Know Your Rights: Bay Area Tenant Law

Due to the scarcity of affordable and adequate housing in the Bay Area, it is important for all non-owning area residents to understand San Francisco landlord-tenant law. If you are in a rental situation and believe that your landlord may be violating your rights, it is important to consult a lawyer well-versed on this topic.

Familiarizing yourself on the intricacies of San Francisco landlord-tenant law may seem too overwhelming a task, and in such cases, consulting with a lawyer can help to ease your worry.

San Francisco Landlord-Tenant Law

One of the most commonly abused tenants’ rights is the requirement for landlords to obtain permission and provide notice prior to entering your property. These laws are in place to protect the tenants’ right to privacy, and while landlords are allowed to enter the premises with cause, they must provide advance notice and follow other guidelines.

Illegal or Unlawful Entry

Landlords are permitted to enter the premises for a variety of reasons, such as repair, inspection, showing the unit to a prospective tenant or purchaser, or pursuant to a court order. If there exists just cause, the landlord must still respect the rights of the tenant, and provide adequate notice, only visit during normal business hours, and with a clear explanation of the purpose of the visit. Such notice must be given in writing and mailed six (6) days prior, or be posted in a conspicuous location. Such notice must include the date and time of the visit and the express purpose for why they must gain access to your residence.

The San Francisco rental market continues to be a difficult process to navigate, and knowing your rights as a tenant can help you to protect your privacy and ensure that your landlord follows the applicable rules of law.

Elke & Merchant, LLP is a San Francisco area law firm that specializes in Tenants’ Rights and Landlord-Tenant Law. Their expertise includes matters relating to eviction, Rent Board petitions, habitability, and harassment.