If you live in an in-law unit, a garage or basement unit, or a unit otherwise attached to a single family home, you may be living in an illegal unit. To determine if your unit is illegal, look for these characteristics:
— No separate electricity and gas bill: If you are sharing your electricity or gas bill with the main unit, the unit may not be separately metered. If you share your electricity or gas bill, or if your landlord is paying the utilities, your unit may be illegal.
— No separate heat: If you are sharing your heat bill with the main unit, your unit may be illegal.
— No secondary egress: If your unit does not have a secondary egress (a second door or window to use in case of a fire), your unit may be illegal. If your unit’s second door leads to a garage or to a stairwell to the main unit, your unit may be illegal.
— Low ceilings: Ceiling lower than 7’6″.
— Your unit was built without permits.
— There is no separate Certificate of Occupancy for your unit.
These units cannot legally be rented since they have no permit of occupancy. However, even if your unit is illegal, you are still protected under the Rent Ordinance, unless your unit is exempt for another reason. You have eviction protections and cannot be evicted without “Just Cause.”
Here at Hooshmand Law Group, we have a strong track record for defending tenants who have lived in illegal units. Contact us today to schedule your consultation at (415)-318-5709.