It is quite common for people in San Francisco and the Bay Area to live with roommates who are neither family members nor significant others. These situations can often be fraught with potential problems for tenants. Sometimes the roommates do not have a rental agreement directly with the landlord, or one roommate does but the others do not. Sometimes the written lease agreement prohibits subleasing. Sometimes one roommate moves out and the remaining roommates want to bring another tenant into the unit.
Navigating these issues depends on many factors. Did the roommates ask permission to add another tenant to the unit? Do any of the roommates have a rental agreement directly with the landlord? Is the landlord aware of all the roommates who live in the unit? Has the landlord accepted rent from a roommate without a rental agreement? Are any of the roommates original occupants of the unit?
In late 2015, the San Francisco Rent Board updated the rules regulating subleasing and roommate issues. The rules are complicated and dependent on a number of factors. However, Humphreys Joiner Law Group, LLP can assist you in navigating these areas and help you to protect your rights and your tenancy.