What are a subtenant’s rights?

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2011

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What are a subtenant’s rights?

I am on a sublease with a tenant. My roommate (the tenant) had her boyfriend move in her bedroom. I asked if he would be paying 1/3 of the bills. She said no. I asked if he would be paying a portion of the rent. She also said no. The lease does not say that she is not allowed to have a third party move in. What are my rights? I have 6 more months of the lease and I also do not want to pay for someone else to live at my place.

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease with your landlord roommate, read it carefully in that the written document sets forth the obligations owed to you and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law regarding the lease. If your lease with your roommate does not set a limit on the number of habitants in the rented unit, you are at an impasse on your own agreement.

If the master lease between your roommate landlord and the landlord does not have a limitation on the number of people allowed in the lease, it seems that you cannot use the master lease to limit the number of people in the unit.

One option is to contact the owner of the property and get his or her input on the situation which could assist you.

If you do not like the current situation, it appears there is nothing that you can do contractually about it. However, if the utilities increase in the six month remainder of the time you are there on a monthly basis, the boyfriend should pay for the increase.

Good luck.

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