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When a Tenant Rescinds a Notice to Vacate

A resident gave me a 30-day notice to vacate two months ago but did not vacate as announced.  And now rent is not being paid.  What can I do? This question highlights the fact that in San Francisco and in other places with strict rent control laws, a resident’s notice to vacate may be rescinded […]

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2024 Security Deposit Rules

A former tenant is suing me for his security deposit refund. Is there anything I can do to prepare for this hearing besides documenting the damage? This question warrants a brief review of the security deposit rules and the processes required when residents vacate.  Beginning July 1, 2024, most housing providers may only request one […]

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What to do with Unwarranted Housing

I’ve always believed my in-law unit to be a legal unit, but I recently found out it is unpermitted. The current resident has been living there for a few years. How should I move forward? Years ago, housing providers had options.  For starters, they could simply withdraw the unwarranted unit from housing use by securing […]

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Safety Disclosures  and Measures

Before a tenant signed a lease, I told her the neighborhood was safe. Her car has been broken into twice in three months, and she is claiming I misrepresented the neighborhood. How can I protect myself? For starters, never represent that a neighborhood is “safe.”  The reality nowadays is that no neighborhood comes close to […]

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Hoarding and Cluttering

I have received multiple complaints from neighboring units above an elderly resident’s home where there is potential hoarding and cluttering.  This resident has declined my request for entry.  What should I do? As reported by the 2007 San Francisco Taskforce on Compulsive Hoarding where SFAA was a participant alongside other community stakeholders, compulsive hoarding and […]

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Belief of Abandonment

I believe that an apartment in my building has been abandoned.  How should I proceed with entering and reclaiming this dwelling? California has an expedited process permitting housing providers to reclaim rentals that are believed in good faith to have been abandoned.  The process may be used if rent has been unpaid for more than […]

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Mold Mold Mold

A tenant has reported black mold. I don’t want to make any mistakes. How should I proceed? First, notice an entry to inspect the site of contamination.  Please do not attempt to clean up the mold yourself.  Hire a professional and reputable mold remediation company to accompany you so that a proper remediation plan may […]

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Doom Loop and Our Residential Rental Market

A current tenant asked me for a rent decrease after seeing an ad for a vacant unit in the building at a lower price.  What should I do? The Doom Loop’s effects will not spare the residential rental market.  With office occupancy in desperate straits and retailers fleeing the City, apartment pricing is bound to […]

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How First Republic closure could impact slow SF apartment market 

Volume down and days on market up in first quarter, according to Colliers report David Wasserman and Allison Chapleau (DavidWassermanSF, AllisonChapleau) With interest rates up, tech layoff announcements coming fast and furious, and rents still well below 2019 levels in much of the city, apartment buyers had already been feeling anxious about the market going into 2023. […]

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When Tenants May Withhold Rent

Are there circumstances where a tenant can legally withhold rent? Yes, there are defined circumstances that permit your residents to withhold rent, and they all have one thing in common:  A failure to maintain the apartment and/or the building.  As repeatedly emphasized in SFAA meetings and course offerings, rental housing must always have (i) effective […]

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Rental Assistance in the Post-Pandemic Age

I was never able to convince my tenant to participate in the various rental assistance programs throughout the pandemic.  Is it too late to obtain funds? The answer is “no,” it is not too late.  In fact, effective March of 2023, a local City-funded rental assistance program is covering rents that accrued during the past […]

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Habitability Obligations

One of our apartments has a bed bug infestation.  We believe that the tenant brought them in.  Who is responsible for remedying the situation? You are entirely responsible for remedying the situation, period.  It does not matter who you think brought the bed bugs in.  You, as the housing provider, have the nondelegable duty to […]

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Accepting Rent Payments from Venmo or Zelle

Posted by  wasserman  Residents would like to pay rent using Venmo or Zelle.  What if a non-tenant deposits funds into my account?  Would that automatically create a tenancy? The answer is maybe.  Understandably, members are constantly and rightfully mindful of establishing a direct owner-tenant relationship with subtenants or “subsequent occupants.”  For the past twenty-five-plus years, […]

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What to do When My Tenants Complain About Noise

Posted by  wasserman  What must we do when residents in our buildings lodge noise complaints against their neighbors? This question has come up more often these days now that folks oftentimes work from home and, as such, are spending more time in the building.  Owners and managers are increasingly receiving complaints such as: “My neighbor’s […]

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Update on SF’s 10-Day Warning Law

Posted by  wasserman  San Francisco now requires a warning notice to be sent before an owner may serve a formal eviction notice.  The new 10-day warning procedure was legislatively created because of a concern that some residents might not have enough time to cure objectionable conduct or may otherwise be confused about when a lease […]

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When a Resident Fails to Leave After Giving Notice

Posted by  wasserman  A tenant gave her 30-day notice to vacate.  I quickly found new tenants and signed a lease with them.  But now the current tenant wants to rescind the notice to vacate.  Since I have already signed a new lease, I would rather not accept this rescission.  What are my options? Unfortunately, your […]

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Temporarily Relocating Tenants

Posted by  wasserman  I need to temporarily relocate my tenants to complete repair work in their unit.  What is the proper legal notice I should send?  What if they refuse? Both state and local law afford property owners the right to enter occupied rental housing to perform necessary or agreed upon repairs.  Residents must accommodate […]

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Defining a Roommate

Posted by  wasserman  I have been sharing my duplex with the same tenant for over 20 years.  At this point, I would like to sever the relationship and have her move out.  Am I legally entitled to do so? The answer is not an easy “yes” or “no,” but instead is dependent upon whether or […]

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SF’s New 10-Day Warning Law

Posted by  wasserman  I’m confused by the new 10-day notice legislation.  Do I have to serve both a 10-day notice and a 3-day notice?   What is the difference? San Francisco now requires a warning notice to be sent before an owner may serve a formal eviction notice.  The new 10-day warning procedure was legislatively […]

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MARKET TRENDS

Posted by  wasserman Why “smart money” is chasing San Francisco apartments Rent slump provides institutional investors the chance to buy out struggling mom and pop landlords When David Wasserman first started working as a San Francisco landlord attorney in the mid-1990s, his clients often had blue-collar day jobs as plumbers or garbage collectors.  Most likely […]

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Never Allow Tenants to do Their Own Repair Work

Posted by  wasserman  A tenant sent me a receipt from a plumber for a shower repair with the total amount deducted from their rent payment. I’m half-relieved I didn’t have to deal with the problem, but is this bad practice? Could it backfire? It is bad practice, and it most certainly can and likely will […]

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Keeping Sidewalks Clean

Posted by  wasserman  A tenant’s car was broken into, and he hasn’t addressed it. The vandalized car is still there, with a shattered window, and glass fragments inside of the car and all over the sidewalk and street. Can I ask him to clean it up? Yes, you certainly should ask the resident to clean […]

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Fair Housing Considerations When Evaluating Rental Applications

Posted by  wasserman  On the application I give to potential renters, I ask why they are moving.  Is this inquiry permissible? Yes, asking a potential applicant why they are relocating is probably okay.  But you are wise to exercise caution as to what inquiries you are making of potential applicants.  Fair housing claims are on […]

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New ESA Rules

Posted by  wasserman  In a studio apartment, one tenant has an emotional support cat, but now she is asking for  an emotional support dog.  Am I obligated to permit two emotional support animals (ESAs)?  Is there a limit to the number of animals permitted in an apartment? The short answer is “no,” there are no […]

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Wellness Checks

Posted by  wasserman  I have not received rent from a tenant in three months.  Nor has he responded to emails or phone calls, so we have had no communication.  Should I check to see if he is okay? The short answer is “yes,” you should do a wellness check.  Sadly, due in part to the […]

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New Roommate Considerations

Posted by  wasserman  A resident added her new spouse’s name to her checks.  By cashing these checks, am I also acknowledging her partner as a co-occupant? The answer is “probably not.”  If the original resident signed the check, and you have been and remain diligent about not recognizing the new spouse as a co-occupant, you […]

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Criteria for Renting

Posted by  wasserman  A tenant attorney submitted an application to rent a vacant unit in my building, but I would rather not rent to a tenant attorney.  Is there a way to lawfully deny her application? This is one of those questions where the technical answer is “yes, you may deny the applicant because attorneys […]

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Smoke Free Apartment Living

Posted by  wasserman  I’ve received multiple complaints about one tenant vaping and smoking marijuana. How should I approach the offending tenant? Can I request to see his medical marijuana card? “Smoke is smoke. Both tobacco and marijuana smoke impair blood vessel function similarly. People should avoid both….” -Matthew Springer, cardiovascular researcher and Associate Professor of […]

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When There is No Written Lease Agreement

Posted by  wasserman  I purchased an older multi-unit building. One unit has been occupied by the same tenant for forty years (through three different owners). There is no lease agreement in place. As the new owner, can I request that he sign a new lease?  The short answer is yes, you may request that they […]

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CA’s Statewide Rent Control Law

Posted by  wasserman  We are planning on finding long-term renters for our single-family home for the first time.  How have the laws changed for these types of rentals since AB 1482 passed? In the midst of the pandemic and all of the ensuing chaos, many of us have forgotten that as of January 1, 2020, […]

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Refunding Security Deposits to Long Ago Departed Tenants

Posted by  wasserman  A unit will soon become vacant in my building.  However, I just discovered that the original resident moved out about nine years ago.  His ex-girlfriend, who never signed the lease agreement, is the current and last occupant leaving.  What do I do with the security deposit? Look no further than to Paragraph […]

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Evictions May Not be the Answer Anymore

Posted by  wasserman  I am in the process of refinancing a duplex, and an appraiser will need access to the apartments in the building.  Tenants in one unit refuse to grant access due to COVID.  Is there anything I can do to get the appraiser in? This question highlights a tremendous transformation in our housing […]

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Please Be Wary of Concessions and Incentives

Posted by  wasserman  A potential tenant is negotiating a lower rent.  Can I offer them a gift card to offset their move-in costs in order to keep the stated rent high? Yes you can, but you better be prepared to have that higher rent stated in the lease challenged at some point in the future.  […]

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Security Deposit Dispositions During a Pandemic

Posted by  wasserman  After the tenant vacated, I found the bathroom full of mold and will need to have it professionally cleaned.  I was not aware of this problem during the tenancy, and it appears as though the mold growth was caused by a lack of cleaning and ventilation during the tenancy.  May I deduct […]

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Receiving Rent from Joint Accounts

Posted by  wasserman  A long-time tenant got married this year, and now has a joint bank account with his wife. If I cash a check from this joint account, would I be acknowledging his partner as a tenant?  The basic answer is “probably not.”  We always urge members to refrain from any course of action […]

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Unit Registration and Licensing Law

Posted by  wasserman  In December of 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a rent ordinance amendment that will require unit registration and licensing.  The Rent Board will be develop a form to use for this mandatory reporting.  This is major legislation that will impact the industry in many ways.  In particular, we will […]

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Collecting Rent in the COVID Era

Posted by  wasserman  Collecting Rent in the COVID Era Once the Tenant Relief Act expires next year, how should I collect the 25% of unpaid rent? What if the tenant vacates before then? Will I ever be able to collect the remaining 75% of unpaid rent? Firstly, everyone should note that the state legislature has […]

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What Can I do if the Tenant Claims Rent is Above Fair Market?

Posted by  wasserman  What Can I do if the Tenant Claims Rent is Above Fair Market? Understanding that I am not obligated to offer a rent reduction, can tenants successfully argue that their current rent is now above market value through the Rent Board or another forum?  There is a common misperception about what the […]

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Short-Term Rental Law

Posted by  wasserman  I would like to rent the units in my duplex furnished for short-term three month stays, and wait until rents are up again before finding a long-term tenant.  Is this legal? The short answer is “no,” this is not legal anymore.  In July of 2020, the Board of Supervisors passed what is […]

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Options During the COVID Era

Posted by  wasserman  Our tenant has not paid rent since March, claiming COVID-19 hardships.  We believe he is still working.  What are our options? The COVID-19 crisis has forced us as an industry to instantly reevaluate how we do business.  As most of us now know, once the pandemic became pronounced in early March both […]

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Be Careful When Offering Lease Incentives in a Post COVID-19 Down Market

Posted by  wasserman  The law is very clear on this subject and has recently been circulated by the Rent Board in light of the COVID-19 crisis: A landlord who grants a rent reduction due to market conditions makes that reduction permanent. This means that future rent increases must be based off of the lowered amount, […]

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Temporary Rent Reduction Agreements

Posted by wasserman Before the COVID-19 crisis changed our world, owners were usually not asked to temporarily reduce or forbear a tenant’s rent. That reality has now changed, as unemployment numbers are off the charts and incomes are drying up. Rent Board decisions in the past have held that where a landlord agrees to temporarily […]

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A Tenant May Have More than One Residence

Posted by wasserman If a rent controlled unit is not the master tenant’s primary address, can the rent be raised to market rate? Not necessarily.  For the past 25 years we have written about the benefits of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law which permits an owner to impose an unrestricted rent increase […]

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 On-Site Manager Rule

Posted by wasserman Am I required to have an on-site manager for my 16-unit building?  There is a resident who takes care of the building’s maintenance for me in exchange for discounted rent.  Is this good enough? The short answer is “no.”  There is common misunderstanding about this requirement in our industry.  The law that […]

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 Subtenants and Security Deposits

Posted by wasserman The last master tenant moved out of my unit and is asking me to return the security deposit. I know I have 21 days to return it, but I just sent a market-rate rent increase notice to the subtenants residing in the apartment, to which they have 60 days to respond. I’m […]

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Communicating with Subtenants

Posted by wasserman When noticing my tenants of a rent increase, should I include the names of unauthorized subtenants?  Absolutely not.  In 2018, we, the multi-family housing industry in California, spent upwards of $70 million to defeat Proposition 10, a ballot initiative that would have repealed the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and further diminished the […]

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Saving Costa-Hawkins

Posted by wasserman This November, our industry faces its toughest challenge in almost thirty years:  Saving Costa-Hawkins from repeal and preventing the inevitable rebirth and expansion of vacancy control.  More than enough ballot signatures have been collected and certified to place the Costa-Hawkins repeal measure on the November 2018 state ballot, meaning between now and […]

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Changing the Terms of Tenancy

Posted by wasserman We bought a tenant-occupied duplex and didn’t revise the lease at the time of purchase. The same tenant is still there, and there are some changes we’d like to make to the lease, including use of common areas. Can we change the lease, two years after taking ownership? You must first serve […]

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 Understanding the Bedbug Laws

Posted by wasserman A unit of mine had a bedbug infestation. Per the pest control operator’s (PCO) instruction, my tenant had to dry clean all of her dry-clean-only clothing and now wants a reimbursement. Am I responsible for her dry cleaning bill? Further, will I be required to let all prospective tenants know about this […]

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Assistive Animals

Posted by wasserman What is the difference between a service animal and a comfort animal?  And are guests of my tenants allowed to enter the building with both despite my “no pets” policy? This discussion begins with an admonition to all landlords that service and comfort animals, often collectively referred to as assistive animals, are […]

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What do you do when your tenant dies?

Posted by wasserman This is a very relevant yet complicated question that inevitably faces almost every landlord at some point.  Indeed, I myself have faced numerous tenant deaths both as a landlord and a landlord attorney.  While researching this topic, I came across many websites not just from authorities in California but from all over […]

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Living in Non-Sleeping Rooms

Posted by wasserman I found out that a master tenant has rented a “windowed closet” as a bedroom to a subtenant. The subtenant has been living there for three months. Is this legal? The reality is that, absent clear lease language defining what constitutes a permissible bedroom, the landlord may not be able to prohibit […]

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 Doing Owner Move-In Evictions

Posted by wasserman I own one unit in a two-unit building. I relocated a few years ago, but now my job is transferring me back to San Francisco. My unit is occupied by an elderly married couple, both 61 years old. Can I move back into my unit? Maybe.  A big misconception amongst landlords is […]

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Should I rent out rooms in my home?

Posted by wasserman To maximize income, should we rent individual rooms in a single-family home that we own and where we don’t reside?  What about renting individual rooms in a multi-bedroom apartment? Both are bad ideas and this author implores the membership to stay away from such strategies no matter how alluring the potential income […]

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 Buyout Blues 2017

Posted by wasserman Can a landlord negotiate a buy-out agreement with a tenant at the start of a tenancy? This author believes that the answer is definitively “no.”  In March of 2015, a “buyout” provision was added to the rent law.  The legislative intent behind this amendment was to provide tenants who were negotiating a […]

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 Never Remove Co-Tenants from an Existing Lease

Posted by wasserman About two years ago, I rented a 2-bedroom apartment to two roommates.  One tenant has just notified me that she is getting married and moving out.  The remaining tenant would like the lease changed to her name only.  Is that advised? The short answer is “no,” that is not advised.  There is […]

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Screening Subtenants

Screening Subtenants Can I screen new subtenants if I have no intention of adding them to the lease? The answer is “yes,” you can.  However, this author emphatically advises that you do not screen new subtenants. As many landlords know, the local rent law permits tenants to bring in subtenants under three circumstances.  One, a […]

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Landlord/Master Tenant Relations

Posted by wasserman What are my rights as a landlord to request information from a master tenant about who else is occupying the unit? You may request anything you want. Compelling a response is a different story. There is no law that requires a tenant to divulge personal information to the landlord. Management often asks, […]

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 When Departed Son Tries to Take Over Parents’ Lease

Posted by wasserman A long-term tenant has passed away. His adult son, who previously lived in the apartment with his parents but now lives with his family in his own home, has taken over the below market rate lease. He claimed his intention had always been to return to the apartment eventually. Is there anything […]

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Rent Rebates and Other Gimmicks

Posted by wasserman My longtime tenant recently discovered that a newly placed tenant across the hall is paying $200 less than him in monthly rent, so he asked for a rent reduction. May I agree to a temporary rent reduction? What about offering him a rebate instead? Despite what may have been stated at a […]

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Landlord’s Obligation to Tenants Displaced by Fire

Posted by wasserman What is a landlord’s obligation to a tenant who is displaced from a rental unit because of a fire or other disaster? Many tenants have been displaced recently because of building fires.  Undoubtedly, there will be a major earthquake someday that could potentially displace thousands of tenants.  The Rent Board’s Rules and […]

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 Understanding the Key Law

Posted by wasserman My apartment building has restricted high-security front door keys that tenants are unable to duplicate on their own. One of my tenants who rents the studio apartment with her name only on the lease is asking for an additional key for her boyfriend. Are we obligated to make the extra key? If […]

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Letting a Friend Stay in Your Apartment When You Travel

Posted by wasserman I own two flats. I live in one and rent the other. I plan on traveling to Europe for two months this summer and would like to sublet my owner’s unit to help cover the costs of my trip. A friend of mine is interested in renting my unit for the summer. […]

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Accepting Rent Via Electronic Funds Transfers or Direct Deposits

Posted by wasserman I am wondering how to handle automatic electronic fund transfers for rent payments. Is there a way to ensure that the tenant named on the lease is indeed the one sending the automatic payment, so that the landlord is not accepting funds from non-tenants and thereby giving them tenancy rights? I am […]

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Second-Hand Smoke Woes

Posted by wasserman I own a 15-unit building that is completely non-smoking. I have received complaints from a tenant that she occasionally smells smoke, but cannot tell which unit it is coming from. I have sent non-smoking reminders to all tenants. Do I have any legal responsibility to do anything if I find out who […]

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Why Tenants Should Not Make Repairs

Posted by wasserman My tenant broke the large picture window in the living room. I obtained a quote for $1500 from a licensed contractor. The tenant obtained quotes between $500-$600. Which quote do I use? Every landlord should always oversee and administer repairs and maintenance to apartments. This duty should never be delegated to the […]

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Why We Do Not Use 6.14 Notices

Posted by wasserman Title: Subtenant Safety Author: David Wasserman Dek: For the last five years, SFAA’s advice to owners regarding subtenants has remained the same: the less you know, the better. Word Count: 1,700 The following is an excerpt from an SFAA membership announcement I co-wrote with three of my colleagues, Clifford Fried, Saul Ferster […]

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Don’t Accept Rent from Subtenants

Posted by wasserman I have two tenants in one of my units, only one of whom is on the lease. When a recent rent payment was due, I accepted payment from them both, though the tenant who is not on the lease did not pay all the rent that she was supposed to. From now […]

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Comfort and Service Animal Issues

Posted by wasserman I have a prospective tenant who wants to move into a vacant unit and she has a comfort pet. Her financials are good, but I’d rather rent to another tenant whose financials are just as good but who doesn’t have a comfort pet. Can I do so without it seeming like I’m […]

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Notes on Chiu Airbnb

Posted by wasserman Does the Chiu Airbnb legislation override the provisions against this kind of subletting in the SFAA lease? The short answer is “no,” it does not, as more fully explained below. On October 7, 2014, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation sponsored by Board President David Chiu that allows tenants and owners to […]

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Costa Hawkins v. Section 1.21

Posted by wasserman I have an 80-year-old tenant that I have not seen in six months, though he continues to send rent checks postmarked from outside SF. The phone has been disconnected and the locks have been changed. I have posted a note on the door requesting a new set. The note was removed one […]

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Guidelines for Additional Key Sets

Posted by wasserman A tenant wants her boyfriend of six months to move in and asked me for another restricted access building key for him. If I permit the move-in, how do I give her the key without establishing him as a master tenant? The rent law was amended in 2005 to allow tenants to […]

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Should Everyone Sign the Lease?

Posted by wasserman We have two subtenants who are going to sign a new lease as master tenants. The third subtenant has elected to remain off the lease and stay a subtenant of the two other tenants. Is there anything we need to do about this third tenant to protect ourselves down the line? Or […]

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When My Tenant Wants Her Dog Sitter to Move In

Posted by wasserman My tenant is going to travel for several months and wants a friend to move in as a “dog sitter” while he is gone. What should I do? Tenant must obtain the prior written approval of Owner if an invitee or guest of Tenant will be present at the Premises for more […]

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When a Tenant Moves In His Girlfriend

Posted by wasserman My tenant asked me, via email, if his girlfriend can move in. If I say yes, does that waive my right to raise the rate to market rent if he eventually moves out and she stays? How should I respond to his email? If you have no objection with the girlfriend moving […]

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Mold Complaints

Posted by wasserman Recently, one of our tenants has been complaining that her nose is stuffed up whenever she is in the building and that she believes there is mold. We looked, but did not see any. Still, she believes it is there and is asking us if she can break her lease. What should […]

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Special Circumstances

Posted by wasserman I am renting one unit to my nephew and his girlfriend at a discounted rate. Is it okay to put only my nephew on the lease even though I know his girlfriend will be moving in as well? If they break up, will she be able to stay at the discounted rate […]

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Waiving your right to enforce lease

Posted by wasserman One of my tenants recently asked me if he could keep a friend’s small dog for a week while the friend is away on vacation. I have a no-pet provision in my lease, but I don’t mind the short-term stay. But, if I allow the tenant to do this, do I waive […]

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Dealing with Abandoned Property

Posted by wasserman Can you explain the new changes regarding how to deal with abandoned property after the tenant moves out? Landlords have certain obligations to deal with a tenant’s abandoned property if the tenant has vacated or been evicted. Recent changes, supported by CAA, have been made to these laws to make it easier […]

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When a Tenant Changes Locks

Posted by wasserman My tenant changed the locks on some if not all of the doors of the home that she is renting from me. I understand that I can serve her a notice that she must provide a copy of the keys to those locks to me. If, after serving this notice, she does […]

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 Tenant’s Oil Leak

Posted by wasserman My elderly disabled tenant’s car is leaking oil and I am concerned that someone could slip and fall. I have sent a letter telling the tenant to clean up the oil, but so far she has not done so. What do I do now? Am I liable if someone falls? Once again, […]

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Waiver

Posted by wasserman I have requested that a tenant remove his items from a common area in my building. So far he has not done so, but he has sent his rent for the month. Can I cash the check or will that waive my right to ask him to remove his things from the […]

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Offering Units Back After Disasters

Posted by wasserman Recently, tenants in my building were displaced because of a fire next door. The original tenant of one unit has notified me that he wants to return when his unit is repaired, at the same rent. The problem is, I don’t know if his two roommates were still living at the building […]

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On Site Managers

Posted by wasserman You can pay them (right) now or you can pay them (a lot!) later Introduction One of the most important people involved in the success of your property’s performance is the on-site manager (Resident Apartment Manager). This person is often the face of your property in your absence and may even be […]

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Bedbugs and Lease Obligations

Posted by wasserman A tenant reported a problem with bedbugs after living in the apartment for three months. Within 24 hours, the property management company responded with the proper treatment. Can a tenant break a lease due to bedbugs even though the owner has properly treated the apartment by a bedbug expert? The bedbug problem […]

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 Unilaterally Imposed Obligations

Posted by wasserman My lease does not cover move in/move out fees. I found out after I signed a tenant to a new lease that there is this fee by my condo association. Can I recover this when my tenant moves out in a mid-rise new building—i.e., no rent control? The answer is no. It […]

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When Tenant Will Not Pay the New Rent

Posted by wasserman I recently gave a tenant notice of an upcoming rent increase. He verbally told me that he has no intention of paying the new amount. What should I do? Service of rent increase notices can create tension. Oftentimes, tenants are unaware that your operating costs continue to rise. In recessions, when people […]

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Illegal Rent Increases

Posted by wasserman I told my tenant that I wanted to raise his rent $100 and he agreed.  Then I realized that even with banked rent increases I can only raise it about $30.  What should I do? Rescind the unlawful rent increase immediately, and promptly refund any overage to the tenant.  The rent law […]

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Keys to Apartments

Posted by wasserman Q: My tenant asked me if she could have an extra key to give to her boyfriend. She specified that he would not be living there, but that she would like him to be able to get in occasionally if she is not there. What should I do? For San Francisco rent […]

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When to Change the Locks

Posted by wasserman At what point during the eviction process can I change the locks on the apartment doors? After a drawn out eviction trial, there is no better feeling than winning your case and having a judgment granting you possession of your apartment. Sometimes the judgment will also include monetary awards, such as back […]

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 Comfort Pets and Allergies

Posted by wasserman I have a no-pet policy in my building, but recently one of my tenants said he needs a “comfort pet” and had the doctor’s note to back it up. I knew I had to allow him to have it, but now I have another tenant (with her own doctor’s note!) saying that […]