Flat-fee Lawyer shenanigans

Probably wouldn’t recommend this, as it’s probably too easy for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing committing extortion.

That would backfire. Right now OP has tenants who are 2 years behind on rent. Thats a straight forward eviction for cause. No need to get creative.
With SF so tenant friendly and the free lawyers for tenants any kind of shenanigans from the OP as landlord would just turn the table and give the tenants the power. It would make it much harder for them to evict. OP would end up paying through the nose.

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I figured if that were the case, he would already be doing that.

Well maybe but I don’t see anything that explains why they aren’t being evicted for cause.
He hired a cheap lawyer to do an Ellis eviction. That would seem unnecessary route if the tenants don’t bother to pay rent. Yeah SF is hard to evict… but failure to pay rent is still clear solid grounds for eviction everywhere. Even the worst professional serial deadbeat tenants can be gotten rid of if they never pay rent.

But we’re missing lots of key details here.


How far are you from Mexico or the desert? Can’t you pay $10K for 2 men and a truck to drop them off in either of those two places?

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Let me fill you in – either we’re being trolled, or this person is flush with cash but not smart enough to figure out the whole landlording and dealing with lawyers business.


They could be withholding rent due to repairs or some flaws. It’s unlikely they’re not paying rent like ordinary deadbeats since they have counsel.

Evictions are extraordinarily complicated in SF. So there’s got to be more to this.


My home is thousands of miles distant from San Francisco. After reading this I’m having concerns I need to be farther away.

What a ridiculous situation. Where I live this crapola would not remain aloft for ten seconds. But then I live in the United States of America, not in San Francisco.


I feel sorry for your situation. The far-left uber tenant protection makes it nearly impossible to evict elder and/or disabled tenants in SF. You need professional assistance. Don’t fight the war by yourself. Contact small business associations and ask for peer recommendation from other landlords.

if you don’t know any, you can try to reach out to Josephine Zhao. She runs Small Property Owners of San Francisco.


In SF, the city will evict the co-lived landlord and make the landlord pay 400,000+ to the tenant if the landlord tries to make the living condition worse intentionally.

They were paying rents/utility until we are trying to evict them out. Roughly 5/6 years ago, we kindly asked them to move out because I got married at the time, I do need more space and such. They keep delaying moving out because the rental market gone up alot since they moved in. There was no way they can find a room with $250/mo anymore.

We ran out of patience and found the first lawyer mentioned in this thread. The lawyer “suggested” NOT to get their rent/bills because he thought he could use that a a Relocation-package at the time. We told the tenants that the lawyers will handle the rent… As I mentioned earlier, we walked out the cases because our lawyer have no confident that he can evict them out - He used the so-called Roommate eviction as cause at the time. Then, they live Rent Free.

No, we live in a poor neighborhood in the city. Our income is way below the average and could not afford the huge lawyer bills (hence, we dropped the First case). Both tenants are protected tenants (one is elder and one is disabled), which makes IMPOSSIBLE to evict them out.

Have you considered to walk away from the situation and sell your property to professional landlords? There is another forum can offer some ideas https://realestateforums.net.

Let’s face the fact, the two tenants will never leave. They will fight you with their live to death since they have no other place to go. Do you want to fight with them? The SF tenant organization will demonize your name, follow you and public shame you. Are you willing to handle the stress? what you are facing right now is not comparable to what you will face if you proceed the eviction process.

To protect your mother’s and your mental health, you should consider to walk away from the situation.


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I heard that in San Francisco that every other Tuesday afternoon they round up a half dozen random landlords burn them alive in front of city hall and then leave the charred corpses scattered on the steps there as a warning to other landlords.


They get a reprieve from time to time because their preferred blood sport is eviscerating developers, as long as it’s real estate instead of software.


lol I honestly have no idea if you’re joking or not. It’s like something out of a twilight zone, but it’s SF, so it could actually be real.

The OP should totally do this and then go on all the daytime talk shows with his story. Could you imagine? “Husband, wife, and elderly mother fined $400k, forced out of home they own, home given to squatters”

I am not joking. This tenant was leasing ONE room in this two story house. After the master tenant moved out, she occupied the whole house. She opened her acupuncture business there, and also subleased the rest of rooms on airbnd.

This is why the landlord wanted to increase the rent. But for unknown reason, the landlord got greedy, and charged her 1.6X more than the market rate (5k/month). Then the tenant brought the case to media and politician and the rest is history.

A settlement for $400k isn’t the same as the city making someone pay $400k, nor does this have anything to do with what I suggested (learning the bagpipes). But I still agree that the tenant protections are so egregious in SF that the homeowner felt they had to go this route just so they could move into their OWN HOME and live there without a tenant.


OP said that the tenants are represented by “good” lawyers. Wonder how much is being paid to the good lawyers to defend the tenants against eviction,

You have to get the lawyers that will not charge you 25 K to start working for you. Got to find someone your friends and family have used in the past. You have been living there for several years. You know owners around you. They have gone through this. Ask around. Pay only when something is done

Homes in SF are pretty expensive and people who bought the homes when they were really cheap (1900s) stand to make several million when they sell. OP says they do not have the money. Maybe they should take a heloc or a reverse mortgage and get the money. If the tenants are well represented, you will have to as well to protect a high value property. City is trying to protect tenants from rent hikes and wrongful evictions and lawyers are going to want/ need more money to evict.

Our experience with evicting tenants is in nearby cities in the bay area, not SFO so it may not apply. The process in CA is pretty straightforward, takes about 6-10 weeks and generally costs between 1000 to 2500 (depending on if the case goes to trial)