News and insights germane to landlords, property managers, and the professionals who serve them.

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.


 

With inflation taking its toll, should landlords raise rents?

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.

Read more »

 

 

The glass is half-full after lawmakers extend California's eviction moratorium past April 1

In what is likely to be the last elongation of statewide eviction protections, AB 2179 should come as good news for rental housing providers.

Justice delayed, justice denied for San Francisco landlords?

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.

A pair of ill-conceived bills gets reincarnated

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.

Punitive tax proposed for "greed-fueled" investors

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.

 

Tenant screening software is put under its own scrutiny

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.

Read more »

 

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.

Ask a landlord attorney: 15 minutes with Daniel Bornstein

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.

Meet Sheanna, another victim of outdated eviction moratoriums

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.

Predictions of where Berkeley rents are headed

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.

 

Empty promises in taxing empty rental units?

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 candid conversation with Daniel Bornstein

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.

 

Laws and public policy surrounding rental properties look like a modern-day Robin Hood

There is a movement steaming forward to compel owners to use their property for the greater public good.

Hey, Mr. Weatherman, when can I raise the rents?

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.

 

Preventing a fire tragedy in the aftermath of the Bronx inferno

Horrified and deeply saddened over the tragedy, we stress the importance of providing adequate heating and recognizing fire hazards.

 

Reshuffling of owners and tenants during the pandemic is like a game of musical chairs

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.

 

California cracks down on fraudulent practices surrounding emotional support animals

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.

 

Is your website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

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.

 

San Francisco looks to give problematic tenants more time to pay rent or turn over a new leaf

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.

New Year's resolutions for landlords and property managers

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


Putting people over technology when it comes to tenant screening

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.

 

Tenant buyout agreements: some tricks of the trade

We dispense some tips when negotiating an ethical, legal, and enforceable tenant buyout agreement.

 

The movement for denser housing builds momentum

It's finally sinking in that more housing, not increased regulation, is the answer to solve our affordable housing dearth.

 

Should landlords raise the rent just because they can? A bit of strategy

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.

 

The good, the bad, and the ugly about rental housing inspections

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.

 

California cracks down on fraudulent practices surrounding emotional support animals

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.

 

Our takes on the Supreme Court decision to strike down the federal eviction moratorium

While the SCOTUS decision will have little impact on California, it does teach us an important civics lesson in the separation of powers.

 

Using Temporary Restraining Orders to respond to violence or threats by tenants

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 another Airbnb party tragedy, rogue short-term rentals are back in focus

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.

 

Thinking smarty and strategically about tenant buyout agreements in the age of COVID

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.

 

Impact of bankruptcies on California eviction actions

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.

 

 

More articles

 

 
 

Offices in San Francisco and the East Bay to best serve our clients.

507 Polk St.
Suite 310
San Francisco, CA 94102

 

482 W MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94609

 

Tel: 415-409-7611
Fax: 415-409-9345

 

For informed advice, give us a bit of detail about your case.

 

CONSULTATION

 

 
 

Follow Bornstein Law

On Facebook

On LinkedIn

Subscribe to updates