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

Oakland Buyout Ordinance

June 13, 2018

What units are covered by the Oakland Buyout Ordinance? The Oakland Buyout Ordinance applies to all residential rental units in Oakland, except publicly owned or operated rentals. What is my landlord required to do before approaching me about a buyout? The Oakland Buyout Ordinance requires landlords to provide each tenant in a rental unit with […] Read More

Building Rapport: Mediator Jane Struck

June 1, 2018

The following was taken from JAMS mediators: Early in her career as an insurance defense lawyer, Jeane Struck found she could be a zealous advocate for her clients while remaining on good terms with opposing counsel. Now a mediator at JAMS special- izing in insurance and liability cases, Struck said she still sees many of […] Read More

Estoppel Certificates

What is a Tenant Estoppel Certificate (Estoppel Agreement)? When a landlord places a rental property up for sale, the realtor and landlord will request a tenant to complete and sign an estoppel certificate. An estoppel certificate is used to inform a potential buyer of commercial or residential rental property of the rights of existing tenants. Read More

Mountain View Rent Control and Tenant Relocation Assistance Program

May 29, 2018

The City of Mountain View has a rent increase limitation ordinance (“Mountain View Rent Control”), which caps the annual amount a landlord can increase rent, and a just cause for eviction ordinance (“Mountain View Eviction Control”), which protects tenants from eviction absent one of the enumerated just causes for eviction. Mountain View, Cal., City Code, […] Read More

Landlord Caused Injuries

October 24, 2017

When can a landlord be held liable for a tenant’s personal injury? A tenant can recover for personal injuries caused by a landlord’s or property manager’s negligent care of property. To prove a claim for negligence, a tenant must show that (1) the landlord owed a duty to maintain the property; (2) the landlord negligently […] Read More

Breaking a Lease

October 22, 2017

Tenants break or void long-term leases for two reasons. In the most common scenario, a tenant seeks to break a lease for personal reasons; for example, to move to another state. In a second scenario, the tenant must void the lease because the landlord has breached obligations under the lease by refusing to repair, failing […] Read More

Berkeley Rent Control

July 13, 2017

What units are covered by the Berkeley Rent Control? The Berkeley Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance has two separate protections that are best thought of as distinct:  rent increase limitations and just cause eviction protection, these are often referred to as Berkeley Rent Control. Some units in the City of Berkeley have […] Read More

Mayor’s ‘short term’ elevator repairs a long time coming

July 5, 2017

Representing 24 public housing residents at Clementina Towers, Jackie Ravenscroft, of tenants rights law firm Tobener Ravenscroft, descries the deplorable conditions these seniors and disabled clients have endured. Their upcoming lawsuit against the city of San Francisco cites elder abuse and violations of the federal Fair Housing Act. San Francisco Chronicle Sept. 7, 2014 by […] Read More

Landlord Retracts Outrageous Demands After Letter Goes Viral

Tenant rights attorney Jackie Ravenscroft is cited to explain the legalities when one S.F. landlord requires tenants to meet a certain income level. Causing a public outcry, the landlord of a rent-controlled building in the Lower Haight area notified his tenants they must provide proof of $100,000 annual income or move out. That, Ravenscroft says, […] Read More

Oakland Relocation Program

April 3, 2017

What is required for a temporary eviction for substantial repairs? Before sending a tenant a written notice to vacate for substantial repairs, the landlord must obtain all necessary permits from the City of Oakland. The eviction must be in good faith and be for substantial repairs that cannot be completed while the unit is occupied. […] Read More