The Big Move: ‘I’ve inherited a house from my deceased aunt in San Francisco. She rented the basement to an older couple for years without a lease.’ Can I evict them?

by | Mar 18, 2023 | Stock Market

Dear MarketWatch, I’ve inherited a house in San Francisco from my aunt. My aunt had rented her basement to an older couple (probably illegally) for a few years for below market rates. I don’t believe there was a lease, and it is probably against the building code to have tenants in the basement. The couple’s family is living nearby.   

I really prefer not to continue with the leasehold because I live out-of-state, and because of the tough rental laws in San Francisco.  What should I do if I don’t want to be a landlord? Can I just give them notice to terminate the lease?  Do I have rights to evict them? (I am not planning to do that, but just in case.)  Or do I have to sell the property to terminate the leasehold?  I heard that California has very strong protection for tenants and eviction is difficult.  The tenants are an older couple but they are healthy.   I am afraid, if I accept rent from them, that’s an acknowledgment of our landlord-tenant relationship. Would selling the property be a way to get them out?  Or should I just ask them to leave, and start eviction proceedings if they refuse?   I really need some advice. Could y …

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