Competing Narratives on Tax Reform Within The Real Estate Industry

There have been no shortage of opinions circulating on what the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1) means to the real estate industry. Here in the Bay Area, astronomical home priced out many owner occupants, though the bill my be a boon to rental housing providers. Read more →

Costa Hawkins Repeal Efforts Fail For Now

Adopted in 1995, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act limits a municipality’s inkling to meddle with rent control laws that cover single-family dwellings built after February 1, 1995 and prohibits the use of "vacancy control". Yet if tenant advocates have their way, these critical landlord protections can be repealed. Although Assembly Bill 1506 was defeated, tenant advocates are bringing the issue directly to the voters. Read more →

Habitability Issues Can Tank a Just Cause Eviction Action

When owners commence an unlawful detainer action for failure to pay rent, the tenant or their counsel can raise the affirmative defense that the landlord has not met their duty to provide a safe, sanitary and secure residence. Is there anything to this argument, or is it just a tactic to buy time and entice the landlord to settle? Read more →

Handling Domestic Violence In Rental Units

It's been said that home is where the heart is, but what happens when the heart is broken and strife spills into other rental units? When someone poses a foreseeable threat to tenants, the landlord must address this challenging problem head-on to fulfill their responsibility of providing a safe and secure dwelling. Read more →

Oakland Landlords Look To Jump Ship From Section 8 Housing

In the East Bay's hot real estate market, many Oakland owners want to divorce Section 8, only to find out that it's "until death do us part". Read more...

Lock Lock, Who's There?

The law has evolved since the first key appeared in ancient Egypt. Here's the rules governing if and when landlords and tenants can change locks. Read more...

Reasonable Accommodations For Disabled Persons in Rental Housing

Landlords are hard pressed to deny reasonable requests made by disabled tenants, but what exactly is reasonable? Read more...

Tenant Screening More Difficult With Concealment Becoming Easier

In today's forgiving culture of second chances, vetting rental candidates is trickier, as it becomes easier to conceal a checkered past. Read more...


Airbnb doges bullet by winning a lawsuit that threatened their very business model. 

Accused of deliberately incentivizing people to break their lease, Airbnb cited the Communications Decency Act, a federal law that gives internet companies immunity for content that users or random people post on their sites. This argument ultimately prevailed.

More →









Fair Housing Laws make it challenging to evict tenant hoarders

After hoarding was classified as a mental illness, landlords and property managers can easily teeter on the lines of a fair housing violation if they don’t handle the problem of tenant hoarders correctly. More...

SF Board of Supervisors Prepare For The Era of Legalized Marijuana

We've maintained that the legalization of marijuana won’t go without checks, and case in point: The Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 on Tuesday for a 45-day moratorium on new cannabis dispensaries in the city. They seem to be taking a deliberate and cautious approach to explore how to better regulate this budding industry. More...

OPINION: Stifling Developer Incentives Are Not The Answer To Affordable Housing

The state’s density-bonus law incentivizes developers to include affordable housing in their projects. As a benefit to providing affordable units, developers get to build more market-rate units, in essence penciling out their project expenditures. Stifling these incentives would only stand to slow new housing construction to a crawl. Ironically, if the bill was enacted, it would eliminate the very incentives that density bonuses were intended to create. More...




What Landlords Need To Know About Service Animals

Rental unit owners and property managers need to know that service and comfort animals are not considered a pet and you may be exposing yourself to a discrimination suit if you deny tenancy on the basis of a no pet policy. We break down the relevant law here.



Landlords Can Put The Kibosh On Cannabis

Although voters paved the way for legalized marijuana with Proposition 64, landlords can prohibit the use and cultivation of marijuana in their rental units, just like they can ban smoking. The buck stops with the property owner, and it's time to review your leases to make State Law irrelevant. 

Danny Glover The New Face In Airbnb's Campaign to Promote Diversity.

The actor, film director and activist is cast into a new role - instilling a culture of diversity within the host community.

Renters Express Their Desire To Leave The Bay Area

The overwhelming majority of renters are fed up, but why? We take that on in this article.



'Squalid Firetrap' Underscores Habitability Issues For Landlords

The City is taking action against a "dungeon landlord", but the shocking, unlivable conditions in this case expose larger habitability issues facing Bay Area rental property owners.



Getting Beyond The Blame Game And Finding Solutions To the Housing Crisis

In an acrimonious climate where increasingly, tenants and property owners are pitted against each other, tenant advocates should open their minds to the fact that the overwhelming majority of landlords are responsible stewards of the community. Both sides, in fact, need to deescalate and come together to find solutions to the problem we all find ourselves in.



Legislative Updates for July 2017

Bornstein Law always keeps a pulse on the ever-growing legislative measures that stand to impact Bay Area property owners and this is our latest account. 

Mark Zuckerberg Inserted Into Bay Area Housing Crisis

Silicon Valley is being urged to do more to adequately house its burgeoning workforce and alleviate pressure on the housing shortage, and Facebook's figurehead was singled out in a recent article. Get our take.


Oakland Rent Control Case Starts A Slippery Slope

We are concerned about the posture taken by the Oakland Rent Board in a recent case. The Board denied a rent increase petition on the grounds that the increased rent would not constitute a "fair return" on the landlord's investment and, since the date of this writing, the decision has been affirmed on appeal. Get more backdrop on the seminal case of Durham-Hammer et al v. Tenants.



Airbnb Litigation In Focus

Get insights from the legal team that are pioneers in Airbnb and other short term rental lease agreements. 


Racial Slurs Of Host Expose Housing Discrimination Issues

Full Legal Scoop On Airbnb And Short Term Rentals

Continuing Litigation For Airbnb

Overview of Airbnb And Hybrid Lease Agreements



Silicon Valley REALTORS® Urged To Address Housing Crisis

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group reached out to real estate agents in the Bay Area to give them a state of the region and elicited their help in solving the underlying housing issues 


Land Of The Free And Rental Properties Of The Brave

Military personnel can end their lease, with some caveats. When duty calls, you should be gracious in letting our heroes bow out of the rental agreement to serve a higher cause. But this raises more commonplace occurrences of "runaway tenants" that leave not so honorably.



Do's And Don'ts When Selecting Tenants

Considerations When Screening Prospective Tenants

A law went into effect not long ago which essentially hides a tenant's eviction history from public view in many cases, leaving landlords in the blind. This makes it more important than ever for landlords and property managers to do their due diligence in selecting the right tenants. 


Using Criminal Background Checks When Screening Tenants

If you do not have a uniform policy consistent with the law, you are exposing yourself to a potential lawsuit.

Habitability Issues Affecting Landlords And Tenants

Habitability Concerns Affecting Oakland Landlords In Wake Of Deadly Fire

Like everyone else, the Oakland real estate attorneys at Bornstein Law were deeply saddened by Oakland’s deadliest fire on December 2, 2016, and clearly, this brings up a whole range of issues for landlords in the bay area.The tragedy has led to calls for inspection teams to take a more proactive approach by finding potential disasters before they happen. This is scary stuff, folks, but with proper counsel, habitability issues can be avoided and resolved, rectified and liabilities reduced. 



San Francisco Eviction Findings

Contrary to popular belief, Bay Area evictions are on a downward trend, according to all-inclusive numbers form the San Francisco Rent Board.
Daniel Bornstein breaks down the raw math and offers his take.
Make sense of it all →



Bay Area Rents Heat Up This Summer

These type of posts tend to have a short shelf life and while we have no way of predicting the month-to-month fluctuations in the rent prices, we can provide some perspective into the market forces at play, and it's an interesting study to see how they shape out in the real world.

SF Tenant-Protection Law Defeated

Tenant advocates have proposed a cornucopia of measures to curtail landlord rights. We maintained that this measure was outlandish and the Courts agreed.




Improper Use Of Commercial Space

With the housing crisis upon us, it comes as no surprise that commercial tenants are being inventive by improperly using commercial space for residential use, exposing landlords and property managers to much legal risk.. Daniel Bornstein addresses this trend and emphasizes that you have recourse to correct the problem
Get Informed in this video blog →



Bornstein Law Alarmed By Growing Homeless Trend

Although Bornstein Law has had an imprint in thousands of cases related to housing, there is no issue more heart wrenching and perplexing than not having any. Despite the well-intentioned efforts of many individuals and groups, the homeless population has not ebbed. Like everyone else, we are scratching our heads and welcome the debate on how to solve this vexing problem.


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