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

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

Stopping Landlord Retaliation

September 13, 2019

Landlord retaliation is a very serious offense.  Often tenants are in jeopardy of losing their apartments because of retaliation.   Retaliation can put tenants in physical danger.  And, retaliation can force tenants to live with unsafe conditions.  If you are in an unsafe situation because of landlord retaliation, you may need to contact the police, get […] Read More

Tenant Class Action Lawyers

August 7, 2019

Tenants often have group claims against their landlords.  We have filed 100s of group claims on behalf of tenants.  We take these cases on contingency, meaning the tenants do not pay anything until an award is recovered.  As the largest tenant law firm in California, we have the capacity and experience to represent large groups […] Read More

What to do as soon as you get an eviction notice? Our step-by-step guide.

August 5, 2019

The initial steps you take as soon when you get an eviction notice are critical in preserving your rights. Step 1:  Determine if you are covered by eviction protection. If you live in any of the following cities and counties, or live in a mobile home park, you likely have eviction protection:  San Francisco, Oakland, […] Read More

Free San Francisco Eviction Lawyer

The City of San Francisco now provides tenants with free lawyers to defend evictions.  Here is how to find a free lawyer. You may be entitled to a large settlement if your landlord is illegally evicting you.  We take wrongful eviction cases on contingency, which means you do not pay anything unless you get a […] Read More

Mold

July 24, 2019

Mold is Serious Mold is a microscopic fungus that grows in almost every damp setting. Improperly maintained dwellings can have toxic mold levels. Mold infestations will flourish in areas with excess moisture, such as leaks, showers with no ventilating fans, wet basements, and air ducts. Because it only takes a day or two for colonies […] Read More

City Of Alameda Rent Control Stabilization Ordinance

April 30, 2019

In 2016, the City of Alameda’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance was put into effect.  The ordinance is not as comprehensive as the City of San Francisco or the City of Oakland’s, but it is an essential step towards combating the continual increase in housing costs and the displacement of the city’s most vulnerable.  While Alameda’s ordinance […] Read More