I live in an illegal in-law basement studio and the home is being sold. Do I have any rights? Thank you.

Asked by Peace10, 94122 Wed Jan 11, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Joe’s answer
Joe, Both Buyer And Seller, Mill Valley, CA
Wed Jan 11, 2012
Yes, you have some rights.
You have the right to life. You have the right to remain silent. The Beastie Boys would argue that you should fight for your right to party. But ultimately, you should really check with the SF Tenants Union. Because even in an illegal unit you have many rights as a tenant. You even have the right to click on the link below.
Web Reference:  http://www.sftu.org/
4 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Thu Jan 12, 2012
I must chime in with Mark and Matthew. I liked Joe's answer more than the question. Here's another link you may want to check out: http://www.sftu.org/
1 vote
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Thu Jan 12, 2012
Go to the right authority, see what the other agents recommended.... and make sure that you do know
exactly what your rights are, before the property is sold....
I am slightly confused since you mention under your name that you are a home seller but in the text of
your question you state that you live in an illegal in law basement studio....????

Good Luck to you..
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago and NOrthern Illinois Expert
1 vote
Oggi Kashi, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Jan 11, 2012
Yes, you do and BTW, I love Joe's answer. Start by contacting the SF Rent Board:


Best of luck,

Oggi Kashi
Broker Associate, Paragon Real Estate Group CA DRE 01844627
All data from sources deemed reliable but subject to errors and omissions, and not warranted.
Web Reference:  http://www.oggikashi.com
1 vote
Matthew Goul…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Jan 11, 2012
Joe, I like your answers. They make me smile, only wishing as agents we could answer in a similar style without getting in trouble.
1 vote
Marc White, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Wed Jan 11, 2012
Joe, I enjoy the humor in your response.
1 vote
Manzar Azari, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Jan 12, 2012
you are so lucky to live in zip code 94122... one of the best zip code which protected by fabulous SF rent board... just call them and they will be more than happy to asset you and also get you a free legal consultant if needed. i love San Francisco...
0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Jan 12, 2012
You do have tenancy rights and you should check with the rent board. However, you should note that an illegal rental may be removed from the rental market by what's called a demolition eviction, and this is just cause for eviction under current rules.

If you want to stay I would make nice with the new owner(s), and you should probably consult with a Real Estate attorney to understand your rights. The new owner may prefer to buy you out and that may be more worth your while than staying.

And yes, Joe, great answer.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes
Sally Rosenm…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Jan 12, 2012
Also check with the Rent Board at http://www.sfgov.org. Joe, great answer....

Good luck,
Web Reference:  http://www.sallyrosenman.com
0 votes
Angie Simpson, Agent, Studio City, CA
Thu Jan 12, 2012

If you want to remain in the rental after the property is sold I would bring this up with the seller now. I have listed properties that had tenants, investors purchased them, and allowed the tenants to stay. You may be able to work something out in advance. If the seller is not receptive to your requests, then dig into the website suggested and find out what your rights are.

Good luck.

Angie Simpson
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
Faye Dibachi, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Jan 11, 2012
You definitely have rights as a tenant. If the new owners continue wanting to use it as rental space, you should have very little to worry about. However if the new owners decide to take down the illegal unit and never use it as rental space again you may have some issues. I would be more than happy to talk to you about your specific situation.

All the best,
Faye Dibachi (Lic: 01349520)
Top Producing Realtor Since 2002
Zephyr Real Estate
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more