Topics that matter. Insights with impact.
While our mission is to keep you up to date, the law is in a constant state of flux. Please consult an attorney before acting on any information contained on this page.
It's been said that home is where the heart is, but what happens when that heart is broken? That answer has been revisited by new legislation that builds upon protections already in place for survivors of domestic violence.
It's been said that this year's book at midnight turns into the footnote in the next. That's partially true. For landlords, property managers, and real estate practitioners, a new regulatory regime that was spawned in 2022 will be more than a footnote in the new year. Some perspective is in order.
It's that time of year again.
In an annual tradition, we provide pointers on improving your rental business, cauterizing risk, growing your wealth, and making intelligent business decisions.
A property owner can be horribly shocked and disappointed to find unauthorized squatters who have overtaken the property.
With all of the social dysfunction found in the Bay Area, squatting has become more and more of a thorn in the sides of owners.
After the eviction tsunami never came ashore, alarms are being sounded that San Francisco evictions are returning to pre-pandemic levels
Ideally, tenants should not be involved in the actual discussion of a tenant buyout agreement but remain behind the scenes
SCOTUS decision will impact those of you with resident managers. Now is the time to review your agreements.
As many divided Americans were affixed on the high court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade, we were following Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, a seminal case that puts the California Private Attorneys General Act under scrutiny.
In this in-depth piece, we take a hard look at the 1980s-era law that allows landlords to exit the rental business, debunk certain myths surrounding these no-fault evictions, explain statutory obligations, and offer another option for landlords stuck in an unprofitable venture short of bowing out the rental business.
Amid rampant inflation, disgruntled renters are joining the rent control movement in droves. Calls for increased tenant protections are resonating in suburbia and places not traditionally known for activism. What's behind this groundswell of support?
San Francisco regulators clamp down on 'corporate rentals' and Intermediate Length Occupancy units in the city
There are instances when nomadic guests want to stay in San Francisco for more than 30 days, but less than a full year. These types of arrangments have been around for years and the companies offering these accommodations, often for decades.
Now, owners and operators are subject to a new regulatory regime as regulators look to police another iteration of the modern-day temporary flop.
With a societal shift of people going to and fro during and after the pandemic, it was inevitable that property owners would want to come back home, but there is a deep distrust among regulators of these no-fault evictions.
There are several procedural requirements and potential pitfalls, making it prudent to seek counsel.
San Francisco landlords will not have to give tenants a 10-day warning period to tenants who have failed to pay rent. That is according to a recent court decision overruling a portion of Ordinance No. 18-22. It flies in the face of state law, a judge ruled.
Bornstein Law applauds the tenacity of our industry partners in achieving this hard-won victory. Yet clearly, it is not a perfect world our landlording community lives in and many challenges remain, as we explain here.
Despite some sentiment shared by the Board of Supervisors that the concerns of struggling landlords should be heard, lawmakers have allowed draconian protections to continue.
This comes at a time when unincorporated parts of Alameda County look to enact protections of their own and Oakland seeks to expand "just cause" protections to all properties.
After certain portions of Alameda County put an anti-smoking ordinance in place and reports of tenants growing an abundance of pot plants, we felt obligated to chime in and give a 360-degree view.
As we emerge on the other side of the pandemic and people return to the Bay Area, should rents be raised just because the landlord is permitted to do so? There are no hard and fast answers, but we lay out a host of considerations.
Solving simple problems can create billion-dollar ideas. They can also stir up legal quandaries.
In what is likely to be the last elongation of statewide eviction protections, AB 2179 should come as good news for rental housing providers.
The lawsuit isn't over until it's over, but landlord groups successfully blocked the city's ordinance that makes it necessary for landlords to issue a 10-day warning notice to tenants prior to serving a traditional 3-day notice.
Attacks on the Ellis Act and calls for a statewide rent registry persist despite earlier defeats, proving once again that tenants' advocates are a tenacious bunch that won't take no for an answer.
To discourage cash-rich, corporate investors from gobbling up homes and quickly selling them for a profit, AB 1771 would impose a massive capital gains tax on transactions that are sold within three years of purchase. The tax dissipates the longer the home is owned.
Despite all of the marvels of technology, litigation arises after mistaken identities and fair housing violations result from algorithms that do not take into account individual circumstances.
SF tenants can potentially stave off eviction by asserting a COVID-related hardship, courtesy of a new ordinance
San Francisco has done some soul searching in balancing the public policy of keeping renters housed while ensuring that landlords get cash-flowing again. Many questions linger and it will have to all be sorted out in court.
Daniel talks about owner move-in evictions, the status of the courts, and litigation challenging eviction moratoriums throughout Alameda County in this interview
Meet John, a sad casualty of the archaic eviction moratoriums that exist in Alameda County and Oakland
An Oakland landlord was so riddled with stress about losing his property because the tenant refused to pay rent, he was hospitalized, became disabled, and was forced to quit his job.
A wonderful landlord poured her heart out to vulnerable people but her independent living arrangement had to be closed because of a harassing, non-paying tenant that could not be evicted.
There has been a dust-up in Berkeley with university staff fed up with high housing costs and natives who want their city back. We get out our crystal ball.
First, San Francisco voters approved a tax on vacant storefronts. Will there be an appetite to punish owners of vacant residential properties come November?
A heart-to-heart interview about how courts are functioning, Alameda County's eviction moratorium, no-fault evictions in SF, and rampant crime in and around rental units.
There is a movement steaming forward to compel owners to use their property for the greater public good.
Anti-price gouging laws can be triggered because of a drought yet if it rains too much, landlords can also be limited in how much rent can be raised.
Throughout COVID, everyone has had ample time for life reassessment, and for many in the Bay Area, this has meant rethinking where to call home, with a host of legal implications for landlords.
San Francisco voters will decide the fate of District Attorney Chesa Boudin in a June recall election
For many rental property owners, he is not an endeared figure. While there will be a referendum on his performance, we remind landlords that the buck stops with them when crime is detected.
While rental housing providers must make "reasonable accommodations," AB 468 sends a clear message that these accommodations should be reserved for those with legitimate needs.
Being compliant with the ADA is not a new concept, but a rash of lawsuits throughout the Bay Area has brought this issue more top of mind.
A proposed ordinance would require landlords pursuing certain types of evictions to first provide their tenants written notice and an opportunity to cure, unless the eviction is based on an imminent health or safety issue.
As we look into the mirror, there is a lot we have learned in what has been a tumultuous year for our community. In an annual tradition, here's what made our top 10 list of how we can improve in the New Year.
From the archives
Tenant screening has always been a vitally important part of landlording and property management that has become all the more relevant in the age of COVID. Of course, we live in a digital age and while technology plays a part in tenant screening, it is no panacea. And the cloth cuts both ways.
We dispense some tips when negotiating an ethical, legal, and enforceable tenant buyout agreement.
It's finally sinking in that more housing, not increased regulation, is the answer to solve our affordable housing dearth.
We don't have a crystal ball but we can do the next best thing in giving a 360-degree view of the market and impart some thoughts on getting cash flowing again.
Tenants may soon get a bigger megaphone to air out their concerns under an ordinance proposed by San Francisco lawmakers.''
In this blog, we impart some advice in the eventuality that tenant organizations are formed and the landlord feels cornered by residents who express grievances.
Space is a scarce and prized commodity in the Bay Area so it is no wonder why parking has become a vexing issue for drivers, landlords, and tenants
Physically removing a vehicle can fix an immediate problem, but it can invite acrimony later on.
Keeping a rental unit in habitable condition is a three-fold responsibility between landlords, tenants, and municipalities policing the relationship, but these lines are often blurred.
Although lawmakers pass a bill establishing a fund to fight evictions, Governor Newsom refuses to sign it
The "no eviction without representation" movement has its roots in San Francisco, but AB 1487 would have created a statewide fund that would, among other things, provide direct legal representation to tenants staring at eviction.
A newly enacted law sends a clear message that accommodations should be reserved for people with a genuine need for four-legged companions and puts some common-sensible measures into place to ensure that there are no abuses.
While the SCOTUS decision will have little impact on California, it does teach us an important civics lesson in the separation of powers.
Temporary Restraining Orders can be sought to immediately control the behavior of bad actors in a rental unit but the court is typically reluctant to order the removal of a tenant from a rental unit through civil harassment proceedings, preferring instead to rely on the unlawful detainer process to secure possession for a landlord.
After yet another tragedy unfolded in a Sunnyvale Airbnb party house, we revisit the liability associated with the modern-day iteration of the temporary flop.
A huge pot of rental assistance funds available has changed our calculus a bit on approaching agreements whereby the tenant voluntarily vacates the unit.
Study confirming the uneven impacts of the pandemic on small landlords and their tenants is off the press
UC Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation published the results of a national survey that confirmed the obvious - mom and pop landlords are in dire straights after experiencing a shortfall in income.
We've heard apocalyptic predictions about an impending eviction "tsunami," but what about a bankruptcy tsunami as debtors finally have to pay the piper? A bankruptcy can be a thorn in eviction proceedings but will only delay the inevitable.
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