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Frequently Asked Questions About Evicting Tenants in San Francisco

Frequently Asked Questions About Evicting Tenants in San Francisco

Frequently Asked Questions About Evicting Tenants
No one typically chooses eviction as their first course of action. Tenants want a safe, well-kept place to live, while landlords want tenants they can rely on to pay the rent and respect the property. But sometimes renting doesn’t work out the way people might hope. Eviction might end up being the best course of action in those circumstances. Although the concept of eviction is rather simple, the eviction process itself can be challenging. You may have FAQs about evicting tenants in San Francisco if you’re dealing with one. Every year, hundreds of cases involving eviction are handled by eviction attorneys at Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C. More than 30 years of experience practicing landlord-tenant law in San Francisco have been accumulated by our landlord-tenant attorneys and are knowledgeable enough to provide legal advices for your unique circumstances.

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Why do I need a Landlord-Tenant Attorney for Eviction Issues?

You and your family members are at risk of losing your home if you are being evicted, and having an eviction on your record may limit your possibilities for housing in the future. In addition to the challenge of locating a new place to live, you will probably incur additional fees for moving, re-connecting utilities, and paying a security deposit, among other things. A law firm that handles landlord-tenant issues should provide you:
  • Skilled lawyers who are familiar with all aspects of establishing and terminating landlord-tenant relationships;
  • Lawyers who are proficient at negotiating win-win agreements and who won’t be intimidated by aggressive tenant-rights advocates;
  • Substantial trial experience
  • Knowledge in dispute settlement.
It can be very important to ensure that the eviction process is fair and legal, especially if you believe you have not broken the terms of your rental agreement or if you believe your landlord is wrongfully evicting you. Consulting a landlord-tenant attorney is the best approach to get ready for eviction proceedings, especially if your home is involved. Get in touch with our law from right away to answer any FAQs about evicting tenants in San Francisco you may have.

What is an Eviction?

evicting tenants in san francisco faqs When a tenant including their belongings are forcibly removed from a rented house or apartment, this is known as an eviction. Eviction proceedings may also be used against a commercial tenant. When a lease expires and the tenant refuses to leave, an eviction typically starts. Other circumstances in which eviction procedures may start include when a landlord requests a tenant to leave the property because they have not paid rent or are not abiding by the terms of their lease.

Eviction Process

Lawsuits for eviction, also known as unlawful detainer suits, are brought in the county where the rented property location’s superior court. The landlord must submit a complaint and summons to the court in order to start the lawsuit. In the complaint, the landlord outlines the details supporting the eviction and requests the court to issue an eviction order as well as file a judgment against a tenant for unpaid rent and additional expenses. The tenant will be given a copy of the complaint and summons that have been filed, together with the time and date of the trial, after the court sets a date for a trial before a judge. After receiving the summons, the tenant has five days to file a response or other written reply with the court if they choose to contest the eviction. The tenant is then required to show up for the judge’s trial. If the tenant doesn’t show up, the judge will probably give the landlord the upper hand. The court will hear testimony from both the landlord and the tenant throughout the trial before making a final decision regarding the eviction. Tenant can find that contesting the eviction isn’t always the wisest course of action. If the tenant loses in court, the landlord may be required to pay the tenant’s court costs and legal fees. Additionally, the tenant can get a bad credit rating and be denied housing in the future. The best course of action for the tenant may be to attempt to negotiate with the landlord and reach an agreement outside of the court system.

What is Termination Without Cause?

Even if a tenant has not violated any rules, a lease can be terminated without cause if a landlord utilizes a 30 or 60 day Notice to Vacate to end a month-to-month tenancy. A notice of termination without cause might not be legally accepted as a reason for eviction depending on whether the tenant resides in a rent-controlled unit.

What is a Wrongful Eviction?

A wrongful eviction is one that is against the law. Self-help evictions take place when a landlord or property owner replaces the lock on a tenant’s premises, preventing them from getting in. Additionally, a landlord or owner is not permitted to leave a tenant’s belongings on the sidewalk. A landlord or owner is obligated to provide the tenant notice of the proceeding before the eviction process can begin in the local court.

What is a Constructive Eviction?

Once an owner or landlord forbids a tenant from relocating to a rental property, this is known as a constructive eviction. A construction eviction occurs when a landlord or owner fails to resolve or rectify a problem on the property that prevents the tenant from using and enjoying the premises. A tenant is allowed to leave the property without having to pay the owner or landlord any more rent if the owner or landlord behaves in this way. There is only a constructive eviction if:
  • Written notice of a problem with the residence is given to the owner or landlord
  • The owner or landlord has enough time to resolve the issue
  • Owner or landlord does not address the problem
A constructive eviction might involve anything from physically preventing a tenant from the property to other problems that render it uninhabitable, such as:
  • Locks are changed to prevent the tenant from entering
  • Blocking the entrance to the driveway or entrywa;
  • Turning off the water, the electricity, or the heat
  • A dangerous roof leak that brings the tenant in risk
  • Intolerable treatment by the landlord towards the tenant
The tenant must demonstrate the following in order to demonstrate a constructive eviction took place:
  • Notice of the conditions were given to the landlord
  • The tenant was compelled to leave for his or her health or safety because the circumstances were so severe
  • The tenant vacated the premises
Moving out of the property is a significant aspect of a constructive eviction claim. The constructive eviction claim will be rejected if the property is still occupied by the tenant.

Evicting Tenants in San Francisco FAQs

You might have thought about some of the following questions if you’re dealing with an eviction.

Are Evictions Subject to Appeal?

Yes, in general, however it might not always be the best move for tenants. If a judge decides that an eviction is appropriate and the tenant disapproves with the judge’s decision, the tenant may request a reconsideration of the case. The judge has the chance to change their mind after considering this motion. The tenant may then file an appeal if they still don’t obtain the outcome they want. The main distinction is that judges no longer have the option of reconsideration after an appeal has been filed, but an appeal may come after a motion for reconsideration. As a result, submitting a motion for reconsideration before pursuing an appeal is typically in the interests of the tenant.

Is the Residential Rental Property I Own in San Francisco Subject to Rent Control?

A property is covered under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance if the structure’s initial Certificate of Occupancy was granted on or before June 13, 1979. State-imposed limitations on eviction are in effect for all foreclosed rental properties.

How Long After Being Evicted do Tenants Have to Leave?

It depends. Eviction procedures frequently take longer than most people anticipate. Even after the landlord has issued an eviction notice, tenants typically have the chance to address the problem that prompted the notice, such as unpaid rent, unacceptable pets, etc. San Francisco tenant may still be given few weeks to leave if they are unable to fix the problem before the eviction procedure gets more complicated. It’s important to note that landlords are not permitted by law to evict a tenant forcibly by themselves (self-help eviction). Thus, landlords are unable to:
  • Locks are changed on a tenant
  • Have the utilities turned off for a tenant
  • Take away a tenant’s possessions from the rental property
  • Make the tenant leave by force
Landlords can only evict a tenant forcibly after following the proper legal procedures. Even then, they must hire a sheriff to evict a tenant who has been given a court order to leave a rental property.

What Happens If the Tenant Doesn’t Leave Within the Notice Period?

The landlord must stop receiving rent and file an eviction lawsuit known as an Unlawful Detainer (UD) action if a tenant does not leave by the end of the notice period and if the tenant and landlord haven’t reached an agreement regarding when the tenant will move. The lawsuit tries to regain control of the property as well as damages in the form of the property’s rental value for the duration of the action. The landlord would be the plaintiff and the tenant is the defendant. One to three months after the notification period has passed, the majority of UD lawsuits go to trial. Many landlords feel it advantageous to reach a settlement with the tenant instead of face trial-related costs, fees, and risks. If the tenant is having problems paying for moving expenses or a higher market rent, settlements may involve providing the tenant additional time to move and/or providing financial or rental assistance.

Can a Landlord Give a Tenant Money to Leave?

Instead of paying court costs, attorneys’ fees, and taking the risk of a trial, many landlords choose to resolve eviction cases by paying the tenant to leave. Regardless if the landlord has “just cause” to end the lease, other landlords try to avoid the eviction procedure by paying a tenant to leave.

What Happens if a Tenant Offers to Leave for Compensation?

Even if the tenant starts the discussion, the landlord is still required by the new Buyout Law to meet the statutory prerequisites for buyout negotiations. If a tenant inquires about a buyout, the landlord should kindly delay the conversation until after the landlord has fulfilled with the disclosure and Rent Board reporting rules.

Do Tenants Who Are Evicted Lose Their Security Deposits?

No, not necessarily. While each state has distinct rental laws, in general, a security deposit is used to pay for repairs for damages to a property that go beyond normal wear and tear. Some rental agreements have provisions allowing landlords to retain the security deposit as compensation for missed rent or contract violations, although they must notify tenants before doing so. Even though the tenant was kicked out, the landlord must provide the tenant advance written notice if they intend to keep or use any of the security deposit. Typically, the notification period lasts between 14 to 45 days. A landlord runs the risk of being sued if they keep a security deposit without informing the tenant.

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.

We Can Answer Your FAQs About Evicting Tenants in San Francisco!

It may seem as though the landlord has control over the situation if you are facing eviction. This isn’t true, though; in order to carry out an eviction, your landlord must adhere to a set of rules, and you have certain rights. A San Francisco landlord-tenant law attorney may analyze your circumstances and make sure your rights are upheld. Contact our San Francisco attorney right now if you are a tenant. Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C.  can assess your case, ascertain whether you have any eviction defenses, and serve as your representative during the procedure. We can also help landlords who need to evict tenants by guiding them through the procedure and making sure they follow the law. You can prevent a wrongful eviction case with the aid of our San Francisco law firm. If you are involved in an eviction, whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you might want to think about getting our legal advice.
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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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