I Found My Tenant Subletting – What Next?

So you just discovered one of your tenants is subletting, be it through HOA, other tenants, or from an alert from our service. There are a number of potential next steps – depending on how much of a nuisance and liability is posed. These next steps range from taking down the listing, discussing with the tenant, or taking legal action to stop the behavior, possibly leading to an eviction.

If you need help getting short term rentals under control, Sublet Alert might be the solution for you. Learn more.

Listing Take-down

The first step is to take the listing down. We actually outline the steps for taking down an Airbnb listing in another article. Effectively, you must contact Airbnb with the actual listing and proof of ownership in hand, and then Airbnb will begin their removal process. The staff at Craigslist can be a little trickier to get a hold of. On the other hand, Craigslist listings don’t stay up for very long – its probably not worth the effort to take down the ad.

Talking with Tenants

Most lease agreements prohibit subleasing the apartment, so it is important – from both a practical and legal perspective – to notify the tenant of the breach of contract. Moreover, within both San Francisco and New York, short-term leases are straight-up illegal. Chapter 41a of San Francisco’s Administrative Code requires a bed-and-breakfast permit to rent an apartment or home for less than 30 days. A similar law affects New York.

You must serve notice to the tenant properly. In California, this can be done in any of three ways. First, notice can be given directly to the tenant in person. Second, notice can be both mailed AND given to a member of the household, 18 years or older, living at the residence. Lastly, notice can be both mailed AND nailed or taped to the front door (or other easily visible location). It’s important to note that notification by e-mail does explicitly not meet the standards of the court system for serving notice.

Legal Action

Once that notice has been served, the tenant has three days to cure or quit. Only if that time period is expired and the tenant has not complied, you can file an unlawful detainer case in court to evict the tenant.

Eviction for Subletting

Eviction proceedings are of course painful for both parties and should be executed by an attorney. That being said, it’s important to follow procedures to serve notice to the letter. Any error can result in the case being thrown out. If notice is served incorrectly or the eviction case is filed before the notice period expires, the court will dismiss the case. It’s important to note that day counting begins the day after notice has been served or mailed.

This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue.