San Francisco rent laws your landlord probably doesn't want you to know

on Apr 17 2017 - 12:10pm

Source: Curbed SF By Curbed | APR 17, 2017 Photo by Fireglo/Shutterstock There are two classes of renters in San Francisco: those who are protected by the Rent Ordinance of 1979 and those who are not. Most renters in buildings predating June 1979 enjoy safeguards from enormous rent hikes and baseless evictions. It's a frustratingly arbitrary system (unless you rent in a pre-1979 building, and then it simply becomes the Way of the Universe). With the help of our friends at the San Francisco Tenants Union, we identified six rights you may not even know you have. Several of the following tips below apply only to apartments that are covered by the Rent Ordinance and, oddly enough, even to illegal units. In a bizarre twist of red tape, you can sometimes be better protected living in an illegal unit than in a market-rate one built after 1979. Before we launch into the legal stuff, let's get a few things out of the way. The magic number in the rental ordinance is June 13, 1979. If...

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San Francisco Now Has a One-Stop Shop to Invest in Fighting Displacement

on Apr 12 2017 - 12:00pm

Source: Next City  BY OSCAR PERRY ABELLO | APRIL 4, 2017   (Photo by Tony Webster) In hot real estate markets like San Francisco, even the most frivolous of neighborhood rankings can move mountains of money. Speculative developers hear rumors and begin snatching up buildings left and right. In some cases, they pay fully in cash. They purchase buildings with rent-controlled or rent-regulated units, expecting to kick out existing low- to moderate-income (LMI) tenants and replace them with higher-paying ones. In some cases, banks have provided commercial mortgages to developers to buy buildings in so-called hot neighborhoods on the expectation that they will similarly kick out existing LMI tenants. A California watchdog group ran a successful campaign in 2015 to get one bank to stop making what it labeled “displacement mortgages” in San Francisco.   In 2015, 344 Precita Avenue in Bernal Heights found itself in the crosshairs. An online real estate...

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Federal fair housing law protects LGBT couples, court rules for first time

on Apr 6 2017 - 2:27pm

Source: The Washington Post By Fred Barbash April 6 at 5:47 AM Rachel (left) and Tonya Smith. (Courtesy Lambda Legal) A federal judge, in a first, ruled Wednesday that the federal law barring housing discrimination protects LGBT people. The married couple who brought the case — Rachel Smith, a transgender woman, and Tonya Smith — were denied a rental townhouse along with their two children by a landlord who gave as a reason their “unique relationship,” they claimed in court. The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to rent or sell housing to anyone because of “sex, familial status, or national origin.” But since it says nothing about sexual orientation or gender identity, questions remained regarding whether LGBT people are covered. The answer, an increasingly common one in anti-discrimination cases, was yes. It came from Judge U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore in Denver. Rachel and Tonya Smith described the encounter that led to the ruling in an...

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Mission District’s nonprofit developers build housing hope

on Apr 4 2017 - 2:17pm

Source: San Francisco Chronicle  By J.K. Dineen  |  April 3, 2017  Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle     Karoleen Feng (center) and Feliciano Vera of the Mission Economic Development Agency check out a property at 1990 Folsom St. that is slated for development of 143 affordable housing units. Affordable housing development is about to go from zero to 733 units in the Mission District. A decade after dysfunction and political infighting brought low-income housing production in the neighborhood to a standstill, the Mission is about to become the city’s busiest neighborhood for construction of new below-market-rate units, with complexes popping up along Folsom Street, Mission Street and South Van Ness Avenue over the next three years. Six affordable housing projects, four of them within a two-block area of the Inner Mission, are set to start construction over the next two years. The projects will inject 733 units into an area that is becoming as...

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Financial Planning Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017

on Apr 3 2017 - 7:57am

Looking for a safe place to get financial advice? San Francisco Financial Planning Day at the Portola Branch Saturday, April 22, 2017 2pm to 5pm Portola Library branch 380 Bacon Street, San Francisco, CA 94134 Bring your money questions to San Francisco Financial Planning Day and get a free objective, no strings-attached, financial advice from a Certified Financial Planner professionals. The event is free and open to the public.   Save the date for Financial Planning Day at the Main Library on October 28, 2017

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