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San Francisco Landlord Tenant Dispute Lawyer

Commercial Landlord Tenant Disputes

Commercial Landlord-Tenant Dispute in San Francisco, CA
Disputes involving commercial landlords and tenants are among the most contentious. There’s no escaping the fact that real estate in the Bay Area is expensive and supply is limited. Commercial property owners have every incentive to make sure they receive their full rent in a timely manner. At the same time, running a successful business in California is hard work, and commercial tenants want to be sure they receive everything they are entitled to when they pay rent for their space.

Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners understands the stakes involved in any landlord-tenant dispute — and just how heated these disputes can be. When your financial and legal interests are on the line, we take on your case committed to achieving the best possible outcome.

Call us at 415-991-6078 to get legal help from our San Francisco real estate attorneys and landlord-tenant lawyers. Read our testimonials to see how we have been able to help people prevail in landlord-tenant disputes.

Real Estate Disputes?

Whether you're dealing with a landlord-tenant dispute or addressing a real estate concern in California, our San Francisco real estate attorneys are here to protect your rights.

A Dedicated Legal Ally For Clients Throughout The Bay Area
Because our California law firm represents both landlords and tenants, our qualified San Francisco landlord-tenant dispute attorneys have a complete understanding of the concerns and demands that both sides bring to a legal dispute. We use this understanding to anticipate how the other side will approach litigation and craft our strategy to always be one step ahead. Examples of cases that we frequently handle include:
  • Disputes over late rent and nonpayment of rent
  • Property damage
  • Breach of contract
While our attorneys approach every case ready to fully litigate and go to trial — and have years of experience doing so — we know that our clients’ long-term interests are often best served by a less time-consuming resolution. Using mediation, negotiation, and other strategies in addition to traditional real estate litigation, we offer the tools our clients need to successfully settle their lease disputes in San Francisco, California and the Bay Area.

Avoiding Disputes with Your Landlord

If you’re managing a commercial property business, it is crucial to understand the state law that protects the landlord-tenant relationship. Successful commercial landlords in San Francisco know how to comply with landlord-tenant law. On the other hand, a responsible tenant knows how to obey the tenancy rules mentioned on the lease or rental agreement. Failure to do so may lead to disputes between landlords and tenants. Non-payment of rent, repair issues, and potential eviction are some of the issues that we want to avoid. There may be disagreements, but these are best handled outside of court. When handling a dispute with a landlord or tenant, the rights of both parties must be taken into consideration. A reliable commercial landlord-tenant dispute lawyer in San Francisco can help you know your rights and responsibilities as a landlord or tenant. Both sides must attempt to uphold their side of the rental or lease agreement while considering their interests to the fullest extent allowable by law.


Eviction is an official legal process that a commercial property owner must follow to have the tenant vacate the premises. Common landlord-tenant disputes that lead to eviction include late or non-payment of rent and violation of the rental agreement terms. Eviction laws are imposed to make sure any eviction case follows due process. These laws may vary from state to state.

Evicting a tenant is not as easy as it may seem. In San Francisco, a landlord is obliged to terminate the tenancy agreement first before you evict a tenant. Before you start the eviction process, the first step is to give the tenant a written notice of eviction setting out the cause for the eviction and requiring them to leave the property within the grace period given by state law.

In case the tenant refused to move out even after receiving the eviction notice, then you will be forced to file an eviction lawsuit which is also known as forcible entry and unlawful detainer lawsuit. A competent California landlord-tenant dispute attorney can help you understand the eviction process.

Handling a Landlord-Tenant Dispute Outside of Court

Not all commercial landlord-tenant disputes can be resolved by talking with the landlord. One option is to settle a dispute by hiring an independent, third-party mediator to help form an agreement between the property owner and the renter. Their job is simply to help the parties work out a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute. The agreement drafted by the mediator is not binding. However, it can help facilitate communication between the commercial landlord and tenant.

Mediation services are often available through various programs. Many cities offer free or low-cost community mediation programs that handle landlord-tenant disputes. These services are often rendered through both private companies as well as state and local bar associations.

Resolving a Landlord-Tenant Dispute in Small Claims Court

If open communication and mediation fail to resolve a landlord-tenant dispute, the last resort is to file a claim with your local small claims court. Generally, small claims courts only hear limited types of cases, and the cases must involve some amount of money. It includes a rent increase, unpaid rent, or an unreturned security deposit for the commercial unit.

Small claims courts are structured to provide a quick and efficient resolution to solve commercial landlord-tenant disputes. However, you have to check the filing requirements with your local courts. Most of the small claims courts are allowed to hear cases, where the money involved, does not exceed a specific amount. If the case exceeds this amount, you will need to file a separate lawsuit in the appropriate court.

Most states, like California, do not allow either party to bring lawyers to small claims court. Both parties can save on attorney’s fees because they no longer need legal representation. If you have failed to resolve a commercial landlord-tenant dispute on your own, consider speaking with a credible landlord-tenant dispute lawyer in California to get helpful legal advice regarding your case.

Call Our Landlord-Tenant Dispute Attorneys!

Both sides in lease disputes will attempt to gain the upper hand as early as possible, so we encourage you to speak with a lawyer as soon as a legal dispute arises. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant faced with a dispute in either a commercial or residential property context, our San Francisco landlord-tenant dispute lawyers at Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C. can provide legal advice. Our real estate law firm will help explain the process, time frame, and costs of the different dispute resolution options available to you. Schedule a consultation with our San Francisco landlord-tenant dispute lawyer today by calling (415) 991-6078 or sending us a message.

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“The truth is, 99 percent of cases do not go to trial. The two sides eventually come to an agreement and settle. We know this from the thousands of cases we have handled. Therefore, we critically analyze our client’s situation to see if we can help them find an agreement earlier rather than later. The difference will mean enormous savings in time and legal fees.

We will do everything in our power to successfully resolve your landlord-tenant case or real estate dispute in as little time as possible. We have the resources to take on complex real estate cases and the size to keep you from becoming more than just a case file.”

Steven Adair MacDonald
& Partners, P.C.



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