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Can a sub-tenant refuse to leave at the end of a sublease

Los Angeles, CA |

The landlord gave a written consent to a tenant to sublease the apartment for 2 months.
The tenant find a sub-tenant and sign a sublease for 2 months with the sub-tenant.
The apartment is under rent control in Los Angeles.
Can a sub-tenant, at the end of the 2 months sublease, legally refuse to leave the apartment, keep on paying the rent and stay in the apartment?
Remember this is a RSO apartment.

Thank for any help

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Attorney answers 2


Probably not. However, if the landlord accepts rent directly from the subtenant for rent covering the time period after the expiration of the sublease, this creates a new month-to-month tenancy between the landlord and the subtenant. Otherwise, the landlord has the right to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit to concurrently evict the tenant, all subtenants and all other occupants.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


I agree with Mr. Chen, but only write to say that there are not enough facts here so I'll go with the "depends" answer.

When you say you're a sub-tenant are you saying you are a lodger with the tenant, or the tenant vacated and gave you exclusive possession?

If you're a lodger, you can be put out on so many days notice depending on whether you're month to month.

If the tenant has no lease with the landlord, the tenant may lose possession altogether but you have no lease either and as Mr. Chen points out, you're month to month or at sufferance.

This is a public forum. Any questions or answers published here should not be construed as the giving or receiving of legal advice or the formation of any attorney-client relationship. You should consult with a competent attorney in the jurisdiction where your legal issues are pending and get good, solid legal advice. This being a public forum, those answers you do read are merely given for informational purposes only.

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