Practice areas of the firm built for rental property owners

As the Bay Area's authority in managing landlord-tenant relationships, our core competencies include, but are limited, to the following areas.

Compliance with COPA

Beginning September 3, 2019, San Francisco’s Community Opportunity  to Purchase Act will grant a number of qualified nonprofit housing providers both a right of first offer and the right of first refusal, over any privately owned residential buildings with three or more rental units, as well as vacant lots where buildings could be erected.

This nascent law adds new layers of complexity to the sale of multifamily buildings, but Bornstein Law can oversee all of the carefully choreographed steps to ensure compliance and avoid civil liability that may await sellers who deviate from the ordinance.

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Unlawful detainer (eviction) actions

One of the most thankless and trying but necessary duties of a landlord is evicting tenants. This is effectuated pursuant to a California court order known as an unlawful detainer judgment. Rest assured, this court-supervised process is fraught with risks.

Notices must be properly prepared and served, deadlines are unforgiving, documentation is specialized, and if the law is not followed to the letter, you may encounter costly delays, lose your eviction action and worse, be sued by the tenant for wrongful eviction.

When rental relationships fail, Bornstein Law can ensure there are no procedural missteps. Please don’t risk damage to your property, let nuisances fester, or lose months of rent because of inaction. Contact us to nip the problem in the bud early on.

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Owner move-in and relative move-in evictions

Sometimes, an owner or close relative wants to recover a tenant-occupied rental unit for their own use. Homeowners who just stretched for a huge mortgage may want to move into their new home, but must first transition tenants out.

Bornstein Law can help owners access their property by effectuating a legal Owner move-in or Relative move-in eviction, but not without gleaning a good deal of information about the property and its history of current and past tenancies.

When tenants are evicted through no fault of their own, he or she is entitled to relocation payments and landlords may be required to dole out additional money to certain vulnerable individuals. The payment amounts and timing of the disbursements can be especially tricky.

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Tenant buyout agreements

When you would like to secure a vacancy in a tenant-occupied property and there are no legal grounds for termination notice, Bornstein Law can help effectuate a proper, legal and enforceable tenant surrender of possession agreement.

A buyout agreement is a contract where typically, in exchange for compensation or rent waiver or both, a tenant agrees to voluntarily vacate the premises and release all claims arising out of the tenancy. It's analogous to "cash for keys."

Proper notice must be served and many disclosures are required. To avoid any gaffes, please contact us first.

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Navigating complex rent control rules

Rent control is creatures of ordinances enacted by local governments and in the narrowest sense refers to limits on how much rent landlords can charge, and spell out how often landlords can raise the rent.

Yet, many of these regulatory regimes have eviction control that enumerates reasons why a tenant can be evicted. Oftentimes, these ordinances afford tenants still more protections in the form of minimum lease terms, relocation payment assistance, special notice requirements, mediation services, buyout agreement regulations, and other safeguards.

Bornstein Law is intimately familiar with local rent control ordinances that establish the framework for landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities. Rent boards are all too willing to air out grievances, but we can tell your side of the story.

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Accessory Dwelling Units

Known more commonly as in-law units, granny flats, secondary units, and other terms, public policy and relaxed regulations have made put these pint-sized units back in vogue, yet the permitting process and rules surrounding the construction of in-law units or the legalization of an illegal unit are still maddening, only to a lesser extent.

When the in-law unit is tenant occupied, there is a host of legal issues in terms of rent increases and transitioning the tenants out, and the stakes are ratcheted up in rent-controlled jurisdictions. Sellers and buyers of homes with unwarranted units also have a unique set of challenges, risks and potential liability best approached with Bornstein Law.

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Short term rentals

Bornstein Law has been prophetic in predicting early on that the law will catch up with technology, yet more than keeping pace, the law has recently clobbered rogue short-term rental hosts who ignore an ever-expanding regulatory regime that blacklists and fines actors who go it alone.

If you have tenants who are improperly subletting rental units by using Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms to profit from your real estate investment, this is typically a violation of the lease that can be enforced.

For owners looking for extra income, Bornstein Law can help you cauterize risk by staying compliant with laws and develop a strategy to realize a new revenue stream without endangering your investment.

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Landlord-tenant litigation

Bornstein Law has always likened litigation to a game of tug of war - the harder each side pull on the rope, the tighter the knot becomes.

We are not interested in enlarging a dispute - our foremost goal is to untangle the knot and try to manage relationships in order to resolve the matter as inexpensively and quickly as possible.

When this goal becomes too lofty or idealistic, you can count on our seasoned attorneys to advocate for owner rights in the courtroom. Practicing landlord-tenant law on a daily basis has given us a strategic advantage over other real estate attorneys not so versed in the nuances of these types of disputes.

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