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Old 02-23-2012, 03:11 AM
1 posts, read 2,176 times
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I moved into a room Oct 8th. in SF the lady there rented from the landlord whom I never met. Rent to me was 940 plus 940 security deposit. It was a 2-3br flat in the inner richmond. On Feb 4th she gave me 30 days tp vacate via text msg. I cleaned everything and left on Nov 12. I asked her to use Sec.Dep for last months rent first she said no then yes but is now threatening me with court saying I didn't pay her. We do not have a lease. Nothing signed. Anybody shed some light on how this whole thing will go down ?
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:58 AM
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The short answer is you cannot use security deposit as rent. The law specifically said that deposit is deposit, rent is rent; you can't mix them.

Also, the time line doesn't add up. You moved in in Oct, told to leave within 30 days in Feb and left in Nov? That doesn't make sense. I think the Feb is a typo, and you meant Nov 4th instead of Feb 4th. In which case, this is about a five-day rent payment?

With that said, there is information missing. Were you subletting or did you replace an original tenant? Did you receive document that specifies you do not have protection from rent control? Is the unit under rent control? How much rent is the "lady" paying the landlord? Did the "lady" take on additional roommate besides you? And if yes, how much rent did that roommate pay? How much rent is the "lady" paying the landlord? Did the landlord know you were there? How much space (including common areas like kitchen/bathroom) were you allowed to access as a % of the total space? Why were you told to leave? Did you violate an agreement? Did you break any Just Cause?

The reason that is important is: the law needs to establish if you are a co-tenant or a sub-tenant and whether she has a right to tell you to leave. If "lady" is collecting more rent from you than she is paying the landlord, that's illegal. If you were a co-tenant, she could not legally evict, only landlord could evict you. If you were a sub-tenant and were not notified before you moved in that you have no rent control protection, she could not evict you without cause.

There're several angles to this thing. This arrangement as described sounds fishy. My gut tells me that "lady" violated a law somewhere and she probably would be wise not to take you to court. But it depends.

I suggest you talk to the Tenant's Union in the Mission District. They charge a minimum $10 "voluntary" donation.

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