BLitman, Renter in San Francisco, CA

Is the contract I have with the "mastertenant"/"sublandlord" null if her original contract with the landlord prohibits subleasing?

Asked by BLitman, San Francisco, CA Wed May 30, 2012

I want to sublease a room, but am weary about putting down a deposit when I dont know what the original state of the place was

Help the community by answering this question:


The short answer is no.....however, it depends on the wording of the contract you have with your roomate/mastertenant.

Most landlords have a clause either prohibiting assignment or subletting or limiting it under special circumstances.

Landlords will serve a notice 6.14 to allow any rent increases to avoid further rent control on revolving tenancies from subleeasees.

Roommates/mastertenants will serve a different notice called 6.15 to allow them to kick you you or evict without cause thus avoiding the eviction control under SF Law imposed on all SF landlords.

A lot depends on whether these notices were served correctly and timely and on each and every situation (there are a lot of different situations).

As most everyone knows, Realtors are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice.

Realtors, with property management experience (like myself), can only give practical advice without making interpretations of the law.

I feel that it's important that any transaction dealing with the complicated and Voluminous Rent Ordinance (SF Admin Law 37.9) should be handled with an experienced individual.

Good luck,

Peter T. Chin Realtor #01866332
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 6, 2012
I'm a landlord myself, and as a few of the others have suggested, you need to either read the original lease agreement or check with the landlord before signing a sublease. Because if the original lease does not allow for subleasing, and you move in, then both you and the master tenant could be evicted. Shouldn't take more than 10 minutes of your time, and will save you lots of headaches later on.

Mark Thomas
"Automation of the entire real estate process"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 31, 2012
I can’t tell if you are already a subtenant trying to lease out a room or if you are trying to rent a room from a subtenant. Either way, make sure the property owner is up to speed on what you are trying to do, good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 31, 2012
There are some circumstances where a master tenant can sublease (e.g. roommate replacement). The best bet is to talk to the Rent Board so that you fully understand your rights as a subtenant. I broad strokes, when the last master tenant leaves, subtenants often are not protected by rent increase protection under rent control.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 31, 2012
Hi: You need to actually check with the landlord.
Why is the person subleasing if it is not OK in the contract to do so?

If it's not clear, ASK THE LANDLORD ... and not risk being "asked to leave unexpectedly".

It's even possible you all get evicted if the lease prohibits subleasing but that is up to the discretion of the landlord, on the other hand, you can sign your own contract with the landlord if everyone

Helen Yuen, Land & Property Investments, Inc (415) 469-0577
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 31, 2012
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