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

One Startup Wants To Speed Buyouts In San Francisco’s Rent-controlled Units

March 25, 2016

Tenant rights attorney Joseph Tobener comments about the pitfalls of buyouts offered by landlords for rent-controlled units. Middleman services like RentMasters can be used by owners to negotiate buyout agreements, but Tobener is wary that such agreements may put tenants at risk. He says buyouts can be “extremely legally complex,” and client interests are better [...] Read More

San Francisco residents to vote on contentious Prop. F

November 1, 2015

Tenant lawyer Joseph Tobener comments on the benefits of Proposition F, commonly called the Airbnb initiative. Representing the San Francisco Tenants Union, Tobener says short-term rental services like Airbnb have been breaking city rental laws with impunity. The proposition, heavily opposed by Airbnb, suggested limiting the number of nights a unit can be rented to [...] Read More

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