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

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

What Does the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) Mean for San Francisco Tenants

March 6, 2019

San Francisco tenant attorneys and affordable housing advocates work tirelessly to prevent vulnerable households and residents from slipping into homelessness due to the numerous evictions that get carried out daily by landlords wanting to take advantage of high-market rents.  The lack of affordable housing in the City is a problem that has to be addressed […] Read More

Landlords Are Prohibited By Law From Entering Tenants’ Units Without Proper Notice And Without A Permissible Purpose

Tenants are entitled to exclusive possession of the premises they rent, even to the exclusion of the landlord.  Owners, landlords, property managers, or the landlord’s agents cannot simply enter a tenant’s unit anytime they please and for any reason.  Tenants should be aware that the State of California has limited permissible reasons for landlords to […] Read More

Housing Discrimination in California: What Is It and What Can Tenants Do About It

December 6, 2018

Housing discrimination takes place when an individual or a group is treated adversely based on a legally protected characteristic such as their race, sex, religion, familial status, or disability. Housing discrimination is illegal and contributes to the inequity in the quality of housing a person can obtain. Although discrimination is illegal, many landlords continue to […] Read More

Landlords’ Duty To Prevent Crime

September 12, 2018

Landlords have a duty to take reasonable measures to protect their tenants from foreseeable crime on their properties. Landlords have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect tenants from the foreseeable criminal acts of another. CAL. CIV. CODE § 1714. Criminal acts can include conduct such as assault, battery, robbery, murder, rape, drug abuse, […] Read More

Noise Complaints: What can a Tenant do About Excessive and Continuous Noise Disturbances

August 13, 2018

Are tenants entitled to live in an apartment free from constant loud noise? Excessive continuous noise can impact a person’s health and well-being. Implied in all California leases is a covenant of “quiet enjoyment”. CAL. CIV. CODE § 1927. Landlords have a duty to ensure that tenants can peaceful possess their rental unit free of […] Read More