Three Tenant Troubles–Roommate Rousting, Co-Tenant Challenges, Condo Craziness

three-tenant-troubles

I’m the master tenant in my three-bedroom apartment. Me and one other roommate are unhappy with the third roommate for a number of reasons I won’t get in to (none of which fall under the “just cause” list for reasons for eviction). She’s a headache and a mess but she does pay her rent.

I don’t believe she signed a lease when she moved in. I can’t find a copy of it in my files.

My landlord gave me permission to sublet and told me that the subletters don’t have the same rights for eviction and I can ask them to leave at any time without just cause. If we want to ask the third roommate to leave is that true?

Have you ever heard the old adage, “Free advice is worth the price”? Getting eviction advice from your landlord is like getting dating advice from that uncle who’s spent most of his adult life in prison–your landlord wants to evict anything that moves. San Francisco Rent Board Rules & Regulations §6.15C(1) is clear on this point:

For any tenancy commencing on or after May 25, 1998, a landlord who is not an owner of record of the property and who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant (a “Master Tenant”) may evict said tenant without just cause as required under Section 37.9(a) only if, prior to commencement of the tenancy, the Master Tenant informs the tenant in writing that the tenancy is not subject to the just cause provisions of Section 37.9.

If you do not have a sublease with your roommate, you’ll have to make like the late Rodney King and try to get along.

Remember, I will not represent nor will I provide advice to master tenants seeking to evict their subtenants.

I am named on the lease in the SF rent controlled building where we currently rent (Tenancy since 1979!).

My co-tenant is not named on the lease, but has been my co-tenant from February 1993, well before implementation of Costa Hawkins.

If I were to leave, would my co-tenant therefore be protected from egregious rent increases per your article, “Another Tenant Screwed By Costa Hawkins“?

Yes, your co-tenant would be protected because he or she has a tenancy created before the enactment of Costa Hawkins.

Your co-tenant must be able to prove that fact. Start to gather records that show your co-tenant occupied the unit with the landlord’s consent before 1996. Get voter registration documents, driver’s license information, old PG&E bills–any documents that corroborate residence dated prior to 1996. For good measure, if you still have them, collect old Christmas cards with post marked envelopes.

We live in the a 595-unit condo complex constructed in 2005.

We rented our condo in The Beacon from the condo’s owner in July 2012. We signed a one year lease and have been month-to-month since July 2013. Our landlord emailed us just before New Year’s Eve to let us know he planned to list the condo for sale. He expressed interest in selling to us if we are interested, especially since the buyer may not want to continue renting the unit. We told him to let us know that asking price for the unit and to please give us proper legal notice once he has more information.

Since receiving this information, we have not heard from the landlord again. His realtor emailed saying they are finalizing the sale price and will be in touch.

We are exploring our options to buy in San Francisco, but have recently discovered that due to an ongoing lawsuit between the building owners and the developer/architectlenders will not give mortgage loans for the Beacon, our lender included.

Now that we know we cannot buy the unit we live in, regardless of the sale price, we would like to know what our rights are as tenants. Our lease states that once our lease goes to month-to-month after the term of our one-year lease, the landlord must give us 60 days notice of an eviction and we must give him 30 days notice if we are to move.

As of yet, we have not received any “official” notice, just mention that he plans to sell.

What are our rights at this point? Anything we should know that is to our advantage or does he just have to give us 60 days notice…and that’s it?

That’s it.  You have a right to a 60 day notice but nothing else.

Welcome to California’s version of tenant rights–no just cause evictions. They have ‘em in New Jersey and a few other states, but not here. Good luck getting the griftocrats, the mosquitos feeding on the real estate industry leeches, in the California Legislature to pass such a law.

Paraphrasing the character, Gold Hat, in the classic 1948 film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Rights? We got no rights. We don’t need no stinking rights!

Crow & Rose's legal practice emphasizes eviction defense, wrongful eviction and other landlord tenant and real property matters.

One Response to Three Tenant Troubles–Roommate Rousting, Co-Tenant Challenges, Condo Craziness

  1. I was approached by my master tenant about how he wants my room and he’s giving me 40 days to move into my room. And I’m taking his room a small tiny room. Because he will be here longer and he feels that he should have it. I’m on the lease also I’ve been renting this room prior to him receiving his master tenant status. I pay my rent on time and I have abided by the lease . I also have pets and I have a back disability and I can’t move my belongings and my items will not fit into the room he occupies . We haven’t been getting along recently, I ask him to provided me with copies of rent receipts and the lease which refuses to give me. Also the biggest room in the house belongs to his friend and our old master tenant who passed away there . Is this legal can he just tell me to move out of my room, I’ve been living here longer than him and I can only feel like this is a person attack on me. There’s nothing in the lease about it and he’s lived in his room for a year . Now that we disagreements , I feel he is trying to push me out of our apartment and it’s only towards me as well. What action can I take?

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