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Kicking out a roommate not a lease in San Francisco.
January 15, 2009 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Giving ye olde boot to a roommate not a lease in San Francisco..

One lease holder, and three people not on the lease. The lease holder wants a bad roommate to leave, but doesn't want to tell him herself, so I volunteered.

Besides verbally notifying him that he's got 30-days to get out, should I have a letter written and notarized? And do I need to have that letter written/signed by the lease holder? Anything else I prepare/ be prepared for?

Thanks MeFi.
posted by hobbes to Law & Government (11 answers total)
 
I do not do property law and not a California attorney, so I certainly would not advise you on this. But for my own edification as a thought experiment, I wonder some things: erm, is there any other agreement at issue here? Was the guy paying part of the rent? How long has the roommate been there?

Barring some other agreement in writing, I'm thinking to myself that this is a not much of a legal issue that requires notice, etc. I guess I'm not clear as to what the facts are.

If I am allowed to crash at my buddies house that he has legal title to, and then my buddy decides he doesn't want me crashing there anymore, then I have no right to be there. I'm just a guest, not a tenant. At least, those are thoughts I'm thinking considering this hypothetical. Some other facts may cause me to re-think that conclusion.
posted by dios at 9:23 AM on January 15, 2009


The San Francisco Tenants Union - although they deal mostly with landlord/tenant stuff - may be able to help, and they certainly know the relevant laws.
posted by rtha at 9:40 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm just a guest, not a tenant.

Tenancy is not defined solely by leases and titles. There's a difference between "crashing at your buddy's place" and moving into your buddy's place, both conceptually and legally.

IANAL, but: what you most likely have here is a month-to-month tenancy, and you should be 100% certain to follow every applicable statute like these and rule regarding the termination of that tenancy.

It would not hurt to get a lawyer to square you away, although it might cost more than it's worth if this goes down amicably. Of course, if roommate throws a fit you might need to go that route.
posted by toomuchpete at 9:44 AM on January 15, 2009


If I am allowed to crash at my buddies house that he has legal title to, and then my buddy decides he doesn't want me crashing there anymore, then I have no right to be there. I'm just a guest, not a tenant. At least, those are thoughts I'm thinking considering this hypothetical. Some other facts may cause me to re-think that conclusion.
posted by dios at 9:23 AM on January 15


This is incorrect. If he has been living there, there is a process that I believe entails as least 30 days advance notice. You can't legally kick someone out in just one day if they have been living there for a significant length of time, especially in California.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:12 AM on January 15, 2009


State law requires 60 days notice for no-fault evictions, unless he's lived there less than a year. I know this is not a landlord- leaseholder situation, but you still want to do everything by the book, because if he refuses to move out you want the law on your side. So this needs to be handled by the lease holder, he needs written notice, etc.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:42 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the responses and links to the Tenants site--will need to read more into that.

To clarify, it's a three bedroom apartment, and only one of the residents is on the lease. The other guy and I are paying rent to the lease holder and she takes care of the rest. She was actually going to move out 'cause the guy was driving her up the wall with his habits, but I offered to tell him to leave so that she'll stay (and so we'll only need to look for a replacement versus a completely new residence).
posted by hobbes at 12:19 PM on January 15, 2009


That means he's subletting from the lease holder. He's a tenant, not a roommate. If state-law says 60 days for no-fault evictions, then you should follow that.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:32 PM on January 15, 2009


PercussivePaul is correct as I was suggesting above. There had to be some other agreement. Here, it this is a case of subletting, so yeah, the guy has protections of a tenant. Based on your original comment of the roommate, you described no right to be there (notwithstanding the people who tried to correct me.).
posted by dios at 1:05 PM on January 15, 2009


You need to check SF tenants union and the rent board. SF law has specific rules about this. Mefimail me if you want a good SF lawyer who has done evictions.
posted by zia at 1:55 PM on January 15, 2009


Ugh, I think we can cope with another 30, but 60 is pushing it.. I've been looking at the tenant handbook that toomuchpete linked, but can't find anything on 60 versus 30 days.

If he's been harassing one of our cats and has harmed it along with paying rent late to the lease holder, does that give us grounds for booting him out with a 30 day notice or less?

I'm going to head to the SF Tenants Union this afternoon.
posted by hobbes at 1:56 PM on January 15, 2009


@zia, thanks, but I was hoping to DIY this whole thing.. of course in an ideal world, a "hey dude, this isn't working out--you need to move out" would be all we need, but I have a feeling that this guy might put up a fight, so I do want to do things right.
posted by hobbes at 1:58 PM on January 15, 2009


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