smokes and drinks all day. My apartment stinks even though I keep the windows closed. What can I do?
Tenant Buyouts: Your Absolute Bottom Line
If the landlord offers our tenant family a buyout of $20,000 to move they should politely tell him to gently insert his offer into a location devoid of sunshine.
Foreclosure: Banks Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Obey the Law
Banks may not use terms like "vig" or "nut", but they are foreclosing as zealously as loan sharks. They're throwing innocent tenants out of their houses in the process. What can you do about it?
I Think I Have An Illegal Clause In My Lease
There are many illegal clauses that one can find in a lease. For example, a tenant cannot waive his or her right to a habitable premises in a lease.
Do I Seriously Have To Hang A “Do Not Flush Tampons” Sign In My Bathroom?
There isn't a law anywhere that allows a landlord to require a "Do Not Flush Tampons" sign in a residential dwelling.
How Do I Get My Landlord To Allow Me To Get A Dog?
SF Tenant: How Do I Get My Landlord To Allow Me To Get A Dog?
How Do I Get Reimbursed For Utility Overages That Aren’t My Fault?
The legal, polite way to to handle this is to be polite but direct. The leak needs to be fixed and you want your money back.
Did Gavin Newsom Make It Harder For My Boyfriend To Move In With Me?
Mayor Gavin Newsom, the rapacious, oily narcissist and shill for the real estate industry vetoed legislation that would have allowed you to add your boyfriend to help pay rent.
My Landlord Wants Me To Move Out So He Can Sell My Apartment
I received a call today from the investment partner that they intended to sell both the units and would offer me first and last months rent to help me move out.
Can My New Landlord Take Away My Storage Space?
Storage is one of the first things the new landlord will remove from a pesky, low-paying, long-term tenant--an obvious ploy to begin to make a rent-controlled tenant uncomfortable.
Is My Building’s High Water Bill My Problem?
The landlord says we used 90,000 gallons of water in two months. Now she wants to raise our rent.
Can My Landlord Evict Me For Getting Pregnant?
The California legislature has made it crystal clear that we do not tolerate discrimination against families with children or pregnant women with respect to housing.
I Have An Oral Lease, May I Sublet A Room Using airbnb In My Apartment?
Just because the law characterizes you as a quasi-landlord doesn’t mean you have to act like a Cheese Ball landlord.
Tenant Buyouts: The Agreement
If you negotiated a buyout agreement with your landlord, get that agreement in writing. Any landlord who balks at this is going to screw you, end of story.
The Eviction Shuffle: RSVP
A failure to respond to an eviction in the required amount of time will give the landlord the opportunity to ask a court to enter a default.
Can My Landlord Refuse To Allow Me A Service Animal?
If your disability is psychiatric your are absolutely entitled to request a reasonable accommodation that could include owning a pet.
Three Tenant Troubles–Roommate Rousting, Co-Tenant Challenges, Condo Craziness
Getting eviction advice from your landlord is like getting dating advice from that uncle who’s spent most of his adult life in prison–your landlord wants to evict anything that moves.
Tenant Buyouts: Strategy for Success
Like a high stakes poker game, buyouts are complicated. If you want want to get the best deal possible, you must be prepared to analyze the deal using the strategies here.
My Landlord Wants To Jack Up My Rent Because I’m Getting A New Roommate
My housemate is moving. I want to have another friend move in. I told my landlords and they said that they would be raising the rent from $1700 to $2250. Allowed under San Francisco ordinance?
Does My Landlord Get To Ask About My Pot Plants?
Does the landlord have any business asking about a tenants possession and cultivation of pot?
What Rules Govern Master Tenants?
If you're a sub-tenant/not on the lease, what are your rights? Can the master tenant kick you out, or raise the rent, at his/her discretion?
My Erratic Landlord Is Asking For An Illegal Rent Increase
You think your landlord is strung out on drugs. He may be, but sometimes the behavior one ascribes to drugs can simply be a syphilitic dementia-like, Caligula-style obsession for control commonly found in landlords.
My Landlord Says He’s Bankrupt, So How Do I Get My Deposit Back?
II sent over a demand letter asking for my deposit to be mailed by a certain date, and just yesterday I received an email from the landlord stating that he's bankrupt.
Can I Be Evicted For Subletting Without Permission?
San Francisco is expensive and many landlords these days want to cash in on the new Twitter/tech boom. One of the easiest ways to remove rent-controlled tenants is to sue them for illegal subletting.
Can I Be Evicted Just Because My Apartment’s An Illegal Unit?
You can never be a protected tenant if you live in an illegal unit. Not possible. Because the unit is illegal, it should not be rented at all.
How Much Do I Have To Help The Realtor Who Wants To Evict Me?
Realtors--irrefutable proof that the United States is not a meritocracy. Between the lies, the drivel and the nonsensical notion that real estate agents are professionals, these guys make lawyers look good.
Do I Have To Move Out If The Condo I’m Renting Goes On The Market?
If your landlord is the person who initially converted the building to condos you won't have to worry about a $20K increase in your rent.
A Lease With An “Introductory Rate”?
The lease I signed gave me an introductory rate of $950 per month for the first 6 months and $995 for the last 6 months. Is the $45 increase legal?
We’re Basically Paying Our Master Tenant’s Rent. That’s Wrong, Right?
This is what you get when you don't truly understand that rent is simply an outrageous tax you pay to a lord to live on his land--a tax, nothing more, that subsidizes a lazy, unproductive aristocracy.
The Eviction Shuffle: Notice
Unlawful detainer is the legal term for an eviction lawsuit a landlord files to oust a tenant.
Why You Should Not Sublet To Texans
Texans are a ruthless, barbaric people whose dubious contributions to American culture and society include bull riding (see bovine fornication)...
Can I Break My Lease Due To My Insane Landlord And High Cats?
Is there a legal way to break our lease quickly? The landlord doesn't know we're leaving yet and I know if he thinks I wrote this letter he will find a way to hurt me. Seriously.
How Do I Get My Former Landlord’s Dead Hand Off Me?
This is a silly example of a landlord exerting dead hand control.
Do I Have To Give My Landlord My Pot Rack?
The landlord's rationale to steal your pot rack has been employed by the rich and powerful and two-year-olds for eons--I want it, so now it's mine and here's a rule I just made up to justify my keeping it.
Is My New Husband Going To Get Me Evicted?
It's never a good idea to try to backpedal to get a landlord's consent to the addition of a roommate after the roommate has moved in. Follow the rules before you add a roommate.
Can My Landlord Evict Me For Smoking Marijuana?
My husband and I smoke marijuana. It's all legal, but the landlord wants us to move and refused to accept our rent.
Ant Infestation
At the beginning of the cold snap, the ants were gone. My stomach sank. I knew they were in the house. A few days later they made their ingress at the base of our food pantry, and there were suddenly hundreds of ants swarming on those food shelves, and over to more food shelves on the other side of the house.
Smoked Out
Our lease prohibits smoking in all apartments in the entire building. Recently, we have been smoked out of our apartment by new neighbors across the hall.
Grand Theft Security Deposit Redux
Is it true that 71% of all tenants have been ripped off in some amount by their landlords? I understand my readers may be biased, yet it is clear from my experience and news accounts that landlords steal tenants’ security deposits.
My Landlord Is Selling The House I Live In, Do I Have To Move Out?
Selling the house devoid of tenants is ideal for for staging and marketing it for maximum profit.
Landlord Wants To Move His Office In With His Tenants
The law is not on your side either. You cannot force your tenants to let you maintain an office in the third bedroom.
Your Landlord Is Lying To You, Why Are You Lying FOR Him?
Tenants: Never, ever lie for your landlord!
How Can I Buy Property In SF And Not Burn In Hell?
My advice to you is the same I gave to my friend, buy property that doesn't have tenants. Buy a condo or a house or an unoccupied building with a friend.
Time To Get Medieval?
A three-month old baby in Louisiana died in her home from blood loss due to rat bites. The landlord spent FEMA money earmarked to repair the house on something else.
Can I Refuse To Sign A Lease?
You can be evicted if you refuse to sign a new lease, but only if the lease contains "terms which are materially the same as in the previous agreement."
Grand Theft Security Deposit
The law provides that you should be able to get your deposit back if you leave the unit in substantially the same condition as you found it.
Is My Landlord Required To Replace My 25-Year-Old Carpet?
You can always ask the landlord for his permission to paint or upgrade the carpet yourself. I rarely recommend that a tenant upgrade a landlord's property, but small fixes and new paint may be justifiable because the benefits may justify the cost.
I Need To Swap Girlfriends (On My Lease)
The days of simply replacing your roommate without the landlord's involvement are long gone. Many tenants don't realize this.
Why Is My Landlord Demanding A $150 Late Fee?
In the past several months I've received many more calls from tenants about late fees and rent payment methods, leading me to believe that some landlord "working group" decided to focus on this method of tenant harassment.
Every Tenant Has One–An Implied Warranty of Habitability
If you find an electrocuted rat in your kitchen stove, odds are that your landlord has breached the implied warranty of habitability in your lease. What if he won’t fix the problem? What can you do?
A Cave By Any Other Name
The implied warranty of habitability--the landlord’s guarantee that he will provide you a unit with more amenities than a cave or a cardboard box.
Happy New Year, For Tenants Nothing’s Changed!
Unfortunately, 2009 proved for many big-city tenants that the golden rule was promiscuously traded for gold. Why would 2010 be any different?
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