TENANTS’ RIGHTS

The Tenants’ Rights Practice strives to stop displacement and stabilize our communities through eviction defense, drop-in legal clinics, affirmative litigation, policy advocacy and administrative hearings before rent boards.

Our Services Include

EVICTION DEFENSE REPRESENTATION

Tenants’ Rights Program attorneys represent tenants with evictions in Alameda County. Tenants who have received unlawful detainers should call for an appointment immediately. Tenants will be given the first appointment available.

Please call 510-437-1554.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS TRAININGS FOR BUILDINGS

Tenant’s Rights Program attorneys are available to provide Know Your Rights trainings to groups, including residents of entire buildings. In order to stop displacement, we need to make sure all tenants in a building are protected. The loss of even one tenant from a building chips away at our vibrant communities. Tenants are invited to contact the Tenants’ Rights Program to schedule a building-wide training.

AFFIRMATIVE HOUSING LITIGATION

Centro Legal regularly files affirmative housing lawsuits to address landlord harassment by tenants, unsafe or unhealthy living conditions and and illegal behavior by landlords.

LEGAL CLINICS

Centro Legal operates multiple Tenants’ Rights clinics, where tenants receive a brief consultation with a Centro Legal staff member. Our goal is to educate tenants about their rights and their landlord’s responsibilities, and connect tenants with the resources they need. At clinic, an attorney will review each tenant’s situation, offer advice, and provide a referral to an extended services appointment, if necessary. In order to receive services, tenants must meet the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) low income guidelines. Legal assistance is available to qualifying tenants at the following clinics:

Intake Clinics
Alameda County Tenants (except Berkeley, Emeryville, and Albany)

Drop In Library Clinics
Oakland Tenants only 

Learn More

Making Oakland Housing Secure

  • A total of 513 tenants and homeowners received legal services in the first year of Oakland Housing Secure.
  • Increased legal services capacity has improved outcomes in eviction defense and increased the number of tenants reached through early intervention services.
  • The vast majority of Oakland residents served through the program are extremely low-income.
  • Additionl successful efforts have beenmade to ensure the African American community is served.
  • Legal services providers are able to keep a majority of clients represented in unlawful detainer lawsuits in their home.
  • Preliminary data shows that six months after services, all the respondents surveyed were still living in Oakland and none were homeless.
  • Tentant legal services providers see a pattern of landlords repeatedly attempting to evict vulnerable long-term rent-controlled tenants on bad faith grounds.
  • The OHS Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) program disbursed $52,904.89 to tenants and $35,891.67 to homeowners for a total of $88,796.56 in its first six months of operation. Usage of EFA grants is increasing.
  • The widespread availability of emergency financial assistance has substantially improved advocates’ ability to defend tenants against evictions and keep homeowners in their homes.

Policy Advocacy

Centro Legal has ongoing relationships with community advocates and service providers for low income residents in the Bay Area. Through these partnerships and collaborations, Centro Legal advocates for policies that protect low income tenants in Alameda County.

Specifically, Centro Legal provides support to community advocates by drafting proposed tenant protection legislation and provide feedback to Hayward and Oakland administrative personnel to ensure enforcement of local ordinances. Centro Legal also regularly speaks at city council meetings to provide information and insight to councilmembers regarding the realities facing low income tenants in the Bay Area.

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