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

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Should I rent out rooms in my home?

To maximize income, should we rent individual rooms in a single-family home that we own and where we don’t reside?  What about renting individual rooms in a multi-bedroom apartment? Both are bad ideas and this author implores the membership to stay away from such strategies no matter how alluring the potential income numbers may be. 

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Buyout Blues 2017

Can a landlord negotiate a buy-out agreement with a tenant at the start of a tenancy? This author believes that the answer is definitively “no.”  In March of 2015, a “buyout” provision was added to the rent law.  The legislative intent behind this amendment was to provide tenants who were negotiating a buyout agreement the