Changing the Terms of Tenancy

We bought a tenant-occupied duplex and didn’t revise the lease at the time of purchase. The same tenant is still there, and there are some changes we’d like to make to the lease, including use of common areas. Can we change the lease, two years after taking ownership? You must first serve a thirty-day written

Understanding the Bedbug Laws

A unit of mine had a bedbug infestation. Per the pest control operator’s (PCO) instruction, my tenant had to dry clean all of her dry-clean-only clothing and now wants a reimbursement. Am I responsible for her dry cleaning bill? Further, will I be required to let all prospective tenants know about this now-remedied bedbug inspection

Assistive Animals

 What is the difference between a service animal and a comfort animal?  And are guests of my tenants allowed to enter the building with both despite my “no pets” policy? This discussion begins with an admonition to all landlords that service and comfort animals, often collectively referred to as assistive animals, are not pets.   Therefore,

What do you do when your tenant dies?

This is a very relevant yet complicated question that inevitably faces almost every landlord at some point.  Indeed, I myself have faced numerous tenant deaths both as a landlord and a landlord attorney.  While researching this topic, I came across many websites not just from authorities in California but from all over the nation.  The

Living in Non-Sleeping Rooms

I found out that a master tenant has rented a “windowed closet” as a bedroom to a subtenant. The subtenant has been living there for three months. Is this legal? The reality is that, absent clear lease language defining what constitutes a permissible bedroom, the landlord may not be able to prohibit this type of living arrangement.  This

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Doing Owner Move-In Evictions

I own one unit in a two-unit building. I relocated a few years ago, but now my job is transferring me back to San Francisco. My unit is occupied by an elderly married couple, both 61 years old. Can I move back into my unit? Maybe.  A big misconception amongst landlords is that there is an automatic