Rules and Regulations Section 6.15 Adopted 12/21/99 - 12/21/99

IN BRIEF: Rules and Regulations Section 6.15 Adopted 12/21/99

The Commission adopted the new version 6.15 Dec. 21, 1999, and it became effective immediately. This will conform the Rules with the recent Ordinance amendments put forth by Supervisor Leno dealing with replacement tenants.

There was an amendment Tuesday night that states in paragraph C of 6.15a that "actual receipt of written notice" must have occurred before the 14 day time limit for the owner to respond to a request from the tenant for permission to sublease can apply. Once 14 days of actual receipt of written notice has passed and the landlord has not responded, then the subtenancy is deemed approved.

This amendment was in response to landlord concerns that they might be out of town and be unaware that a written request had been submitted and thus lose their right to approve the new subtenancy. The section as proposed was otherwise adopted in its entirety.

The text of the amendment is given below.


AMENDMENT TO 6.15, RULES AND REGULATIONS

Adopted December 21, 1999

Note: This section replaces the previous version in its entirety

Section 6.15A Subletting and Assignment–Where Rental Agreement Includes an Absolute Prohibition Against Subletting and Assignment

This Section 6.15A applies only when a lease or rental agreement includes an absolute prohibition against subletting and assignment.

(a) For agreements entered into on or after May 25, 1998, breach of an absolute prohibition against subletting or assignment may constitute a ground for termination of tenancy pursuant to, and subject to the requirements of, Section 37.9(a)(2) and subsection (b) below, only if such prohibition was adequately disclosed to and agreed to by the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy. For purposes of this subsection, adequate disclosure shall include satisfaction of one of the following requirements:

(1) the prohibition against sublet or assignment is set forth in enlarged or boldface type in the lease or rental agreement and is separately initialed by the tenant; or

(2) the landlord has provided the tenant with a written explanation of the meaning of the absolute prohibition, either as part of the written lease or rental agreement, or in a separate writing.

(b) If the lease or rental agreement specifies a number of tenants to reside in a unit, or where the open and established behavior of the landlord and tenants has established that the tenancy includes more than one tenant, then the replacement of one or more of the tenants by an equal number of tenants, subject to subsections (c) and (d) below, shall not constitute a breach of the lease or rental agreement for purposes of termination of tenancy under Section 37.9(a)(2) of the Ordinance.

(c) If the tenant makes an initial written request to the landlord for permission to sublease in accordance with Section 37.9(a)(2), and the landlord fails to respond in writing within fourteen (14) days of actual receipt of written notice, the subtenancy is deemed approved pursuant to Ordinance Section 37.9(a)(2).

(d)(1) The Tenant’s inability to obtain the landlord"s consent to subletting or assignment shall not constitute a breach of the lease or rental agreement for purposes of eviction under Section 37.9(a)(2), where the subletting or assignment is deemed approved pursuant to subsection (c) above or where the landlord has unreasonably withheld consent to such change. Withholding of consent by the landlord shall be deemed to be unreasonable if the tenant has met the following requirements:

(i) The tenant has requested in writing the permission of the landlord to the sublease or assignment prior to the commencement of the proposed new tenant"s or new subtenant"s occupancy of the unit;

(ii) The proposed new tenant or new subtenant, if requested by the landlord, has completed the landlord"s standard form application, or, in the event the landlord fails to provide an application or has no standard form application, the proposed new tenant or new subtenant has, upon request, provided sufficient information to allow the landlord to conduct a typical background check, including credit information, income information, references, and background information;

(iii) The tenant has provided the landlord five (5) business days to process the proposed new tenant"s or new subtenant"s application;

(iv) The proposed new tenant or new subtenant meets the regular reasonable application standards of the landlord;

(v) The proposed new tenant or new subtenant has agreed to sign and be bound by the current rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant;

(vi) The tenant has not, without good cause, requested landlord consent to a new tenant or new subtenant more than one time per existing tenant residing in the unit during the previous 12 months;

(vii) The tenant is requesting replacement of a departing tenant or tenants with an equal number of new tenants.

(2) This subsection (d) shall not apply to assignment of the entire tenancy or subletting of the entire unit.

(e) Where a lease or rental agreement specifies the number of tenants to reside in a unit, or where the open and established behavior of the landlord and tenants has established that the tenancy includes more than one tenant, failure of the landlord to consent to the replacement of one or more of the tenants by an equal number of tenants, subject to subsection (d)(1) above, may constitute a decrease in housing services pursuant to Section 10.10 of these Regulations.

(f) Nothing in this Section shall prevent the landlord from providing a replacement new tenant or new subtenant with written notice as provided under Section 6.14 that the tenant is not an original tenant as defined in Section 6.14(a) and that when the last of the tenant(s) who meet the latter definition vacates the premises, a new tenancy is created for purposes of determining the rent under the Rent Ordinance.

Section 6.15B Subletting and Assignment–Where Rental Agreement Contains a Clause Requiring Landlord Consent to Subletting and Assignment

This Section 6.15B applies only when a lease or rental agreement includes a clause requiring landlord consent to assignment or subletting.

(a) If the lease or rental agreement specifies a number of tenants to reside in a unit, or where the open and established behavior of the landlord and tenants has established that the tenancy includes more than one tenant, then the replacement of one or more of the tenants by an equal number of tenants, subject to subsection (b) below, shall not constitute a breach of the lease or rental agreement for purposes of termination of tenancy under Section 37.9(a)(2) of the Ordinance.

(b) The Tenant’s inability to obtain the landlord"s consent to subletting or assignment shall not constitute a breach of the lease or rental agreement for purposes of eviction under Section 37.9(a)(2), where the landlord has unreasonably withheld consent to such change. Withholding of consent by the landlord shall be deemed to be unreasonable if the tenant has met the following requirements:

(i) The tenant has requested in writing the permission of the landlord to the sublease or assignment prior to the commencement of the proposed new tenant"s or new subtenant"s occupancy of the unit;

(ii) The proposed new tenant or new subtenant, if requested by the landlord, has completed the landlord"s standard form application, or, in the event the landlord fails to provide an application or has no standard form application, the proposed new tenant or new subtenant has, upon request, provided sufficient information to allow the landlord to conduct a typical background check, including credit information, income information, references, and background information;

(iii) The tenant has provided the landlord five (5) business days to process the proposed new tenant"s or new subtenant"s application;

(iv) The proposed new tenant or new subtenant meets the regular reasonable application standards of the landlord;

(v) The proposed new tenant or new subtenant has agreed to sign and be bound by the current rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant;

(vi) The tenant has not, without good cause, requested landlord consent to a new tenant or new subtenant more than one time per existing tenant residing in the unit during the previous 12 months;

(vii) The tenant is requesting replacement of a departing tenant or tenants with an equal number of new tenants.

(2) This subsection (b) shall not apply to assignment of the entire tenancy or subletting of the entire unit.

(e) Where a lease or rental agreement specifies the number of tenants to reside in a unit, or where the open and established behavior of the landlord and tenants has established that the tenancy includes more than one tenant, failure of the landlord to consent to the replacement of one or more of the tenants by an equal number of tenants, subject to subsection (b) above, may constitute a decrease in housing services pursuant to Section 10.10 of these Regulations.

(f) Nothing in this Section shall prevent the landlord from providing a replacement new tenant or new subtenant with written notice as provided under Section 6.14 that the tenant is not an original tenant as defined in Section 6.14(a) and that when the last of the tenant(s) who meet the latter definition vacates the premises, a new tenancy is created for purposes of determining the rent under the Rent Ordinance.

Section 6.15C Master Tenants

(1) For any tenancy commencing on or after May 25, 1998, a landlord who is not an owner of record of the property and who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant (a "Master Tenant") may evict said tenant without just cause as required under Section 37.9(a) only if, prior to commencement of the tenancy, the Master Tenant informs the tenant in writing that the tenancy is not subject to the just cause provisions of Section 37.9. A landlord who is an owner of record of the property and who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant is not subject to this additional disclosure requirement.

(2) In addition, for any tenancy commencing on or after May 25, 1998, a Master Tenant shall disclose in writing to a tenant prior to commencement of the tenancy the amount of rent the Master Tenant is obligated to pay to the owner of the property.