Can my landlord stay in the apartment I’m renting?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my landlord stay in the apartment I’m renting?

I’m renting a room in a 2 bedroom condo. My roommate is the ex-girlfriend of the landlord. Between us we split the rent and utilities 50/50. Prior to me moving in, the landlord made a job related move to another part of the state. He’s mentioned to my roommate that he now plans to sell the condo; he has yet to inform me. Further, he wants to stay there for an indefinite amount of time to get things ready. He mentioned that he would be sleeping on an air mattress in the office. Neither my roommate or I are comfortable with this. My roommate mentioned it would probably be best to stay in a hotel or Airbnb to which he replied,

Asked on July 22, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do have the legal right to refuse him: when you lease a unit or house, you get 100% possession of and control over (at least so long as you don't damage, renovate, change the physical structure of, etc.) the space. The landlord gave up his right to stay in the condo when he leased it to you.
Of course, If you are on a month-to-month lease, he could give you a month's notice terminating your rental, then move in when you are out. If the landlord has expressed an interest in moving back in and you are on a month-to-month lease, at any time, you might find that you have only a month's notice to leave; you may wish to start looking for another space, since while you can keep him out for now, he can end your tenancy on short notice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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