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About me

Tobener Law Center is the leading tenant rights firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Joseph Tobener draws on his specialized legal expertise to provide easy-to-understand and aggressive assistance to a diverse clientele, while maintaining individualized attention and personal care. The firm has collected millions of dollars on behalf of its clients, assisting more than 10,000 tenants through wrongful evictions, intractable repair issues, landlord harassment and housing discrimination, habitability issues and landlord-caused injuries.  The firm has a 95% success rate and won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian Small Business of the Year.  It has been featured in California Lawyer and the Daily Journal, and has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, Wired, and Reuters.  The firm is dedicated to employee activism, and sponsors all of its lawyers to volunteer weekly at legal nonprofits, equaling nearly 500 community hours each year.  The firm is respected as a leader in tenant law among its peers and has represented countless attorneys and the San Francisco Tenants Union.

Additionally Tobener Law Center has helped tenants deal with variety of other issues such as rent control violations, illegal rent increases, foreclosures, negotiating buy-outs, security deposit, and negotiation of residential & commercial leases.

Call today to schedule a free, no obligation phone consultation.


Languages spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Landlord & Tenant: 100%
    17 years, 10 thousand cases



Free consultation (15 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

19 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Gregory Jay Brod

    Joe is an outstanding lawyer and a tremendous advocate for his clients. Anyone with a landlord tenant dispute would be very fortunate to have Joe Tobener on their side.


    Gregory Brod Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Elizabeth Treas Erhardt

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Elizabeth Erhardt Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Tobener Law Center

21 Masonic Avenue
Ste A
San Francisco, CA, 94118

Oakland Office

1300 Clay Street
Ste 600
Oakland, CA, 94612

San Jose Office

111 N Market Street
Ste 300
San Jose, CA, 95113



We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Business of the Year -- Law FirmSan Francisco Bay Guardian2014
Superb RatingAvvo2014
Certicate of Excellence InstructionUC Hastings College of Law2007
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerTobener Law Center2001 - Present
CounselorSan Francisco Tenants Union2000 - Present
ProfessorUC Hastings College of Law2005 - 2007
ProfessorSan Francisco State University2005 - 2014
Association namePosition nameDuration
San Francisco Tenant Lawyers Bar AssociationMember2011 - Present
San Francisco State UniversityAdjunct Professor CLE2007 - Present
San Francisco Tenants UnionCounselor2002 - Present
San Francisco Tenants UnionVoting Member2001 - Present
University of California Hastings College of LawAdjunct Professor2006 - 2008
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Windsor MHP$1.2 million
Tenant v. Landlord$500,000
Tenant v. Landlord$250,000
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
California Lawyer MagazineTo BnB - or Not?2014
Daily JournalLawyers Pursuing Short-Term Rentals2014
New York TimesSan Francisco Sues Landlords2014
San Francisco ChronicleAirbnb Profits Prompted SF Eviction2014
San Francisco State UniversityCite Checking and Bluebooking Action Guide2007
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California, Hastings College of the LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1999
University of California - Los AngelesHistoryBA1996
San Francisco State UniversityPsychologyMasters in CounselingN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Tenant Attorney RoundtableRestriction Following No-Fault Eviction2014
San Francisco State University CLEBluebooking and Cite Checking CLE2014
SFSUProfessional Legal Writing2011
San Francisco Tenants UnionForce Your Landlord to Repair2011
CLEShepardizing and Bluebooking CLE2010
UC HastingsLegal Research and Writing2007