On March 13, 2020, San Francisco Mayor enacted a moratorium on evictions of tenants who are unable to pay rent due to impacts from the COVID-19 health crisis. This moratorium will last 30 days, and it could be extended further if the need is there. Also, this moratorium is not just for residential tenants, but also includes commercial tenants with a license to operate in San Francisco that have less than $25 million in annual gross receipts.
Given the current health climate and the shelter-in-place orders in all the Bay Area counties, many people are out of a job or have their hours drastically reduced, due to the drastically reduced demand on certain non-essential businesses. If you are a residential or commercial landlord or tenant, and you need legal advice during these unprecedented times, feel free to reach Attorney Sam Wu at his office number 415-886-1703 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During this crisis, the Law Office of Sam Wu will remain close in an effort to flatten the curve to give our health care workers a fighting chance. I hope you will do the same to support our health care workers by staying home whenever possible as to not put any further unnecessary stress on the system.
Thanks and please stay safe and healthy.
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, California's new statewide rent control (Civil Code 1947.12) and eviction protections (Civil Code 1946.2) will take effect. These two new schemes will only apply to cities without more restrictive rent control and eviction protections already in place.
For the new rent control scheme, landlords will be prohibited from raising the rent on tenants of more than 5 percent plus the change in the cost of living or 10 percent, whichever is lower.
For the new eviction protection scheme, if the tenant has been residing at the leased residential unit for more than 12 months, landlord must have "just cause" for evictions.
"Just cause" includes:
For "no-fault" evictions, landlords must provide the tenant with relocation assistance equal to one month's rent or a written waiver of the final month of the tenancy.
For existing tenancies and new tenancies, the landlord needs to give written notice to the (existing or potential) tenant of these two new laws. (Civil Code 1946.2(F)).
There are certain exclusions and exemptions under these two new schemes. So, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 415-886-7103 or by email at email@example.com.
San Francisco recently amended their laws on Owner/Relative Move-In (OMI/RMI) Evictions to add more protections to displaced tenants and more procedures for landlords to follow.
Now, Landlords are required to include/do the following on top of the OMI 60-Day Notice:
Starting last Friday, July 1, 2016, San Francisco's minimum wage increased from $12.25 an hour to $13.00 an hour. This increase is part of the City's plan to raise the minimum wage to an eventual $15.00 an hour by 2018. The next increase is set for July 1, 2017 at $14.00 an hour.
More information is available here. If you believe you are being taken advantage of by your employer, have questions about minimum wage, or other labor related questions, please contact the Law Office of Sam Wu at 415-886-7103.
This office has seen many instances in which master-tenants in San Francisco are trying to lessen their burden on rent by subleasing to other people. However, these master-tenants are not doing enough to protect themselves. Many master-tenants do not know that they can evict their subtenants without just cause, even if their unit is under rent/eviction control.
How? Section 6.15C of the San Francisco Rent Board Rules and Regulations, which, in relevant part, states:
For any tenancy commencing on or after May 25, 1998, a landlord who is not an owner of record of the property and who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant (a "Master Tenant") may evict said tenant without just cause as required under Section 37.9(a) only if, prior to commencement of the tenancy, the Master Tenant informs the tenant in writing that the tenancy is not subject to the just cause provisions of Section 37.9. A landlord who is an owner of record of the property and who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant is not subject to this additional disclosure requirement.
Thus, the master-tenant only needs to notify the subtenant in writing (signed and acknowledged by the potential subtenant), PRIOR to signing the sublease, that the sub-tenancy is NOT subject to the just cause provisions of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance. With this notice in hand, the master-tenant can terminate a problematic or incompatible subtenant without cause.
If you (or someone you know) have a similar situation or have any other landlord-tenant related questions, you may set up a free consultation with Mr. Wu today at 415-886-7103.
Every new year usually brings about new laws and regulations. Let's explore some of these in Landlord-Tenant land.
On May 1, 2015, San Francisco minimum wage increased to $12.25 per hour. This latest increase will be followed by a schedule of increases in the next several years to the goal $15.00 per hour by 2018. (Increases pass 2018 will be dealt with annually based on CPI or some other economic index.) While this current increase is not a sizable jump from $11.05, the new amount is the law. So, employers and employees need to be fully aware of this change and adjust the pay accordingly (regular, overtime, and double-time pay).
For more information, you can contact us at 415-886-7103.
Beginning February 1, 2015, San Francisco's new "Air Bnb" law ( San Francisco Ordinance No. 218-14) that permits certain "qualified residents" (landlords or tenants) to rent out their permanent residence on a short-term basis, via websites such as Air BnB. However, there are certain steps and procedures to take before those qualified residents can take advantage of this new law.
Qualified residents need to apply for a Short-Term Residential Rental Number (STRR), through the city's new Registry. Qualified residents can start the application process now. In order to obtain a STRR Number, qualified residents need to meet the following conditions:
Due to the fact that applying for a STRR does not protect qualified residents who are tenants from the wrath of their landlords, those who are tenants should think twice about STRR-ing their unit. The landlords can easily point to a clause in the lease agreement that prohibits subleasing/assignments or that the unit cannot be used for commercial purposes (which an argument can be made that using AirBnB is like a business). Also, for new tenancies, it is expected that new leases will include a new clause that is directly related to this new ordinance. It can be as simple as, "Tenant may not sub-lease/assign the unit in any short-term rental platforms like AirBnB."
This new ordinance is designed to keep the City in-line with the existing/up-coming advances in technologies and the social dynamics of its residences. While there is some good to this new ordinance, enforcement to curb abuses will be difficult. I suspect not a lot of people will apply (unless AirBnB forces hosts to have a STRR Number), and if they do, it will mostly be landlords.