San Francisco Tenant Lawyers: Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C.
Enforcing the San Francisco Rent Ordinance
The San Francisco Rent Ordinance protects tenants by requiring just cause for eviction. Essentially, all non-governmental buildings built prior to June 13, 1979 in San Francisco are covered under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance. The Rent Ordinance does not cover new construction.
At its most basic level, the San Francisco Rent Ordinance restricts a landlord’s ability to evict a tenant. California state law permits a landlord to ask a tenant to leave at the expiration of the lease, or for any reason or no reason (as long as it is not an improper reason such as race, religion, ethnicity, familial status, etc.)
In San Francisco, the Rent Ordinance prevents a landlord from asking a tenant to leave for no reason. The Rent Ordinance also restricts the landlord’s ability to raise rent. That is called rent control. The purpose the San Francisco Rent Ordinance is to keep the City diverse and to prevent drastic increases in rent from displacing seniors and persons on fixed incomes and low to moderate income households.
Under rent control, in order to lose your tenancy, at least one of fifteen reasons stated in the San Francisco Rent Ordinance must exist. For example, failing to pay rent, paying rent habitually late, or causing a nuisance are things that can cause a tenant to get evicted. See our general Landlord-Tenant page for more information.
A landlord may also ask a tenant to leave if the owner, or the owner’s family member, moves into the unit. There are very specific requirements that a landlord must meet in order to properly effectuate an Owner Move-in Eviction. The landlord must give written notice along with a check for relocation expenses. Half of the relocation expenses are paid when the notice is issued and the other half is paid when the tenant moves out.
A tenant cannot be issued an Owner Move-in Eviction notice in retaliation for reporting the landlord to the building inspector or exercising his/her rights as a tenant. You can read more about Owner Move-in Evictions here. If you believe your landlord is retaliating against you, please contact an attorney at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C. at (415) 835-6777.
The San Francisco Rent Ordinance also prevents landlords from raising rents to unreasonable levels. This allows individuals with long-term tenancies to remain in their home so long as they pay their rent and abide by the terms of their lease agreement. For the past 20 years, the annual allowable rent increase has been between 0.5% - 2.9%.
Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C. is one of the very few Bay Area and California law firms representing only tenants in its landlord-tenant practice. We do not represent landlords. BV Law partners with Bay Area tenants’ rights organizations to provide diligent and effective legal advice and representation to tenants whose housing is in jeopardy.
Contact an experienced tenant attorney at BV Law today for a free consultation regarding your landlord-tenant dispute involving the San Francisco Rent Ordinance or other Bay Area rent ordinances, such as Berkeley and Oakland.
For examples of the outstanding results we have achieved for Bay Area tenants, please see our Client Testimonial page.