Joseph TobenerJoseph Tobener is a partner at Tobener Ravenscroft. An attorney for more than fifteen years, Mr. Tobener draws on his specialized tenant law expertise to provide caring, easy-to-understand, and aggressive assistance to a diverse clientele.  He has represented thousands of Bay Area residents on tenant law issues and earned millions on behalf of his clients. He has appeared on KALW and KQED and was featured in the SF Bay Guardian, the Daily Journal, and California Lawyer. Cases he has successfully litigated have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, Reuters, and Wired. His clients have included countless lawyers, high-tech executives, mobile home residents, the San Francisco Tenants Union, and several art collectives. One of his passions is working to preserve artist live/work housing. He also worked for Home Base, a homelessness law nonprofit and has been an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University and UC Hastings. The firm is dedicated to employee activism, and sponsors each of its lawyers to volunteer weekly in the community at housing rights nonprofits, donating nearly 500 attorney hours each year.

EDUCATION

JD, UC Hastings College of Law
MS, San Francisco State University
BA, University of California, Los Angeles

jtobener@tobenerlaw.com

Articles

City Of Santa Monica Renter Protections

January 16, 2020

The City of Santa Monica has a long history of strong tenant protections.  Santa Monica’s rent control and eviction control laws were enacted in 1979.  And, almost a decade ago, eviction protections were extended to non-rent controlled properties.  Santa Monica has also adopted an anti-harassment law, amended its relocation assistance ordinance, and adopted many anti-discrimination […] Read More

The Town of Fairfax Renter Protections

January 15, 2020

The Town of Fairfax is one of the most recent places to put into place additional protections for its renters. In 2019, the town adopted a just cause for eviction ordinance and a mandatory mediation ordinance for certain rent increases.   Town of Fairfax Just Cause For Eviction Ordinance Effective March 6, 2019, landlords may […] Read More

When Is It Time to Sue Your Landlord?

December 31, 2019

As a renter, you have certain rights granted by state law and your lease. Signing a lease on a new apartment is usually a positive experience. Like all properties, though, rental units have the potential to come with common problems such as noisy neighbors, property damage, or even mistreatment or discrimination from your landlord. When any of […] Read More

Why Oakland warehouse fire could cause more to lose homes

December 4, 2019

After losing friends and loved ones in the Oakland fire that killed 36 people, many artists living in the city’s warehouse communities fear a coming crackdown on the roll-your-own spaces that they call home — but may not be legal housing. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Why-Oakland-warehouse-fire-could-cause-more-to-10784722.php Read More

CITY OF ALAMEDA RENT CONTROL, LIMITATIONS ON EVICTION, AND RELOCATION TO CERTAIN DISPLACED TENANTS ORDINANCE

November 21, 2019

The City of Alameda’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance has been repealed, and a new ordinance has been enacted. The City of Alameda Rent Control, Limitations on Eviction, Relocation to Certain Displaced Tenants Ordinance was adopted September 3, 2019. Alameda, Cal. Mun. Code § 6-58.10. The ordinance may be referred to as the City of Alameda Rent […] Read More

Union City Rent Control

November 6, 2019

Union City’s Residential Rent Review Ordinance, And Residential Landlord And Tenant Relations Ordinance Union City is one of the growing number of jurisdictions to adopt local ordinances to protect its renters.  The Residential Rent Review Ordinance entitles tenants to a mandatory review of rent increases above a certain amount.  And, the Residential Landlord and Tenant […] Read More

Step-by-Step Tenant Guide to Oakland Owner-Move-In Evictions and Oakland Relative-Move-In Evictions

October 1, 2019

If your landlord is threatening to move into your Oakland apartment or threatening to move in a relative into your Oakland apartment, here is a step-by-step guide on how to fight back! 1.  Determine if your Oakland building has just-cause eviction protections. Your building is covered by the Oakland Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance if […] Read More

A Tenant’s Right to Repair and Deduct and Withhold Rent Under California Law

September 25, 2019

When can a tenant repair and deduct? Under California law, a tenant is allowed to repair and deduct.  Civil Code § 1942.  However, this remedy should only be used where the tenant meets all the requirements of the repair and deduct statute.  If a tenant repairs and deducts without following the strict guidelines of California’s […] Read More

Late Fees in Residential Leases

September 18, 2019

You may be able to file a lawsuit against your landlord for illegally collecting late fees.  If you are a California tenant fighting an exorbitant late fee Contact Us Are late-fee clauses illegal in California residential lease agreements? Many landlords place clauses in their lease agreements that require tenants to pay a set fee if […] Read More

Get the Right Landlord Insurance Policy

September 16, 2019

As long-time tenant rights lawyers, our firm has sued 1,000s of landlords, and in most of those cases, the landlords have had to pay significant sums out of their own pockets because they did not have the right landlord-tenant insurance.  Not all landlord insurance policies are created equal.  Landlords need to make sure they have […] Read More