Articles Tagged with San Francisco tenants’ lawyer

Shelter is one of our most basic and most universal needs.  Like other basic needs, the need for safe housing is particularly urgent for parents for whom with the health and well-being of their children often takes precedence over their own.  As a San Francisco housing lawyer, Attorney Greg Brod represents renters throughout Northern California who have been treated unfairly by a landlord or property owner.  Our work includes representing the victims of housing discrimination, including families, minorities, and others whose rights are violated by increasingly powerful owners and landlords.

DOJ Announces $75,000 Settlement in Case Alleging Discrimination Against Families with Children

A recent case out of Colorado serves as a useful illustration of these wrongs.  On July 25, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a press release announcing that the owners and manager of a 28-unit apartment complex in Lakewood, Colorado have agreed to doorpay $75,000 to settle a claim filed under the Fair Housing Act.  The underlying lawsuit alleges that the defendants implemented a policy that generally excluded families with young children from residing in units located in the complex’s front building.  Per the allegations contained in the complaint, representatives from a Denver non-profit posed as potential renters and were told that families with children were generally housed in the rear building.  The suit further alleged that prospective renters with children were not offered the opportunity to consider available units in the front building.

We all know that the cost of housing in San Francisco has skyrocketed in recent years resulting in a shortage of affordable rental housing.  What you may not know is that these market forces have also resulted in a startling increase in the number of tenants facing eviction.  In far too many cases, landlords are using wrongful evictions to chase out existing tenants, particularly lower-income renters, and profit from rising prices.  Our San Francisco wrongful eviction lawyer helps tenants who have been illegally pushed out of their housing or otherwise harassed by a landlord in violation of city and/or state laws.

Article Examines the Rising Number of Eviction Notices in San Francisco

This week, the Peninsula Press, an award-winning project of the Stanford Journalism Program, published a fascinating (and upsetting) look at eviction notices in San Francisco.  According to their data, eviction notices have increased 60% since 2011, a major concern in a city where two-thirds of the population lives in rental housing.  In 2011, nearly six tenants a day received eviction notices for a total of 2,080 notices served last year.  Notably, the Mission, Sunset, South of Market, and Tenderloin neighbrentorhoods accounted for over a quarter of the eviction notices served in the past six years.  These numbers only count notices, not actual evictions, but it is also important to remember that one eviction may leave a whole family homeless.

Many of us have, at one time or another, been told to develop a “thicker skin.”  In colloquial usage, this generally means one should be less sensitive to criticism or other negative words.  However, it turns out that in the world of bed bugs a thicker skin is a very real physical trait and one that makes the pests even tougher to eradicate.  This is important news.  Our San Francisco tenant’s lawyer believes landlords in particular should be paying attention because landlords can and should be held responsible when their failure to take appropriate action leaves residents suffering and prolongs a bed bug infestation in the Bay Area.

Bed Bugs Devebedbugsloping Resistance to Certain Insecticides

This week, CNN reported that researchers in Australia found that bedbugs have begun to develop thicker skins that allow them to survive certain bug sprays.  Bed bugs are parasites that feed on human blood and they have made a major resurgence in recent decades.  Researchers believe the pests are only growing stronger and more resistant to certain treatments.  In the recent study, researchers found that bed bugs that had a thicker natural covering were more likely to survive certain insecticides.  The scientists hope that this research helps in the continued effort to “spot a chink in their armour” and develop more effective treatments.

Few words can stir up as many emotions as the word “home” does.  Home should be a place where we feel safe, where we can let down our guard, be our truest selves, and feel love.  Everyone deserves a place to call home, regardless of age, race, or sex.  Likewise, individuals with disabilities have a moral, ethical, and legal right to be treated fairly when it comes to housing.  Sadly, housing discrimination is a very real problem and our San Francisco tenants’ attorney is committed to fighting for everyone’s right to a place to call home.

Proposed Settlement in Disability Discrimination Case Under Fair Housing Act

Last month, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a press release announcing a proposed settlement in a case against a Wisconsin landlord and property owner accused of discriminating based on disability in violation of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”).  The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, one individual and one company, discriminated against a mother and daughter by refusing to renew their lease because the daughter is a person with Down Syndrome.  Further, the defendants allegedly demanded the family develop a “plan” to address behaviors purportedly stemming from the daughter’s disability and pressured them to move.  Additionally, the gavel3defendants were accused of discriminating against the pair by not taking prompt action to stop disability-related harassment by others living in the building including offensive comments (e.g., “You don’t belong here. . . you belong in an institution.”), interference with their use of the property, and following the pair around the premises.  Allegedly, complaints about this behavior went unaddressed.

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.

Late last week, a friend of our San Francisco landlord/tenant law firm e-mailed us an article he’d seen on Curbed LA, the Los Angeles portion of a real estate and neighborhood news website.  The article suggests that landlords in L.A. could fetch up to twice as much money on the short-term market (such as via Airbnb) than they can make via a traditional long-term rental.   He asked us: “Could the same thing happen in San Francisco?  Should renters be worried?”  We thought that the reality and the legality of short-term rentals in San Francisco might be on more than one renter’s mind (and therefore a great blog topic!), especially given the well-publicized increase in rental prices in the Bay Area in recent years.

Airbnb and the Short-Term Rental Concept

For those unfamiliar with the company, Airbnb is a locally based company that touts itself as a community marketplace connecting people looking for a place to stay with people who have space to spare.  The site covers more than 34,000 cities and allows people to rent a wide-range of spaces with many spaces offering nightly, weekly, and monthly rates.  While it is certainly the most popular, Airbnb is just one company serving the growing demand for short-term rentals.