Where S.F. Housing Authority stands 2 years after hitting bottom

February 2, 2015

Tobener Ravenscroft, a tenants law firm, challenges the city’s Housing Authority to meet standard living conditions at Clementina Towers in the South of Market area. Partner Jacqueline Ravenscroft represents two dozen tenants who have for years endured sub-standard conditions that include cockroach infestation, broken elevators and insufficient security measures. Even though new Housing Authority leadership […] Read More

S.F. Fails To Follow Up After Evictions

December 29, 2014

Tenant lawyer Joseph Tobener, of Tobener Ravenscroft LLP, explains why San Francisco city agencies rarely track what happens to buildings after evictions. His client brought suit after discovering from her former neighbors that the landlord illegally converted her three-unit building into condominiums and rented her former unit on Airbnb. Tobener notes that wrongful eviction suits, […] Read More

When Mrs. Doubtfire Won’t Leave

June 28, 2014

San Francisco tenant lawyer Joseph Tobener comments about the California couple whose nanny refuses to leave their home. With an agreement to care for the couple’s three children in exchange for room and board, the nanny reputedly reneged on her commitment but continued living in the family’s home. Not only must the family wait for […] Read More

Airbnb blurs lines between visitors, tenants

June 7, 2014

San Francisco tenant lawyer Joseph Tobener represents long-term Airbnb renter after eviction. The case tests what tenant protections mean for clients of the vacation rental system. Tobener maintains his client’s 75-day stay entitles her to coverage under the city’s strict tenant protection laws: In single-family homes, like the one in which she lived, protections kick […] Read More

Lower Haight Landlord Won’t Let You In Bed For Less Than $100,000

May 5, 2014

Tenant rights lawyer Joseph Tobener comments on a landlord’s outrageous demand that his tenants provide proof of a minimum $100,000 income and a FICO score of 725. Tobener says existing tenants of the rent-controlled building are under no obligation to divulge financial information under state or San Francisco law. Additionally, this condition for rental is […] Read More

San Francisco sues landlords who evicted tenants for Airbnb

April 23, 2014

S.F. tenant rights attorney Joseph Tobener represents San Francisco Tenants Union in suing multiple landlords accused of evicting tenants to rent out rooms on websites like Airbnb, VRBO.com and Homeaway. The predatory practice displaces longtime legal renters from their homes to list their space online for as much as $600 a night. The practice is […] Read More

Lee pledges $5.4 million to fix elevators in public housing

April 17, 2014

Tenant rights attorney Joseph Tobener takes on San Francisco’s Housing Authority on behalf of 24 tenants in Clementina Towers public housing. After years of malfunctioning elevators that threaten residents’ health and well-being, the lawsuit spurs improvements for low-income residents, who pay a third of their income to rent. In some instances, home health-care workers could […] Read More

Serial Evictor Targeted in Ellis Act Protests

April 12, 2014

Tenant rights lawyer Joseph Tobener comments on action by Eviction Free San Francisco to spotlight evictions on Guerrero Street. Filing a lawsuit against one owner, Tobener notes the eviction of his client is unlawful on several counts, including: the false pretense that the unit was needed to house the owner’s partner (the two had filed […] Read More

Airbnb sublets in S.F. land some renters in the doghouse

March 18, 2014

Renters can find themselves in the wrong, too, notes San Francisco tenant rights attorney Joseph Tobener of Tobener Ravenscroft LLP. It’s illegal to obtain apartments solely for the purpose of listing them on Airbnb, says Tobener, and in most cases even subletting for a day or two breaches the terms of a lease. Threats of […] Read More

Airbnb profits prompted S.F. eviction, ex-tenant says

January 22, 2014

Tenant rights lawyer Joseph Tobener discusses the effects of Airbnb on San Francisco and its renters. Recognizing that this aspect of the sharing economy is so lucrative it is forcing out residents and driving up rents, Tobener criticizes Airbnb’s role in the lawsuit of one client from Russian Hill. Tobener reports receiving more than a […] Read More