The Tenants Union operates a self-help, drop-in counseling clinic for members and nonmembers. Since the Tenants Union is a membership and donation supported organization, we ask that nonmembers make a donation when they come in (no one is turned away for lack of funds).
How to Use Our Clinic
Prepare for Your Visit
Join and get our handbook to read before you come in so you will know the basics of your rights before asking us specific questions. Click here and download to fill out our intake form. Complete with your paperwork at home and bring a printed copy with the paperwork to the clinic. Bring all relevant paperwork (notices, letters, rental agreements, etc.).
Our Field of Expertise
Counselors are trained to answer virtually any question regarding your rights as a tenant or subtenant. However, we do not counsel on:
- “Summons & Complaint For Unlawful Detainer“: Promptly, take your summons and all your paperwork to the Eviction Defense Collaborative, which receives government funding for this type of assistance. (Click here for the Eviction Defense Collaborative’s website.)
- Evicting others: If you are a master tenant (a landlord) or co-tenant seeking help in evicting a subtenant or co-tenant, we suggest you contact an attorney instead.
- Short-term rentals: They reduce the housing stock. (Also, Airbnb had been operating illegally by not paying taxes and listing unregistered units, and enriches investor Ron Conway who funds legislation and politicians against tenants.)
- Subsidized housing: Our expertise is the San Francisco Rent Ordinance and subsidized housing has its own set of rules. We can answer questions if it relates to the San Francisco Rent Ordinance or state law, but otherwise recommend going to Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco which receives government funding for staff specializing in subsidized housing.
Best Time to Come
Plan to arrive so there’s adequate time for the counselor to discuss your situation with you before the shift ends; shifts followed by a break may close early if the shift is full. Busy shifts may require waiting for more than an hour, so bring something to do. The best time to come is in the middle of a long stretch of open hours (but not Mondays since we are closed on Sundays). Saturdays usually has multiple counselors so can be a good day to come.
All counselors are volunteers and this schedule is subject to change on short notice; check the hours right before you come. (You can also get the counseling hours by calling 415-282-6622).
Capp Street is one block east and parallel to Mission Street. 558 Capp Street is between 20th and 21st Street. Public Transportation: MUNI 14 (14R get off at 20th St.) or 49 buses, BART 16th or 24th Street stations. Street parking is limited and may require moving the car while waiting for a counselor.