Premises being double-letted by landlady...

by Edward
(Berkeley, CA,USA)

My landlady leased a unit to me that was already occupied by a prior tenant. The lease had a clause saying no roommates were permitted.

To avoid the double-letting violation, the landlady is saying that the prior tenant abdicated her lease and I, out of kindness, allowed the prior tenant to remain in the unit (which I did not).

Meanwhile, the landlady is accepting only half the rent (because the prior tenant would not pay her rent). My contention is that even if I did allow the prior tenant to remain in the unit, she was still a tenant (because in Berkeley, CA tenancies don't just end, the prior tenant became a month-to-month tenant).

Also if she allowed the prior tenant to remain, in spite of the lease not permitting roommates, is that not a breach of the lease?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Premises being double-letted by landlady...":

Edward:

It is true at the expiration of a lease in California the tenancy becomes month to month. Unless the landlady commenced eviction proceedings the prior tenant could have been classified two ways.

She may have been a trespasser. To achieve that status the landlady would have had to ask the prior tenant to leave and the tenant refused; or more likely,

The prior tenant achieved the status of an at-will tenant subject to eviction only after the landlady instituted legal eviction proceedings against her.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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