San Francisco Tenants Union

The reality of subletting in San Francisco

Aug 13, 2015
Thomas Hawk/Flickr Creative Commons

San Francisco is a renter’s worst nightmare. It might seem obvious. You know, your mum knows, your friends know, but me? I did not know. It is hard enough trying to find a room in San Francisco, or Oakland, when you’re an American, armed with a credit rating, proof of income and housing references just a phone-call away.

However, being from New Zealand, via Australia, I can’t tick off any one of those things. I’ve never owned a credit card, I don’t have a steady income and my rental references are asleep when a local landlord might want to call them.

Protests against the tech industry’s impact on housing have grown in number and variety. They’ve been personal, with individual tech executives being targeted. They’ve been artistic, with brass bands, acrobatics, and street art.

David Zlutnick

Activists gathered in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, last month, to call attention to part of the city’s housing crisis. They got together around a three-unit apartment building where flats are rented out to vacationers through an online broker. The protesters plastered the building with green stickers that said the tourist rentals there are illegal.