By Dan Pan

Due to economic booming at bay area in recent years, the housing price has skyrocketed in bay area. The cost of living goes up dramatically and so does the cost to maintain a superior housing service for our tenants. While we have tried very hard to reduce our cost and not redistribute the burden to our tenants, due to the recent interest rate hike, property tax increase and huge jump of workman’s hourly rate in recent years, some of such cost has to pass to tenants inevitably. In order to maintain a good relationship with our tenants, while increase the rent to the market or near market, it is crucial to understand our tenant’s need and their concerns. It is also vital to understand the law and lawyers related to such matter. In order to help in this regards,  I have spent a lot of time to come out a list of Tenant organizations/Lawyer organizations for us to understand them better. Please browse through links and give feedback/comments of your finding. Your information/feedback is important to us. To know more about our tenant and position of our tenant organization will help us a lot to serve our tenant customer better.

Below is a list of such organizations.

  • Legal firms fighting for Tenants
    • http://www.clsepa.org/: The mission is to provide transformative legal services that enable diverse communities in East Palo Alto and beyond to achieve a secure and thriving future. The goal is to support individuals and communities in effecting significant, positive changes. The practice areas include immigration, housing, and economic advancement. Services range from advice and counseling, brief services, and full representation. They  do not provide legal assistance with criminal matters. News about Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Awards $3.6 Million to Tackle Housing Crisis: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/opinions/2017-02-13/letter-facebook-played-itself/1776425175779.html
    • EDC: Eviction Defence Center, located in Oakland, a nonprofit law corporation that defends low-income tenants in their eviction actions with a focus on jury trials. The EDC charges a small fee for services, from a sliding scale based on income, and all services for Berkeley tenants are free., California Address: 1611 Telegraph Ave #726, Oakland, CA 94612
      • EDC collects some money from Tenant for Eviction case: For example: a tenant spent a total of $400 for their entire service including trail.
      • Note from an experienced landlord: “EDC would not go to trial unless their defendants would pay EDC at least $1500-$5000 (no public defendant lawyer for civil case and defendants are fee waiver or not fee waiver, EDC wants MONEY) in advance before court trial. I have a copy of EDC contract. EDC can do nothing, but threaten landlord to allow defendants to get free stay at your house. GO TO TRIAL AND GET BAD DEFENDANTS AN EVICTION RECORD SO nobody would rent their properties to them. I served jury and attend unlawful detainer trial. EDC lawyer would not show up in the court. Even, defendants got a lawyer or legal aid, they lost the case for non-payment. I attended many jury or bench trials in Oakland or Hayward court house. If defendants were not non-payment cases, the landlord always win. Don’t be threatened by EDC lawyers. In short, EDC lawyers, paid by taxpayer money, can’t go to trial without collecting money from defendants because taxpayer does not provide that money. So EDC only can threaten you to get a settlement. After reading my finding, please go all the way to trial and get those defendants evicted so other landlords would not suffered from these defendants again.” From google review: https://www.google.com/#q=eviction+defence+center&lrd=0x808f80b22559b66f:0x5761d3ff84bc685c,1,
      • A lot of tenants are not happy with their services. They mostly complain EDC’s employees are rude.
      • The attorney who drafts the filling usually won’t show at court. “EDC in Oakland puts a burden on landlords and the court system when the court system is already overloaded.  I appreciate EDC’s work but they need some fact finding before filing any answers. They should not prepare cases in Pro Per.  The person that drafted the filings should be the person at court being held accountable in court and defend the allegations made in any papers filed with the court.  If EDC has accountability, I am sure they would be more concerned with the true facts of any case they defend” from google’s review: https://www.google.com/#q=eviction+defence+center&lrd=0x808f80b22559b66f:0x5761d3ff84bc685c,1
      • Website: https://localwiki.org/oakland/Eviction_Defense_Center
      • Attorney files suit against Eviction Defense Center in 2001 but failed: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2001-09-08/article/6728
    • Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) is the main SF law firm that works with people who are facing eviction. It is a member of the SF Anti-Displacement Coalition. Every year they provide assistance to over 5,000 tenants a year.
      • Website: http://evictiondefense.org/
      • The EDC provides legal assistance to people who are in legal proceedings for eviction in San Francisco. This legal assistance includes guidance in the legal process of evictions, help in preparing papers for people to file in court, possible referrals to other legal resources, hands-on guidance during the settlement conference, help in negotiating an agreement if case does not settle at Settlement Conference, coaching to prepare for a trial, and in some cases representation at Monday trial call. The EDC charges a sliding scale fee for its services and payment plans are possible. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. We also provide a self help packet for people who need to respond to a Summons and are unable to use the EDC’s services because of time or other constraints. The EDC can provide help for people living outside of San Francisco, but many of the services are limited.
      • EDC provides Eviction Clinic for tenants: http://evictiondefense.org/for-tenants/clinic/