‘I inherited a house in San Francisco from my dead aunt. She rented the basement to an elderly couple without a lease for years.’ Can I take them out? -Dlight News

 'I inherited a house in San Francisco from my dead aunt.  She rented the basement to an elderly couple without a lease for years.'  Can I take them out?

I inherited a house in San Francisco from my aunt. My aunt rented her basement to an elderly couple (perhaps illegally) for a few years at below market rates. I don’t believe there was a lease, and it’s probably against the building code to have tenants in the basement. The couple’s family lives nearby. I really prefer not to continue with the lease because I live out of state and because of the tough rent laws in San Francisco. What should I do if I don’t want to be a landlord? Can I give them notice to terminate the lease? Do I have the right to evict them? (I’m not planning to do that, but just in case.) Or do I have to sell the property to end the leasehold? I’ve heard that California has very strong protections for tenants and it’s hard to get kicked out. The tenants are an old couple but they are healthy. I am afraid, if I accept rent from them, it is an acceptance of our landlord-tenant relationship. Would selling the property be a way to get them out? Or should I just ask them to leave, and start eviction proceedings if they refuse? I really need some advice. Can you please help? signature, confusion The Big Move‘ is a MarketWatch column that looks at the ins and outs of real estate, from navigating the search for a new home to applying for a mortgage. Do you have a question about buying or selling a home? Do you want to know where your next move should be? Email Aarti Swaminathan TheBigMove@marketwatch.com.Dear Confused, Before you make a move, consider whether you want to continue owning the home or sell it because you said you don’t want to be a homeowner. I would say the first step is to contact the residents and ask them, politely, if they can move out of the unit since they have changed ownership of the house. Tell them the situation – after renting below market rates, you want to end that pre-existing relationship, and you’re not too keen on managing the rent while you’re out of state. Also be clear and firm and tell them that you do not want to rent the unit, and that you plan to sell (or any other plans you may have). You must be clear about your intentions. Because if you want to evict the tenants before selling the house, you have a tough road ahead of you. You can raise the rent to market rate and then see if they are able to pay, which would be a tough way to push them out. They will either pay, or not pay and be late with rent, or move out. You can also consider selling it with tenants. Real estate investors may be interested in buying this property as it is located in San Francisco. Some may be fine with being a landlord and dealing with the mess of tenants not paying market rates. But if you’re ready to let the tenants out, step two is to consult a lawyer to understand how the eviction process works. Scott Friedman, an attorney with the San Francisco-based law firm Zacks, Friedman & Patterson, told MarketWatch that since there is no lease, the unit is considered “illegal” under San Francisco law. And “even if the rental unit is ‘illegal’ in San Francisco, the landlord can ask the tenant to vacate the unit if, how and under what conditions it is considered a legal unit for that purpose,” he explained. That means the landlord needs at least one reason from the list of “just cause” reasons to evict the tenant. You also need to pay for the moving expenses. And generally, you have to give these people 30 or 60 days written notice. It’s not something you can easily do on your own (unless you’re a lawyer.) Friedman said one or more of the “just reasons” may apply to your situation. But he also emphasized that the listing does not include asking a tenant to leave, “simply because the landlord no longer wants to rent a particular unit.” And assuming these people have paid rent on time to your aunt at the rate she set, you may not be able to ignore the rent they pay and pretend they haven’t, because there is a history of transactions that reveals the relationship. is . But these payments also put you at risk, Friedman said. “Even charging rent for that is technically illegal [illegal units]and it can be difficult to get proper insurance for renting an illegal unit,” he added. He recommends that you contact the San Francisco Rent Board to get information about Just Cause and illegal units. Also consult an attorney. Friedman agrees that Tenant protections are strong in SF, “and the consequences of even innocent mistakes can be significant.” By emailing your questions, you agree to publish them anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story or versions thereof in all media and platforms, including by third parties..

Source link