Articles Tagged with San Francisco rent control lawyer

ryan-franco-116991-300x200There are many reasons why your particular rental unit may not have the benefits of rent control. It could be that your local authorities never enacted any type of rent control. Meaning it might not just be your building that is without rent increase limitations, it may be your entire city or county. You may lack rent control because despite your area having rent control, you live in an exempted unit. Many areas, like San Francisco, have rent control for older units but exempt “new construction,” which is any unit granted a residency certificate after a specific date. In San Francisco, that date is June 13, 1979. However, there is another reason you may not have a rent controlled unit. A California law known as the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act restricts municipalities from creating rent control ordinances on newer buildings.

Your Local Ordinance

While some cities in California chose to enact rent control at one time, many never did. Rent control becomes popular during times of rising rents and limited housing. However, it is not standard across the country by any means. Many cities and counties across the U.S. have never experienced housing shortages. Or when issues arose, they allowed the market to control the outcome instead of attempting to legislate the issue.

There are countless reasons to love San Francisco including our vibrant cultural scene, amazing restaurants, and countless year-round outdoor activities courtesy of the temperate climate.  In 2013, The Huffington Post looked at why San Francisco has some of the nation’s happiest and healthiest people in the nation, referencing a well-known Rudyard Kipling quote: “San Francisco has only one drawback – ’tis hard to leave.”  Sadly, our San Francisco landlord-tenant attorney knows at least one other drawback: the high cost of renting an apartment.  Few stories call attention to this problem as dramatically as the following look at a woman slapped with the highest rent increase we’ve ever encountered.  The story calls attention to a loophole in the San Francisco rent control system but also reminds renters that they can, and should, fight back.

The Rent Hike Heard Round the Town

Last week, San Francisco Magazine highlighted the most recent chapter in a rent dispute that captured the attention of the city earlier this year.  In March, a renter used social media to share a photo of a notice from her landlord hiking the rent on her Bernal Heights apartment from $2,145 to $8,900 and also increasing her security deposit from $1,500 to $12,500.   That’s more than four times the rent and more than eight times the original security deposit, increases that are even more astounding given that the unit had been, to the tenant’s knowledge, covered by rent control!  Unable to afford the rent, the tenant moved out in May.  She reports struggled to find an affordable home and had managed to get by thus far by doing various house/dog/cat-sitting gigs.  The article reports she will move into a sublet this month.