Marino v. Hernandez: In this case the plaintiff, A. Paul Marino, filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against the defendant, Ernest Hernandez. Marino’s action for unlawful detainer against Hernandez stemmed from Hernandez’s violation of a covenant prohibiting subleasing without written consent from the owner.
Hernandez contended that the no-sublease covenant originated when Marino instituted House Rules during Hernandez’ month-to month tenancy in June 2009. Marino maintained that the no-sublease covenant existed in the oral lease that Hernandez had with the previous landlord, and that the clause was in effect before he purchased the building.
Marino further argued that violation of the no-sublease covenant was a ground for eviction under the SF Rent Ordinance and the Civil Code. Hernandez argued that the no-sublease covenant cannot be the bases of eviction because the covenant came from House Rules imposed by Marino during the tenancy.
Marino maintained that a tenant in a month-to-month tenancy is impliedly agreeing to the landlord’s change in lease terms when the tenant continues to stay and pay rent, if the change in terms is properly enacted pursuant to Civil Code section 827. The trial court agreed with Marino, stating that the tenant’s consent to new covenants “is implied by his continued residence.”
This decision is very important in that it gives owners the ability to serve and enforce reasonable House Rules for month-to-month tenancies without a written lease agreement, or with an outdated lease agreement absent House Rules. Should the tenant consent to the House Rules explicitly or impliedly, violation of the House Rules would be considered grounds for a just cause eviction.
Paul Marino vs. Ernest R. Hernandez…In this case the tenant argued that the no-sublease covenant cannot be the basis of eviction under the Rent Ordinance because the covenant emanates from House rules unilaterally imposed by the landlord. This decision now makes it possible for landlords to serve and enforce House Rules whenever there is no written rental agreement in existence, and/or to create House Rules for tenancies with leases lacking basic rules.
The new House Rules become effective after 30 days and when the tenant pays his next month’s rent in a month to month tenancy.
For more interesting cases visit http://www.sfaa.org/court_cases.html