Have you talked to the other tenants? Maybe you should all get together and talk to an attorney. Intimidation and retaliation are wrong. It will cost, but I would an attorney. You might even be able to get him out!
I would also contact the property owner and let him or her know what is going on. I think that they arenâ€™t supposed to allow this to go on and could ultimately be liable or could help you get rid of the bad guy. If the master tenant got sued for punitive damages, the landlord would be glad to be rid of the problem so that he wouldnâ€™t be losing out on rent money that might rightfully be hers/his.
It sounds as if things are getting worse. GET AN ATTORNEY!
I have found out that this unit has been legalized as a seperate unit, in this single family.......all i can do now is go to EDC so i can file an answer.....thanks everyone for all your help. Jim i may be contacting you for the list of my rights as a sub-tenant.
Secondly, if you feel that you are paying a disproportionate amount of rent, you also have recourse. See this article on the Rent Board Web site:
According to the article, you may have the right to know the total rent, and you can file a petition with the Rent Board.
It seems to me that you are not at the end of the road. In an attempt to keep things neighborly, I'd share what you've learned with your master tenant, and let him know that you're serious about resolving what's going on. Give him the opportunity to make things right before brining in a lawyer. But if you do need some legal referrals, I recently put together a list for another friend with master/sub-tenant issues, so feel free to contact me.
Again, good luck!
If the so-called master tenant doesnâ€™t legally have the right to sub-lease, he could be in trouble with the property owner and you may have no rights.
Or you could be co-tenants, and as such, you are sharing the entire home. Usually one has rights to a certain area but if it isn't clearly defined and spelled out, and/or if you knew about this before--that he had to access "your" area to do his laundry, you may or may not have a lot of recourse.
Unless you are saving a lot of money with this arrangement, you should get out if you value your privacy and donâ€™t like living in a commune.
Bottom line, talk to an attorney. Then, knowing your rightsâ€”if anyâ€”approach your roommate in an amicable manner and try to work things out. Maybe he does laundry only on Saturdays at noon? Or goes to a Laundromat? Or he pays you for access? Or lowers your rent? Or you moveâ€¦
The rent board offers drop-in and phone counseling, and I'd suggest that as a great place to get more detailed information.
And if all of that fails, there's always the Tenants Union. I only consider them as a last resort, as my experience with them -- and this was as a tenant -- is that they are far more interested in protecting tenants' rights than they were in me as a human, or my landlord as a human. Their "solutions" are almost always overly antagonistic, even rabid. Remember that you do want to continue living with this guy, you just want your privacy.
P.S. To those giving advice from outside of SF: San Francisco is a unique city with many laws that are primarily pro-tenant. Please do not attempt to give advice unless you are intimately familiar with our rent law, as it could actually open up the recipient to liability and litigation.
I cannot believe he has the right to come into your unit. Do you have a written lease or some sort of lease agreement? If you do, does it give the master tenant the right to enter without 24 hours notice?
Please go to http://www.sfgov.org and check out the information for renters and rent laws in San Francisco. They also have an email link and a telephone number.