Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) client Tim has been living in his rent-controlled unit in Nob Hill for about six years. His rent is reasonable and he pays his it on time each month.
He has never had any problems in the building and was even referred to as a low-maintenance tenant by the resident property manager. Tim is disabled and suffers from both physical and mental health disabilities. Despite his disabilities, he has a job and participates in the local art scene in San Francisco.
Tim was threatened with eviction for “nuisance,” after having been accused of stealing another tenant’s package at his building. Tim denies the theft and believes that the allegations were fabricated as a way for the landlord to get him out of the unit so that they could rent it out at the market rate, which is nearly four times the current rent that Tim is paying.
The landlord filed an unlawful detainer case against Tim in an effort to evict him. Tim then came to the Homeless Advocacy Project, and staff attorney Bao-Tran Dang agreed to represent him.
Dang diligently litigated the case – she completed discovery and took the manager’s deposition. She did on-site investigations and witness interviews. At the settlement conferences, however, the landlord would only settle if Tim agreed to move out. Tim would only settle if he were allowed to stay in his home. Once it became clear that the case would not settle, HAP Supervising Attorney Erin Katayama joined the case as the lead for the trial along with Dang.
The trial lasted about four days including jury deliberations. In the end, the jury found that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the allegation that Tim committed a “severe nuisance or a substantial interference with the comfort, safety, or enjoyment of the premises,” which is what the law requires to justify an eviction. As a result of the jury verdict, Tim gets to stay in his home.
To learn more about the great work of the Homeless Advocacy Project and the client base they serve, please visit www.sfbar.org/hap.
If you would like to support this program, please consider making a donation to the Homeless Advocacy Project: https://app.mobilecause.com/form/A3treA