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San Francisco Landlord Lawyers


Who is a Landlord?


A landlord in California is someone who owns a rental property. The landlord rents or leases the property to another person, called a tenant, for the tenant to live in. The tenant obtains the right of exclusive use and possession of the rental property during the lease or rental period. If you’re a landlord in need of legal assistance, our San Francisco landlord lawyers can help. Call our law office at (415) 562-0504 to schedule an appointment.

Understanding Landlords in San Francisco, California


As mentioned above, a landlord is anyone who owns a property and rents it out to another person, known as a leaseholder or tenant. A landlord may be an individual, business, or other entities such as a government agency. Likewise, the type of property they rent out isn’t limited to housing properties. Their real estate may also include:

Apartment buildings, multi-family houses, and condominiums

Lands and vacant lots

Vacation homes, such as villas and cottages

Commercial properties

Sometimes, the landlord is called the owner and the tenant is called a resident. A landlord typically provides the necessary maintenance and repair services while the property is being rented, while the tenant is responsible for keeping the property clean and in good condition. The specific obligations and duties of the landlord and tenant are usually outlined in the lease or rental agreement. Connect with a SF landlord lawyer today to help you create a rental agreement that protects your rights as a landlord. Call us at 415-562-0504

Landlord Lease Agreement


The rental lease is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and tenant that outlines the terms and conditions when renting out a property. It guarantees that the tenant may a property for a specific period of time and that the landlor is entitled to receiving a payment in return.

If you want to know more about the role and responsibilities of a California landlord, our San Francisco landlord lawyers can help. Our real estate attorneys are knowledgeable about the different landlord-tenant laws such as the eviction process and rent control.

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.

Before Renting Out a Property

Before renting out the property to a tenant, a landlord can ask them to fill out a rental application. This is different from the rental agreement, and you can use it to decide whether to rent the property to the tenant applicant or not. A rental application may ask the following:

The name, address, and contact information of the applicant’s current and former employers.

The name, address, and contact information of the applicant’s current and former landlords.

The name, address, and contact information of the people the applicant wants to use as references.

The applicant’s Social Security number.

The applicant’s driver’s license number.

The applicant’s bank account number.

The applicant’s credit account number for credit reference.

How Landlords Screen Potential Tenants


The application may also contain an authorization for the landlord to obtain a copy of the applicant’s credit report so the landlord can see how the applicant has handled their financial obligations in the past. To help you create a rental application in California, contact our SF landlord lawyers today. We can help you better understand California’s landlord-tenant laws. Call us at 415-562-0504 to know more. 

If you’re a landlord, you may also ask the applicant about their jobs, source of income, current monthly income, and other relevant information that would show how the applicant would pay the rent. However, you must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, nationality or race, source of income, or disability. You also can’t discriminate or harass the applicant if they have persons under the age of eighteen living with them.

If you’re a landlord in California and you need help in setting up your rental application form, our San Francisco landlord lawyers can help. Call to schedule an appointment with a trusted real estate attorney in San Francisco, California today.

Unlawful Discrimination


According to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, a landlord can’t ask (orally or in writing) about the applicant’s race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, nationality or race, source of income, or disability, or whether they have persons under 18 living with them. Landlords can’t also ask about their immigration or citizenship status, age, or medical condition. To better understand California’s anti-discrimination law, call our SF landlord lawyers at 415-562-0504.

Under the anti-discrimination law, a landlord should also avoid the following:

Refusing to sell, lease, or rent a property to protected individuals

Refusing to negotiate the sale, lease, or rental of the property

Showing that a housing accommodation isn’t available for inspection, rental, or sale when it is really available

Denying a homeowner’s insurance or a home loan

Terms, conditions, or policies that result in unequal access to housing

Requiring sexual favors or sexual harassment involving sexual advances for housing privileges or rights

Refusing to permit reasonable modification to accommodate a disability (of a tenant)

Refusing to make reasonable accomodations in housing policies, rules, or services to allow a disabled tenant a fair opportunity to enjoy and use the residence

Retaliating when someone files a complaint

Unnecessary strict rules that limits the activities of families with children, such as putting restrictions on where kids can play

If you have concerns regarding your rental property, our San Francisco landlord attorneys can help. At Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C. we have extensive experience in handling landlord-tenant disputes and other real estate law issues. Call our law firm today so we can plan a successful legal strategy for your concern.

When Can Landlords Evict Tenants in San Francisco, CA?


California state laws indicate when and how landowners can terminate or evict occupants. For instance, a California landlord may give a lessee who has been renting out to another individual without the consent of the landlord an unconditional eviction notice, which gives the tenant three days to vacate the property. A landlord can do this even before filing for eviction. If you’re interested to know more about the the different just causes for eviction in San Franciso, seek the help of landlord lawyer in San Francisco, California. 

Non-payment of Rent


When tenants in California fail to pay rent on time, the landlord is required to give the tenant a three days’ notice either to pay rent or move out of the property before a landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. If the tenant fails to give rent or move out in three days, the landlord can press charges. If you need help evicting a non-paying tenant, seek the legal assistance or a real estate attorney right away. Call our San Francisco landlord lawyers today at 415-562-0504 for an initial consultation.

Violation in the Rental Agreement


When a tenant breaks a condition in the rental agreement — such as violating a no-pet policy — the lessor can give the lessee a three days’ notice to fix the issue or move out of the rental property. If the tenant fails to fix the issue or move out withing three days, the landlord can take legal action and press charges against the tenant.

Immediate Termination of Lease


A landlord in California may give a tenant a three-day unconditional notice to quit if a tenant commits the following:

Assigning or subletting the rental property without the landlord’s permission

Engaging in criminal activity at the rental unit

Dealing with uncooperative or unlawful tenants can be overwhelming. If you need legal help in resolving residential and commercial property disputes, a San Francisco landlord lawyer can help. Don’t hesitate to call us at 415-562-0504 to schedule a consultation.

Call Our Landlord Attorneys Today!


At Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, we pride ourselves on achieving the best possible outcome for our clients in the most economical manner. We provide creative solutions to complicated scenarios. Don’t hesitate to connect with our San Francisco real estate law firm for an initial consultation.

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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.”

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& Partners, P.C.


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