Landlord Faces Significant Fine in SF Court Case and Points to Potential Challenges for New and Existing Tenants, Opines TenantScreeningUSA.com

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A landlord in San Francisco faces fine for inappropriate and illegal evictions to force tenants residing in rent-control apartments in order to increase rent rates. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “Landlords, property managers, and rental property owners need to work with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency in order to stay current with all laws governing the use of evictions, as well as other records, utilized during the tenant screening process; and the recent fine from courts indicates an urgent and immediate need to do so.”

Tenant Screening USA

TenantScreeningUSA.com

Rental property owners and related landlords and property managers need to be fully cognizant of laws governing eviction. Recent case in California shows how unlawful evictions can be expensive.

A San Francisco landlord has received a $2.4mm dollar fine from the City of San Francisco over the illegal use of evictions in order to increase rent on rent-controlled properties. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “The case in San Francisco highlights an immediate and urgent need for landlords, property managers, and rental property owners to work with a well-qualified tenant screening company so they can remain fully compliant with all aspects of law governing the specific use of eviction, as well as related public documents commonly utilized in vetting potential renters.”

Just as there are bad tenants there are also bad landlords. While not as commonly reported bad landlords do exist and, recently, the Superior Court of San Francisco handed down a $2.4 million fine against a property owner allegedly utilizing evictions in order to increase rental rates at recently purchased rent-controlled properties.

From SFist.com (May 03, 17):

It's a bad week for notoriously bad landlord .... Shortly after we learned that the serial evictor of rent-controlled tenants had been sentenced to a few days in jail in Los Angeles for her misuse of the Ellis Act down south, we get word that a San Francisco Superior Court Judge has issued a tentative ruling fining … and her associates $2.4 million. As the Chronicle reports, Judge Angela Bradstreet issued the ruling Tuesday following two years of investigation and prosecution by City Attorney Dennis Herrera. … could in fact end up paying well over $4 million to the city because the judge has also ruled she must reimburse the city for legal and investigative costs incurred in the case. (1)

Just down the coast from San Francisco, the City of San Jose has taken up the issue of eviction.

Recent actions by local activists have spurred the city council into action.

From SanJoseInsider.com (Apr. 19, 17):

Under one of the new rules approved by the city’s elected leaders, landlords can no longer oust tenants without citing a “just cause.” A second ordinance tentatively approved will require property owners who want to raze rent-controlled buildings to foot the bill for relocating displaced tenants.

Until this week, San Jose was the last major Bay Area city to allow landlords to kick out tenants without having to explain why. Activists lauded the reforms, citing them as proof that the South Bay’s renter rights movement has become a force to be reckoned with. (2)

Almeida offers an opinion: “Rental property owners and related landlords and property managers need to be fully cognizant of laws governing eviction. Recent action in California points to greater enforcement of law. A best practice to remain in compliance is to work with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening company.”

Tenant screening companies are tasked with staying compliant with laws, both state and federal, that govern the use of public records, such as court proceedings as related to eviction records. It is a core tenet of the tenant screening industry. Further, a third-party tenant screening agency can assist landlords and property managers in constructing a fully legal and lawful tenant screening package of reports and related information.

Almeida adds: “Using a tenant screening company for all requirements of tenant screening is a best practice and as rules and laws governing tenant screening change, a solid third-party company will stay ahead of those changes and greatly assist in creating a fully legal and compliant tenant background check process.”

TenantScreeningUSA.com is a third-party tenant screening company specializing in tenant background screening for small to mid-size properties. With a highly trained staff, TenantScreeningUSA.com can remain focused on full compliancy with existing law as well as remaining involved with new or pending legislation.

Notes:
(1)    sfist.com/2017/05/03/bad_landlord_anne_kihagi_fined_24_m.php
(2)    sanjoseinside.com/2017/04/19/san-jose-adopts-stronger-protections-for-tenants/

Case number: 15-cv-01168-KAW; Superior Court of San Francisco

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