ACCESS Center of the Superior Court
Helps people who need legal information regarding small claims, limited civil mediation, civil harassment restraining orders, conservatorships, evictions, name and gender changes, and guardianships. Printed information in many languages; Spanish and English-speaking staff. Self-help, no attorneys available. Call (415) 551-5880.
AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP)
English and Spanish. Can get interpreter for other languages. Services limited to individuals with HIV/AIDS. Direct representation and referrals to a panel of volunteer attorneys for landlord/tenant disputes. Call (415) 701-1100.
Bay Area Legal Aid (BALA)
English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. Eviction defense with emphasis on public and federally subsidized housing. Must have a good defense and all or most of the back rent. Call (415) 354-6360.
Community Boards-Neighborhood Conciliation Services
Conflict resolution between landlords and tenants, and between tenants and tenants. No fee. Call (415) 920-3820.
Department of Building Inspection
Provides housing inspection and code enforcement services, permit services, plan review services, public services, and support services. Do not contact if unit is illegal. Call (415) 558-6088.
Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP)
Provides legal services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. May be able to provide attorneys for low-income tenants in eviction proceedings. Call (800) 405-4HAP.
Housing Rights Committee (HRC)
Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Russian. Renters' rights counseling. Does not provide legal representation. Offers free counseling for tenants in all types of housing, including rent-controlled, non-rent controlled, public housing, and Section 8. Call (415) 703-8644.
La Raza Centro Legal
Spanish speaking. Operates a Housing Clinic Wednesdays from 10 – 11 AM. Sliding scale fee. Must call for an appointment. Provides direct legal services in the areas of immigration law, workers’ rights and senior law to the low-income, monolingual Spanish-speaking and immigrant communities. Call (415) 575-3500.
Legal Assistance to the Elderly (LAE)
Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese. Free legal services, including representation, available to SF residents age 60 or older and younger SF residents with disabilities. Assistance with evictions, rent control disputes, habitability problems and subsidized housing. Call for appointment: (415) 538-3333.
Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board (Rent Board)
Spanish, Cantonese, Tagalog speaking. Illegal rent increases, rent decreases for habitability problems, eviction notices (other than non-payment) should be filed here. Investigates and prevents wrongful evictions. Tenant can check whether landlord has done previous evictions. Phone counselors available 9 AM – 12 AM; 1 PM – 4 PM. For phone counseling, call (415) 252-4602.
St. Peter's Housing Committee (Comité de Vivienda San Pedro)
Spanish speaking. Free renter's rights counseling and advocacy. Call (415) 487-9203.
San Francisco Tenants Union
Tenant counseling only. Publishes the San Francisco Tenant's Union handbook. Membership fee or contribution will be requested. You can get updated counseling hours by calling (415) 282-6622.
Tenderloin Housing Clinic
Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese speaking. Counseling and representation for downtown, South of Market, and residential hotel tenants. Some housing placement for people in PAES program. Modified Payment Program for SROs.
California's only state-wide organization for tenants' rights. Works to raise awareness about tenant issues. Tenants Together operates a hotline for tenants in foreclosure situations. The hotline addresses a growing problem - the harassment and displacement of tenants who are innocent victims of the mortgage crisis. California tenants can reach the Tenant Foreclosure Hotline at (415) 495-8012.
Berkeley Tenants: ASUC Renter’s Legal Assistance
Student-run organization in Berkeley, provides free rent-related information and resources to Bay Area tenants. (510) 642-1755.
Los Angeles Tenants: Eviction Defense Network
Legal support for those facing eviction lawsuits in Los Angeles county. Also provides attorney representation for a fee, on sliding scale.
Oakland Tenants: Oakland Eviction Defense Center
For East Bay tenants. Call for appointment if you have been served with an Unlawful Detainer. Full attorney representation for a fee, on sliding scale. (510) 452-4541.
San Diego Tenants: Tenants Legal Center of San Diego
Free legal information and low-cost legal services for tenants. For the 24-hour free information line, call (858) 571-1166.