The following list includes several highlights of Wasserman-Stern’s recent caseload

Section 1.21 Petitions

Wasserman has been prosecuting “Section 1.21 Petitions” on behalf of its landlord clientele since the law was enacted in 2001. A Section 1.21 Petition is a landlord’s request to the Rent Board that the tenant’s rent-controlled status should be lifted because the tenant does not principally reside in the subject rental unit. For instance, if the tenant has bought a home in the East Bay and lives there with her husband, but still maintains the San Francisco apartment for infrequent use, then the rent can be adjusted to fair market value if the petition is successful.

In another case, Wasserman filed a petition against a “tenant” who had long since bought several properties but kept his law school apartment for storage and parking benefits. In yet another case, this office is challenging a Nob Hill tenant for keeping her apartment for occasional use during the Opera Season, while she lives in her home in Atherton. Clients are encouraged to contact this office for more information about Section 1.21 services.

Costa-Hawkins Rent Increases

When your last original tenant has left, and strangers are left behind, you may be able to raise the rent to market levels. Wasserman has recently handled numerous Costa-Hawkins rent increases cases, wherein the tenant has challenged the increase by claiming that there is still an original occupant living at the premises, and/or the landlord waived the right to seek a Costa-Hawkins rent increase.

Decrease in Service Petitions

This is the method used by many tenants to lower their rent. Often, a tenant will claim that repairs have not been made and/or dilapidated conditions in the apartment justify a rent reduction. These Rent Board hearings are difficult for landlords because many Rent Board judges do everything they can to justify a rent reduction for the tenants. If you are facing a decrease in services petition, please call us.

Unlawful Detainer Litigation

This office handled numerous evictions in superior court. We cover San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties. We have handles numerous jury and court trials, and we do evictions from nonpayment of rent, owner move-ins, nuisance, breach of lease covenants, substantial rehabilitation, and temporary relocations for rehabilitative work.

Most clients call Wasserman for help drafting tenant eviction notices and monitoring tenant compliance.  Our clients find that even run-of-mill non-payment of rent eviction cases requires substantial expertise and competent legal representation.  Our office prides itself on fast and efficient tenant evictions in San Francisco.  If you are experiencing problems with difficult tenants or require sophisticated real estate advice, you can always count on the attorneys at Wasserman for all your real estate/ property management needs.

Unlawful Detainer litigation requires that your attorneys possess special knowledge of the court rules and legal system in order to be aggressive advocates for you in the courtroom. The attorneys at Wasserman are seasoned litigators with one of the best winning records in the city.  Our office will prosecute eviction actions for landlords or defend landlords for wrongful eviction cases.  So, whether you simply want to evict a difficult tenant or you have been sued in court by one of your tenants, call our office for a comprehensive legal consultation.

Option Case Goes to Trial

On December 18, 2003, a unanimous jury in San Mateo County came back with a verdict in favor of our clients, who held an option to purchase a condominium. The lawsuit arose when the owner of the condominium falsely claimed that our clients exercised the option and then failed to consummate the purchase in a timely manner (e.g., 30 days). This contention was premised on the fact that our clients were considering various loan packages from several lenders. The owner wanted to complete the purchase in 2003, so he used this pretext as a basis for declaring the option to be exercised. As such, the owner was seeking to end the lease and the lease option, despite the fact that neither contract expired until February 1, 2006. This case is important because it clarifies the proposition that merely looking for financing usually does not constitute the exercise of an option.

Trial Counsel: David P. Wasserman