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Rental relationships are hard. At first, you and your subtenant are friends. He's nice, clean, pays rent on time. Then, something happens, and the relationship sours. The subtenant stops washing the dishes, trashes the house, and refuses to pay rent!
Can you evict him? Can your landlord evict him?
Before we get started, let's get some definitions out of the way.
A master tenant can evict a subtenant. You would still need to go through the formal eviction process. You will need to provide proper notice. If the subtenant won't leave the premises, you will have to file an unlawful detainer action, wait for approval, and then if needed, get the sheriff's office to remove the subtenant.
Some cities have rent control laws that require proper grounds for eviction. In San Francisco, you can only evict with just cause. Some of those grounds are:
If you are a master tenant in a rent controlled building, you too must have just cause to evict.
A landlord cannot evict a subtenant. Remember, the landlord has no contractual relationship with the subtenant, even though the subtenant is living in the landlord's property. The contract was between you, the master tenant, and the subtenant. So, only you have standing to evict the subtenant.
If the landlord really wants the subtenant gone, he would have to terminate your right to sublet the property. This means, he would have to evict you to get rid of the subtenant.
If you want to evict a subtenant, and don't want to get your landlord involved. If you are in a difficult situation with your subtenant, an experienced landlord-tenant law attorney may be able to help.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.