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

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Never Remove Co-Tenants from an Existing Lease

About two years ago, I rented a 2-bedroom apartment to two roommates.  One tenant has just notified me that she is getting married and moving out.  The remaining tenant would like the lease changed to her name only.  Is that advised? The short answer is “no,” that is not advised.  There is a general misconception

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Screening Subtenants

Can I screen new subtenants if I have no intention of adding them to the lease? The answer is “yes,” you can.  However, this author emphatically advises that you do not screen new subtenants. As many landlords know, the local rent law permits tenants to bring in subtenants under three circumstances.  One, a departing master