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Topic No. 210: Evictions of Roommates and Subtenants

Topic No. 210: Evictions of Roommates and Subtenants

An owner who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant may evict the tenant without just cause. Whether an owner resides in the "same rental unit" with the tenant is an issue for the court to decide based on the facts of each case. If the owner rents to more than one roommate, the court may find that each room in the unit constitutes a separate rental unit; in such cases, the owner will need a just cause reason under the Ordinance to evict each of the roommates.

A master tenant who resides in the same rental unit with his or her subtenant may evict the subtenant without just cause. However, for any subtenancy commencing on or after May 25, 1998, the master tenant may not evict a subtenant without just cause unless the master tenant disclosed in writing to the subtenant that the tenancy is not subject to the just cause eviction provisions of the Ordinance prior to the commencement of that tenancy. Master tenants must comply with state law unlawful detainer procedures in order to evict a subtenant.

Only landlords are allowed to evict their tenants. A master tenant is considered a landlord in relation to his or her subtenant, meaning that a master tenant is able to evict a subtenant. Subtenants do not have the right to evict their master tenant or other subtenants or roommates. Similarly, roommates who are co-tenants cannot evict their fellow co-tenants.

June 2006

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Last updated: 1/20/2012 1:10:16 PM