Topics that matter to rental housing providers and the professionals who serve them

As the Bay Area's foremost practitioners in landlord-tenant law, we are heavy consumers of news germane to our community and sometimes, we are injected in the stories we read. Here's what's on our radar. 



A change in the status quo for those of you with Section 8 tenants

HUD does some housekeeping, announcing 2024 Fair Market Rents, expanding the period before certain programs must comply with their NSPIRE inspections program, and amplifying their efforts to study direct-to-tenant assistance as a way to simplify housing assistance.



Will state housing regulators and Berkeley butt heads again over ADUs?

Tiny units have sparked a big debate over regulations surrounding ADUs in the fire-prone hills of Berkeley. A deadlocked City Council will revisit it on October 3 but state housing officials may be the final authority on this.



Bay Area rents on a downward trend

Make no mistake that many people will still be priced out of this market, but rents are cooling down. One reason given - makes perfect sense - is that more housing stock is being added. Let's focus on the root cause and not saddle landlords with new regulations.



Mammoth San Francisco landlord likens the City's recovery to drug addicts who have hit rock bottom and need to change

San Franciscans across the political, economic, and demographic spectrum are fed up, says a large commercial landlord, and this will be a catalyst for change.



Money is available to Oakland landlords to effectuate repairs, but they can't seem to get it

The notion that landlords are neglecting dingy units and do not want to tap into governmental funds to make repairs is misleading - in Oakland, the requirements to qualify for those funds are so stringent, owners are unable to come to the trough. There's money in the pot but landlords simply can't access it.



Bungled eviction

This single father had all of his worldly possessions thrown out on the street. This is a good reminder that there are carefully choreographed steps for returning a tenant's personal items.



Costa-Hawkins back on the chopping block

It's official. The campaign to repeal Costa-Hawkins easily surpasses the number of signatures required to qualify for the 2024 ballot. Similar measures have failed but this time, calls for rent control have spread to suburbia and resonate with rent-burdened households not traditionally associated with tenant activism.



Housing providers wearing blinders

A handful of bills have come into effect starting July and perhaps most concerning to housing providers is the sealing of criminal records if a dangerous person doesn't get convicted of another crime within 4 years. We've said in many venues that steadily, landlords have become blinded to rental risks.



The heat is on

Adding new meaning to constructive eviction, the original landlord hires an arsonist to set a building ablaze, but when an opportunistic fix-and-flipper television personality acquires the scorched property, it creates another fire when tenants face displacement as the new owner endeavors to sell it at a hefty profit.



Take care of your resident managers or there will be hell to pay

If you have resident managers, please understand that we are migrating into labor/employment law. A recent California Supreme Court decision keeps the Private Attorney General Act intact, exposing housing p0roviders to significant liability when aggrieved resident managers sue their employers.



Efforts to give landlords free legal representation

Tenants have a phalanx of attorneys who will represent them at no out-of-pocket costs, but this is the first time we are aware of a proposal to give free legal representation to landlords. Good optics but too little, too late, and it is merely designed to make it look like lawmakers are not one-sided favoring tenants over landlords.



Empty chairs

As a bit of trivia, it would take 17.1 Salesforce Towers, or 1,000+ Salesforce Tower floors to fill the empty office space spread across San Francisco.



Parking wars

The irony doesn't escape us. Home to some of the most stringent protections anywhere, the City's towing policies put many residents at risk for displacement, inordinately impacting people with the means to pay thousands of dollars to recover their vehicles. The First District Court has ruled that the City's aggressive towing practices are illegal.



Morass continues

Eviction dispute between acclaimed restaurant China Live and its landlord over unpaid rent intensifies after foiled vacation plans from counsel on both sides of the case.



Out of options

Typically, when a government entity gets mired in a landlord-tenant dispute and loses its lease, it has infinite resources and simply rents another location. But in a reclusive town, there's nowhere to go.



Great economic minds do an about-face

At one time, economists universally opposed rent control, but now detractors are making their case in favor of nationwide rent control.




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