A message to our endeared clients, colleagues and friends, from the desk of Daniel Bornstein.


With a brisk number of housing bills slated to go into effect in 2018, there are still more consequential proposals being floated in city halls and under the dome of the State Capitol, with property taxes, rent control and local zoning rules front and center.
While our fraternity should be relieved to know that efforts to repeal the long-standing Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act have been put on ice for now, it is no time for us to celebrate or rest on our laurels. Assembly Bill 1506 died in a Committee hearing, but tenant advocates vow to take the issue directly to voters in a November 2018 ballot, meaning the battle is won but the war is far from over.
With a busy legislative and regulatory agenda ahead, Bornstein Law is committed to keeping you abreast of any changes that will affect your business and counsel you on how to achieve success in the shifting legal landscape of Bay Area real estate.
In our over 23 years of advocating for property owner rights, we have seen many ups and downs for the rental housing industry, but we are optimistic that forward progress will continue if we band together to rid ourselves of unscrupulous tags and assert the rights of responsible property owners in an era where public opinion and political rhetoric often rest squarely on the side of tenants. 
Even as we join efforts to chip away at the larger macro problems, you can rely on Bornstein Law to manage difficult relationships when friction arises within your rental business, and to help guide you towards the achievement of your goals.
We hope that you find our January digest of articles to be informative and invite you to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on all of the news germane to Bay Area property homeowners, property managers, and real estate professionals. 


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...


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...


The Onus of Policing Short Term Rentals Falls on Property Owners

In a victory for profiteering renters that improperly sublet their units for extra cash, a federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit that sought to crack down on hosts using the Airbnb website without landlord permission. The takeaway for landlords is to not wear blinders, and some personal sleuthing may be necessary to know what is going on in your rental units. 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...

The Efforts To Repeal Costa-Hawkins Fails 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.

In-Law Units, AKA "Granny Flats"

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), colloquially known as in-law units and granny flats, among other terms, are back in vogue in the Bay Area. Here's the laws that surround these pint-sized units.

Tenant Buyout Agreements

Although not as commonplace as it once was and today highly regulated, tenant buyouts remain a viable way to transition tenants out of their rental unit by offering a lump sum payment to vacate.


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