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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34326
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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My sister is in LA and subleasing a studio apt. Subletter

Customer Question

My sister is in LA and subleasing a studio apt. Subletter told her to say she was a cousin bc lease does not permit subleasing, subletter drew up two paragraph agreement for the month of July and August. Before agreeing my sister asked her if there are cockroaches and she said the first floor has had but never in the third floor where she lives. First night my sister arrived the apt smelled and the sheets and bedding did too so she bought new bedding and pillows. This week, three weeks in, she found three cockroaches in her bed and called exterminator who said if she could see cockroaches meant infestation bc they usually hide and you can't see them. My sister went to a friends and wrote subleaser requesting prorated rent for the remainder of July returned bc apt is uninhabitable but subleaser replied that my sister brought the roaches with her from ny and with new bedding. Does my sister have any rights? Can she call the landlord to report roaches? Can she get into trouble for illegal sublet if she does?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Los Angeles, ca
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: No
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Sister's landlord is the sublessor, not the actual owner of the property because she has no legal contract with him. So if there is a problem, she has to contact the sublessor to deal with it.

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However, with that said, if she threatens to go to the actual owner and report the sublessor for illegally subletting, then that could get the sublessor in trouble and potentially evicted. Further, she can threaten to call Code Enforcement or the Housing Inspector to come out and inspect for insect infestation.

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If the sublessor has any sense, they will agree to just release sister from the contract and refund her money rather than face being evicted if she contacts the owner and the city to come inspect.

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And no, there is no law being broken by her subleasing...it is the sublessor who is breaking their lease by doing so.

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thanks

Barrister

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