This office has seen many instances in which master-tenants in San Francisco are trying to lessen their burden on rent by subleasing to other people. However, these master-tenants are not doing enough to protect themselves. Many master-tenants do not know that they can evict their subtenants without just cause, even if their unit is under rent/eviction control.
How? Section 6.15C of the San Francisco Rent Board Rules and Regulations, which, in relevant part, states:
For any tenancy commencing on or after May 25, 1998, a landlord who is not an owner of record of the property and who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant (a "Master Tenant") may evict said tenant without just cause as required under Section 37.9(a) only if, prior to commencement of the tenancy, the Master Tenant informs the tenant in writing that the tenancy is not subject to the just cause provisions of Section 37.9. A landlord who is an owner of record of the property and who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant is not subject to this additional disclosure requirement.
Thus, the master-tenant only needs to notify the subtenant in writing (signed and acknowledged by the potential subtenant), PRIOR to signing the sublease, that the sub-tenancy is NOT subject to the just cause provisions of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance. With this notice in hand, the master-tenant can terminate a problematic or incompatible subtenant without cause.
If you (or someone you know) have a similar situation or have any other landlord-tenant related questions, you may set up a free consultation with Mr. Wu today at 415-886-7103.
100 Pine Street, Suite #1250
San Francisco, CA 94111