Can the owner of a residence in San Francisco sublease during the 60 months following an owner-movein eviction? The specific example I'm imagining would be if a single person purchased a 2 bedroom apartment, evicted two people who shared the apartment so this owner could live there, and then subleased the now-spare bedroom at market rate.




  • Is this question simply asking, "Can the owner of a residence in San Francisco sublease part of it?" – feetwet Mar 29 '19 at 19:01
  • Rephrased, "Can the owner of a residence in San Francisco sublease during the 60 months following an owner-movein eviction"? – tarabyte Mar 29 '19 at 21:39
  • It would be very helpful if you modified your question title and text to clarify that detail. I would do it, but I still can't tell exactly what you mean. – feetwet Mar 30 '19 at 17:44

If you buy a house, you can generally rent out a room in the house, unless in that jurisdiction there is some law against renting rooms in houses (that's actually a condition in my neighborhood, one widely ignored). If it's legal to rent (lease) a room, it is generally legal to sub-lease that room – as long as that's allowed under the original lease contract. I have never heard of a jurisdiction that has a blanket prohibition against subleases. So as far as the actual question goes, the answer is, "yes".

The links are about something a different, namely rent control law in San Francisco, and the question of whether a tenant can be evicted from a rent-controlled unit because the owner wants to move in to the unit. Owner move-in eviction requires a specific procedure for giving notice, and the links are about these requirements. Conceivably, though, the question could be whether a person can buy a house that is being rented out, do a proper owner move-in eviction, and then lease a spare room.

The SF rent laws require a good faith intent to move in and use as the primary residence for 3 years, and nothing prohibit subsequently leasing a room. Those laws pertain to evictions, not re-rentals. (It should be noted that once eviction under section 37.9(a)(8) has been carried out on a unit in a building, no other unit in the building can ever be so recovered. That could mean that the room in the house could never again be recovered, if it is considered to be a separate "unit" from the "unit" that is the whole house).

  • 2
    There is a discussion of re-rental restrictions in OP's first link. If the owner moves into a unit, they cannot re-rent the unit at a higher rent for five years, and the previous tenant has to be offered the first chance to re-rent. So the question is whether something similar happens if you want to re-rent only part of the unit. – Nate Eldredge Mar 28 '19 at 3:19

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