COMMENTARY ON THE LATEST LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING
BAY AREA REAL ESTATE
In a long and storied power struggle between Airbnb and the city, the San Francisco Office of Short-Term Rentals has finally bridged the gap between the law and technology, making it clear that when it comes to the modern day iteration of the temporary flop, the buck stops with them.
Touted as an answer to ease the affordable housing crisis, Accessory Dwelling Units have been a colossal failure in San Francisco →
Reversing an earlier decision, the court upheld protections for teachers, school staff and child care center employees from evictions during the school year
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 →
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 Yet if tenant advocates have their way, these critical landlord protections can be repealed.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 →
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 →
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 →
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...
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...
Landlords are hard pressed to deny reasonable requests made by disabled tenants, but what exactly is reasonable? Read more...
In today's forgiving culture of second chances, vetting rental candidates is trickier, as it becomes easier to conceal a checkered past. Read more...
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.
We are deeply saddened by the losses in the recent infernos. This tragedy brings to focus the obligations of rental housing providers when disaster strikes. Landlords have responsibilities in every time and season, but have a heightened sense of duty when tenants find themselves on the wrong side of Mother Nature.
Sexual harassment is a timely topic for the real estate industry, as a pantheon of celebrities fall from grace for alleged acts of lewd…
Immigration was a divisive topic in 2017, but California has been the capital of democratic resistance in the Trump era, making a concerted…
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...
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...
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...
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.
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.
The actor, film director and activist is cast into a new role - instilling a culture of diversity within the host community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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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