In the midst of our Great Recession, rents in the City have finally begun to soften. As jobs disappear and bonuses dry up, the vacancy rate persistently inches upwards. Ever eager to fill empty units and to compete for quality tenants, owners around town have begun, once again, the campaigns of rent gimmicks, incentives, freebies, and the

Heat Ordinance

A tenant informed me that his steam heater was not working. The plumber found no problem with the heater, but did find that the heater was covered in dust and that the tenant’s curtains were conveying the heat toward the window. With the dust and curtains removed, the heater worked fine. Since there was nothing

When a Tenant Dies

A tenant’s death terminates the tenancy. However, the owner generally does not regain possession of a rental unit immediately after the death. Instead, there may be several issues to confront before the unit can be re-rented. First, if there are any questionable circumstances surrounding the passing, the County Coroner’s Office and/or the Police Department will seal off

Pet Policy Q&A

There are no dogs allowed in my building. The other day a tenant came in with a dog. When I confronted him about it, he said the dog was a comfort pet for a visiting friend. (The friend was not in evidence at the time.) What are the rules regarding visitors’ comfort pets? If the

Foreclosure Notes

My building is going be foreclosed. What is my responsibility to my tenants after the bank takes control of the building? Do I need to warn them before the building is taken? Many apartment buildings in San Francisco are being transferred to banks and other financial institutions as a result of the dire economy. In January

Buy-out Blues?

Upset over your recent buy-out here in The City? Then consider what our friends in the Big Apple have to contend with! Catherine and Alistair Economakis wanted to convert a 15-unit rental property on East 3rd Street in Manhattan into their single-family residence. After five expensive years of litigation, which included an appeal to New York’s highest appellate