Law Offices of Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Law Offices of Mary Catherine Wiederhold
mcwrealestatelaw.com

The Case of the Complicated Agreement - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

This case demonstrates how complicated the law can be.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/the-case-of-the-complicated-agreement/

mcwrealestatelaw.com The law can be complicated. That’s why I suggest tenants reconsider representing themselves in disagreements with the landlord. A recent case, Sayta v. Chu, was heard by the Court of Appeal here in San Francisco. It’s a notable case to post about in this blog because it demonstrates how complica...

sfchronicle.com

SF landlords’ attempts to pass some charges on to tenants face opposition

Landlords passing expenses like debt service burdens tenants.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/SF-landlords-attempts-to-pass-some-charges-on-12422939.php

sfchronicle.com Amina Rubio thought little of the notice she received in the mail in October 2016 informing her that the Powell Street apartment building where she's lived for nearly 20 years was under new management. At the time, the name of her building's new owners, Veritas Investments and its subsidiary, Greent...

mcwrealestatelaw.com

Introducing My New Associate - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

I’m pleased to introduce my new associate, Courtney Brown.
She is passionate about helping clients.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/introducing-my-new-associate/

mcwrealestatelaw.com I’m pleased to introduce my new associate, Courtney Brown. Courtney Brown graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. At the Golden Gate University School of Law, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Courtney won numerous academic awards for ...

mcwrealestatelaw.com

The Case of the Locked-Out Tenant Who Hired an Attorney - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

This case is about a tenant who fought a bad landlord and the hard-working attorney she hired.
Based on the antics of the landlord, the court eventually awarded the tenant a considerable amount to money.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/eviction/the-case-of-the-locked-out-tenant-who-hired-an-attorney/

mcwrealestatelaw.com This case is about a tenant who fought a bad landlord and the hard-working attorney she hired. Based on the antics of the landlord, the court eventually awarded the tenant a considerable amount to money. The court even labelled the landlord as “vexatious.” In law, it means that the court categor...

sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

San Francisco May Guarantee Evicted Tenants' Right To Legal Counsel

This would be for tenants who have a low income.

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/11/15/legal-counsel-evicted-tenants-proposal/

sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com Weeks after advocates announced a ballot measure guaranteeing tenants legal counsel in evictions, two San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday announced legislation that would do largely the same thing.

mcwrealestatelaw.com

A Lesson about Rent Control from Santa Rosa - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

A lesson why rent control is important for tenants.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/a-lesson-about-rent-control-from-santa-rosa/

mcwrealestatelaw.com I heard a rumor two weeks ago that a number of 60-day notices to raise rents went out to Santa Rosa tenants even while the wildfires were still burning. Santa Rosa has no rent control. Santa Rosa’s City Council had passed a rent and eviction control ordinance in August of 2016, but according to The…

sfexaminer.com

Tenant advocates cautiously optimistic about Costa Hawkins repeal

This is an important repeal for tenants.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/tenant-advocates-cautiously-optimistic-costa-hawkins-repeal/

sfexaminer.com As the main breadwinner, Martha Simmons has always worked hard to support her family. But when her landlord raised the rent of the home she rents with her adult daughter, …

mcwrealestatelaw.com

How I Handle Lawsuits with Many Tenants - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Here's an article I wrote that was published in the Fall 2017 San Francisco Attorney Magazine.
It's how to handle lawsuits that have many tenants.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/how-i-handle-lawsuits-with-many-tenants/

mcwrealestatelaw.com I represent individual tenants, but I also represent multiple tenants who are suing a landlord. These types of cases can be complex due the number of tenants. Below is an article I wrote that was published in the San Francisco Attorney Magazine: Fall 2017. It gives an in-depth look at how I handle t...

sfexaminer.com

Despite drop in evictions, SF leaders still fight for tenant protections for youth and families

The basic idea is that students whose family has been evicted can still attend the San Francisco Unified School District, regardless of their academic standing.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/despite-drop-evictions-sf-leaders-still-fight-tenant-protections-youth-families/

sfexaminer.com Evictions have dropped in San Francisco for the first time in six years, but that isn’t stopping city leaders from calling for new tenant protections and defending ones that have …

mcwrealestatelaw.com

City Files Lawsuit Against “Firetrap” - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

The Ghost Ship tragedy lingers on my mind.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/city-files-lawsuit-against-firetrap/

mcwrealestatelaw.com The City of San Francisco is aiming at a landlord who rented an illegal basement space to 20 tenants that the San Francisco Fire Department alleges had many fire code violations. City Attorney Dennis Herrera stated on August 22 that the City filed a lawsuit against the landlord and others who rented...

mcwrealestatelaw.com

The Case of the Master Tenant Who Acted Like a Landlord - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/the-case-of-the-master-tenant-who-acted-like-a-landlord/

mcwrealestatelaw.com I follow court opinions in order to keep current with changes in the interpretation of landlord-tenant laws. I occasionally write about cases that are important to tenants in this blog. This case, which I call “The Case of the Master Tenant Who Acted Like a Landlord,” is significant because it shows...

sfchronicle.com

New California law aims to stop spread of bedbugs

http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/New-California-law-aims-to-stop-spread-of-bedbugs-11964442.php

sfchronicle.com A new state law designed to battle bedbugs requires California landlords to provide tenants with written information about these blood-sucking, tenacious pests and how to report suspected infestations to the landlord. The disclosure requirement took effect for new tenants July 1 and will apply to ex...

mcwrealestatelaw.com

Rental Rates Driving Tenants Out - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/rental-rates-driving-tenants-out/

mcwrealestatelaw.com Sheila James, an office worker, starts her week by rolling out of bed at 2:15 am to get to her job in downtown San Francisco by 8:00 am. Because of high rental rates in the Bay Area, she moved to Stockton, where she can rent a 3-bedroom house for $1,000 a month. She used to …

sfexaminer.com

How owner move-in reform will affect SF tenants and landlords

http://www.sfexaminer.com/owner-move-reform-will-affect-sf-tenants-landlords/

sfexaminer.com Owner move-in reform unanimously passed through the Board of Supervisors on July 18. This reform adds enforcement mechanisms to protect tenants from landlords who abuse OMI evictions and never intend …

mcwrealestatelaw.com

First Step to Correct a Housing Code Violation - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Do you really have a housing code violation?

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/first-step-to-correct-a-housing-code-violation/

mcwrealestatelaw.com You believe your home has a serious violation of the housing code. But you’re not certain. How can you tell? “Substantial” compliance is the standard used by the courts. Landlords are not required to have their properties in perfect, aesthetically pleasing conditions. In most cases, landlords nee...

sf.curbed.com

SF non-profits can now sue other people’s landlords over evictions

Will just the possibility of SF non-profits being able to sue stop the number of phoney owner move-in evictions?

https://sf.curbed.com/2017/7/19/15998978/owner-move-in-eviction-san-francisco

sf.curbed.com New law tries to put pressure on phony owner move-in evictions, opening up scofflaw landlords to perjury charges and even lawsuits from housing non-profits.

sfist.com

Airbnb Host Who Discriminated Against Asian Guest Gets Fined $5K

No discrimination allowed.

http://sfist.com/2017/07/13/airbnb_host_who_discriminated_again.php

sfist.com For the first time, an Airbnb host who exhibited racism on the platform is being penalized by a state agency.

mcwrealestatelaw.com

Yikes, My Building is Selling: Part 2 - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

More things to know if your apartment building is for sale.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/yikes-my-building-is-selling-part-2/

mcwrealestatelaw.com The landlord or his realtor presents you with a document asking you about the details of your lease. The document might be called “Rental Questionnaire” or a “Statement of Tenancy.” Be careful. It could be a tenant estoppel. Tenant estoppels legally certify facts about your lease. They reassure the…

sfgate.com

SF tenant-protection law dies quietly

Here's a loss for tenants.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SF-tenant-protection-law-dies-quietly-11254258.php

sfgate.com San Francisco will not be allowed to require landlords who go out of the rental business to pay their evicted tenants as much as $50,000 to cover the higher rents they’ll face on the open market. The 2015 ordinance was an attempt by city officials to respond to a state law called the Ellis Act that…

mcwrealestatelaw.com

Yikes, My Building is Selling: Part 1 - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Things to know if your apartment building is for sale.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/yikes-my-building-is-selling-part-1/

mcwrealestatelaw.com You come home one evening and see a sign on your building. It’s for sale. Or you hear a rumor from another tenant. You google your building’s address, and up it comes on some real estate company’s website. As a tenant, are you in trouble? Take a deep breath. The first thing I tell my …

mcwrealestatelaw.com

The Case of the Unaware Landlord - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Details are important. That’s why, when you’re in a dispute with your landlord, it’s important to know the law.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/the-case-of-the-unaware-landlord/

mcwrealestatelaw.com Details are important. They can make or break your case. That’s why, when you’re in a dispute with your landlord, it’s important to know the rules and regulations. In Azar v. Rodriguez, the landlords did not know the details. Or if they did, they chose to ignore them. Luckily, the tenant attorney ca...

sfexaminer.com

Ghost Ship master tenant arraigned on manslaughter charges

The Ghost Ship master tenant was arranged on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/ghost-ship-master-tenant-arraigned-manslaughter-charges/

sfexaminer.com Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Almena was arraigned Thursday on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the fire that killed 36 people in Oakland’s Fruitvale district last December. Dressed …

mcwrealestatelaw.com

CAA Drops Rent Control Lawsuits - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

This is good news for tenants, but the fight goes on in other cities.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/caa-drops-rent-control-lawsuits/

mcwrealestatelaw.com The California Apartment Association (CAA), a trade group of landlords, announced on May 5th they will suspend their legal challenges to two approved rent control measures. Last November, rent control measures were on the ballot in five cities. Only those in Richmond and Mountain View passed. The CA...

At the 2017 San Francisco Trial Lawyer of the Year Gala, I had the pleasure of talking to Honorable James McBride and Honorable Stephen Murphy.

Thanks to professional photographer Melanie Rovens for her skill and expertise.

mcwrealestatelaw.com

The Case of the Tenant Who Changed His Mind - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Here's more reasons to know your tenant's rights.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/the-case-of-the-tenant-who-changed-his-mind/

mcwrealestatelaw.com As I wrote in the blog “The Case of the Winning Defendant,” court opinions can have lots of drama like reality television. A recent case, about a tenant who changed his mind, has plenty of drama. It also has good lessons for other tenants. What is a court opinion? Sometimes when a case is appealed,…

sfist.com

Evictions Down By 21% Since Last Year In First Decrease Since 2010

This is great news for tenants.

http://sfist.com/2017/04/05/evictions_decline_for_first_time_in.php

sfist.com 1,881 evictions were filed with the Rent Board, down from 2,376 last year.

mcwrealestatelaw.com

A Repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Act? - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

This is an important bill that could have wide-ranging implications for tenants.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/a-repeal-of-the-costa-hawkins-act/

mcwrealestatelaw.com There’s a battle ahead. And it’s already started. The first strike occurred on February 17, when California Assembly Members David Chiu (Democrat-San Francisco), Rob Bonta (Democrat-Alameda), and Richard Bloom (Democrat-Santa Monica) introduced a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.…

sf.curbed.com

Bay Area rents tumble, except in Concord

Here's a look at recent trends in rental rates in the Bay Area.

http://sf.curbed.com/2017/3/22/15028924/sf-median-rent-concord

sf.curbed.com Price way down in San Francisco since 2016.

mercurynews.com

South Bay housing crisis: 92-year-old “model tenant” facing eviction

This man was a World War II veteran and a model tenant.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/14/san-jose-they-just-said-get-out-says-92-year-old-facing-eviction/

mercurynews.com Paul Mayer is part of the latest chapter in the story of San Jose’s housing struggle: A city that bills itself as the ‘Capital of Silicon Valley’ is grappling with how to house th…

mcwrealestatelaw.com

I’m Glad to be a Californian - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

As I researched the background of Chief Justice of California, I saw many admirable qualities. She's inspirational.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/im-glad-to-be-a-californian/

mcwrealestatelaw.com Last Wednesday, at the San Francisco Lawyers Club Inn of Courts Supreme Court luncheon, I was honored to introduce the Chief Justice of California. As the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, she influences how laws are interpreted. As I wrote in an earlier blog, “The Case of the Winning D...

sfchronicle.com

City’s Airbnb battle pits Democrat against Democrat

This article had some good information about Airbnb.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/City-s-Airbnb-battle-pits-Democrat-against-10981465.php

sfchronicle.com [...] here was a Democratic Party team that knew how to play Washington-style hardball, taking the offense against the highly politicized prosecution of the president. Lehane was hired by Airbnb in 2015 to lead the battle against San Francisco’s Proposition F, the initiative that would have restrict...

mcwrealestatelaw.com

Don’t Be Fooled by the Recent Decreasing Rent News - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Recent news has proclaimed that tenants are benefiting from decreasing rents. Don't let that news fool you.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/dont-be-fooled-by-the-recent-decreasing-rent-news/

mcwrealestatelaw.com There’s been a bunch of articles recently touting the improved rental market in San Francisco and other cities in the Bay Area. “Winter Continues to Cool Off San Francisco’s Rental Market,” claims SFCurbed. “S.F. Rents Down More Than Any Other Large U.S. City,” states SFGate. “Bay Area Tenants Get S...

The Bar Association of San Francisco

I'm very pleased that the Bar Association of San Francisco posted an article I wrote for the Bulletin. Thank you!

Five Advantages of Having a Solo and Small Firm
By Mary Catherine Wiederhold, Law Offices of Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Published on BASF's blog, Legal by the Bay:
http://blog.sfbar.org/2017/02/17/five-advantages-of-having-a-solo-and-small-firm/

mcwrealestatelaw.com

The Case of the Winning Defendant - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

This is an interesting case about a tenant who fights against being evicted. If he hadn't fought back, the Court would have decided against him.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/the-case-of-the-winning-defendant/

mcwrealestatelaw.com Court opinions can be like reality television shows. They both have lots of drama. Unlike reality television, though, court opinions include lots of fun legal stuff. What’s a court opinion? Some cases are heard on appeal. When the Court considers an appeal, they will sometimes publish a lengthy opin...

blog.sfgate.com

What does rent control do to the SF market? Here’s a peek

Talking about rent control, the article notes that "there is a lot of money at stake." Here's a look at how much money.

http://blog.sfgate.com/ontheblock/2017/01/24/what-does-rent-control-do-to-the-sf-market-heres-a-peek/

blog.sfgate.com Rent control has long been a controversial issue, and Paragon Real Estate just released a multi-factor report on its effect on real estate in our local markets, both rental and sales. Money on the …

mcwrealestatelaw.com

Checklist for Tenant Estoppels - Mary Catherine Wiederhold

You might receive a tenant estoppel if your landlord sells your building.
Treat this document very carefully.

http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/tenant-rights/checklist-for-tenant-estoppels/

mcwrealestatelaw.com The landlord or his realtor presents you with a document asking you about the details of your lease. You sign it without thinking about it. Did you just unknowingly give away some of your tenant rights? In my last blog, “Tenant Estoppel Certificates: The Hidden Trap,” I wrote about the importance of...

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