Community Housing

If the contract doesn't mention sub-leasing, does that mean that sub-leasing is OK?

Most contracts include a clause requiring that owners or managers be informed in advance of any kind of sub-lease. The law, however, makes it clear that owners or managers may not "unreasonably" withhold permission for a sub-lease. In other words, if the person to whom an apartment is to be sub-leased meets the same credit standards and other criteria that the original tenant met, it is not reasonable for the owner or manager to deny permission for the sub-lease.

How do I handle signing onto a pre-existing or “rollover” lease?

It is important to know in advance that the landlord has approved you as a new tenant. Once you have been accepted it is O.K. to sign. The next concern would be the deposit and how much to pay if you are moving in where others have lived for a while. It would be wise to agree on the condition of the unit before you sign a new lease. Complete an “inventory & condition report”. Discuss any “imperfections” with your housemates and possibly the landlord.

I don't like my roommates, how can I get out of my lease?

First you will need to discuss your plans with your roommates. If you have a month-to-month contract you will need to give your landlord and roommates 30-day written notice. If your lease is a fixed term agreement, in most cases,you will need their permission to release you from it. Once you have their permission you can approach your landlord about his/her procedures. S/he will likely tell you to come back again once you found a suitable replacement for yourself. You must always have permission from the landlord to end your tenancy.

Why does CHO recommend so strongly that all rental agreements, contracts and leases be put in writing?

Despite everyone's best intentions, problems can occur between owners or managers and tenants and between roommates. Without a written agreement, it's difficult to resolve any dispute that might arise regarding the terms and conditions of a tenancy. A written document protects tenants and owners/managers as well as individual roommates.

Is it all right to assume that everything in a written lease is legal?

No tenant should sign a lease or rental agreement without first having read it and understood it. CHO staff will gladly check leases for UCSB students to answer any questions and to go over the lease with you. If you want legal interpretations, we will refer you to the attorney at Associated Students Legal Services to answer your questions.