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Tenant Resources


ASSESSOR'S OFFICE
To check the legal status of units, building ownership, and other property info. You can also check the year your building was built (and the number of units it has), and thus determine if it's under rent control. You can find your landlord's address there, but not her name, as well as info on foreclosures.

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., Rm 190, SF 94102
Assessor Division: (415) 554-5596
Hours: 8-5 pm, Monday - Friday
http://ec2-50-17-237-182.compute-1.amazonaws.com/PIM/
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BUILDING INSPECTIONS (DEPT. OF)
You can call this department to report problems, such as leaks, lack of heat and broken or unsafe stairs as well as electrical and plumbing repairs. An inspector will come to your apartment and write up a notice of violation. If the landlord does not make the repairs, he can be fined and brought to a director's hearing. NOTE: For illegal units (or if you suspect your unit is illegal) check with us first! Units that are sometimes illegal: Garage, inlaw, basement or those with a letter or fraction next to the number (e.g., 39A, 39-1/2).

HOUSING INSPECTION SERVICES DIVISION (HIS)
1660 Mission Street, 6th Floor, SF 94103
To file a complaint: (415) 558-6220
Hours: 8:00-5pm, Monday - Friday
Inspectors are usually at their desks: 8-9 am, and 4-5 pm
http://dbiweb.sfgov.org/dbipts/

CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Responsible for enforcing the health and safety code, the housing code, the building code and the fire code against owners of blighted property in SF.

CODE ENFORCEMENT DIVISION
1390 Market Street, 6th Floor, SF 94102
Hotline/voice mail: (415) 554-3977
Hours: 8 - 5pm, Monday - Friday
http://sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=409

rents too highDISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
CONSUMER FRAUD UNIT

880 Bryant Street, SF 94103

Information: (415)553-1752
Hours: 8 - 5pm, Monday - Friday
http://www.sfdistrictattorney.org/

EVICTION DEFENSE COLLABORATIVE
Provides legal assistance (at low cost and/or sliding scale) for persons with eviction papers (unlawful detainer), a notice to vacate from the sheriff or a notice to defendants from Superior Court that an unlawful detainer has been filed. If you have a 3-day or 60-day, you can contact us. Once you get the court papers, you must go to Eviction Defense. We cannot help you. It is best NOT to call them. Go to their office. No appointment neccesary. Bring all the papers that you have received.

995 Market/6th, 12th floor, SF 94103
Hours: 9:30 - 11:30am, and 1:00 - 3:00pm,  Monday - Friday
http://www.evictiondefense.org/

HEALTH DEPARTMENT
For complaints about garbage, mold, asbestos, insects, bugs or rodents. An inspector will come to your apartment and write up a report.

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SECTION
390 Market Street, Suite 210, SF 94102
To Report Unsanitary Conditions: (415) 252-3800
Hours: 8:00 - 5:00, Monday - Friday
http://www.sfdph.org/dph/EH/default.asp

SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING AUTHORITY
Provides public housing units and Section 8 vouchers to low-income tenants in SF.

1358 Egbert Ave., SF 94129
Information: (415) 715-3254
Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday
http://www.sfha.org

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Investigates and mediates complaints about discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. Also enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandates that a landlord make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons, such as putting in hand bars in bath tubs and allowing service and companion animals even if a lease says no pets.

25 Van Ness, Suite #800, SF 94102
Information: (415)252-2500, Fax: (415)431-5764
Hours: 8 - 5, Monday - Friday
http://www.sf-hrc.org/  
eviction
LEAD PREVENTION
Provides a childhood lead prevention program. If you have concerns about your child being exposed to lead in your apartment, call this department.

CHILDREN'S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION
1390 Market, Suite 230, SF 94102
Information: (415)252-3800
Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday
http://www.sfdph.org/dph/eh/CEHP/Lead/default.asp

LEGAL HELP FROM NOLO PRESS

Tenants in California can obtain  legal self-help from the Nolo Press web site. Not specific to SF, but provides general info on state law. If you need specific info on rent control issues, check with the Rent Board or our tenant rights page.

NOLO PRESS SELF HELP LAW BOOKS PUBLISHERS
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
Information: (510) 549-1976
http://www.nolo.com/

MEDIATION SERVICES
Free third party mediation for tenants in SF who want to try and resolve disputes between themselves or with a landlord. There are two services that are free. They, of course, require voluntary participation from all parties.

COMMUNITY BOARDS
1540 Market Suite 490, SF 9410  (415) 920-3820

PLANNING DEPARTMENT

Information on planning issues. Useful for protesting new construction in one's neighborhood. Reviews private development projects and proposed capital improvements projects and other physical projects involving city property.

SAN FRANCISCO PLANNING DEPARTMENT
1650 Mission, suite 400, SF, CA 94103-2414

Information: (415) 558-6378 Fax: (415) 558-6409
Hours: 8am - 5pm, Monday - Friday
Planning Information Center, 1660 Mission, first fl., 558-6377
http://www.sf-planning.org/
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RENT BOARD
For information about tenant's rights under rent control, to file a petition for illegal eviction, illegal rent increase, etc. Runs a free counseling line daily 8am-4pm, 252-4602.

25 Van Ness, Room 320, SF 94102
Information: (415) 252-4602 Fax: (415) 252-4699
Hours: 8 - 5, Monday - Friday
http://www.sfgov.org/rentboard

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

Provides information to tenants who are being evicted after losing their court case.

SHERIFF'S OFFICE EVICTION ASSISTANCE PROJECT
City Hall, 1 Carlton Goodlett Place, Room 456 SF, CA 94102
Information: (415) 554-7255
Hours: 8 - 5, Monday - Friday
http://www.sfsheriff.com/

SMALL CLAIMS COURT
To recover security deposits and for lawsuits $10,000 and under. Also useful for tenants who are not under rent control.

400 McAllister Suite 103, SF 94102
http://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/small-claims

catSF SPCA
Sample leases, security deposit info, and pet resumes for persuading landlords to be animal-friendly. Some pro-pet housing referrals. If you're a tenant searching for pet-friendly housing, the SPCA can guide you in creating a résumé for your pet. Sample cat and dog résumés available.

2500 16th Street, SF, CA 94103-4213
Information: (415) 554-3000
Hours: 8 - 5, Monday - Friday
http://www.sfspca.org/

SUPERIOR COURT
Unlawful Detainer (eviction) lawsuits and lawsuits over $10,000.

400 McAllister, Suite 103, SF, CA 94102
Recording: (415) 551-4000/ Unlawful Detainer:  551-3762
Hours: 8:00 - 4:30, Monday - Friday
http://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/civil/housing-court
rents too high
a blast from the past: Old St. Mary's Housing Committee (HRCSF's original name) members participate in a forum. Notice the banner behind the two women: is anyone really surprised that it's still relevant.



On this page: find helpful links to offices and websites that can offer help to tenants who are facing a whole range of problems -- from that persistent leak in the ceiling to help with eviction papers (Unlawful Detainer) that your landlord just served you.

Whether you need free mediation services to resolve a conflict with a roommate or a landlord, or information on tenant laws that only someplace like Nolo Press can provide, the guide to the left will hopefully come in very handy. It's in alphabetical order.

We try to keep the list as up-to-date as possible, but sometimes things slip by us, so if you find something that is out-of-date or a link or phone that doesn't work, or even another resource that isn't listed but is real helpful to tenants, please email Tommi at tmecca@hrcsf.org. We appreciate your help in keeping this info current and useful.

If you need further help, please feel free to call our counseling line or drop into our tenants rights clinic, Monday through Thursday, 1-5pm, 415-703-8634.