Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 1 month ago

What rights do I have if I am not on lease to a house? California ?

I moved into a house and took over for someone who was moving due to joining the peace corps. Due to covid 19 he is back and will not be joining until next year. I don’t really have a close relationship with any of my roommates and they have an extremely close relationship with him. When he arrived I was shocked, he mentioned he may be staying for the year. Same as me. I took over his part of the lease in renting my room, paying utilities and putting down a security deposit paid to him to exit. The landlord was also notified that I was taking over. I have lived here since March 31st. I am concerned that they will try and have him take his room and place in lease back, as a tenant is this possible? I do have a written lease agreement mentioning the deposit I paid, the duration I’ll be living here which is 1 year and with whom and what I’ll be paying with an estimate of utility costs. I also have texts messages to back that up with all roommates as well as landlord. I also accepted everything he left behind which was a bed, 2 dressers and desk. I live in California, what rights do I have, I absolutely cannot leave, I have based my entire year, job, schooling on where I am living now. I am absolutely horrified. I know he has a right to be here but he left. Do I have the same rights if I am not on a lease? One clause is pets aren’t allowed which I wasn’t told however I have an emotional support cat that is registered.  Pease help. 


When I say I have a lease I don’t have a written lease from the landlord, I just have one from my roommate that he emailed to me as a request. My roommate isn’t the landlord. I do pay my portion of rent to him and he pays it to landlord. 

The lease agreement I have stated I’m here for a year, the price and estimate of utilities. Is that considered a lease if it’s from a roommate and not a landlord????

Update 2:

Okay, what if I have a text message from landlord confirming he is aware of me being there and that I am replacing the previous roommate that came back? 

Update 3:

Can a landlord update a lease if he’s notified to replace the person leaving? He left I came in the landlord was notified to change the lease. 

7 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    The text messages & stuff is NOT a lease nor is it legally binding. You are not guranteed to stay there past the current month unless you have a signed lease.  

    With no lease you only have rights given by state law. They can give you a notice to vacate at any time. The landlord being aware of it does not change anything since the lease was never changed & signed. You will have to leave as soon as they give you proper legal notice to do so. 

  • 1 month ago

    If you signed onto the lease, they can't just take it back.  Not at all how it works.  If you just moved in and signed nothing, then you can be given a 30 day notice to vacate at any time.

  • 1 month ago

    he moved out and u signed a lease. he does not have the right to be there. 

    i just read your edit so my answer is wrong obviously - if u do not have the lease with the landlord and the other dude does then i m afraid everything will depend upon the landlord decision. to me it seems like u might be made to get another place - the main person there is a landlord, not your room mate

  • 1 month ago

    Who knows if it is a valid lease - the one you signed with him.  Consult a lawyer to find out.  An ESA is NOT allowed in a no pet place.  You have confused it with a "service" animal.  You are in violation of the original lease and on that basis, he can kick you out.  Registered is irrelevant.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Landlord & Tenant law experience.
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  • 1 month ago

    no the landlord cannot just modify the lease, ALL parties including the one you replaced would have to agree to it.  There was no primary lease change, you just have a sublease with 1 tenant.

    ESAs aren't pets, your problem is that your lease is with the original roommate, and it might not fall under FHA (fair housing act)

    1st you say you aren't on the lease, than you say you do have a lease...

    so original person is your landlord are you have a lease with that roommate as sublandlord

    your lease with the sublandlord stands

  • 1 month ago

    1. you either have a written lease or you don't.

    a) you say you aren't on the lease

    b) you say you have a written lease.

    If you do not have a signed lease then you don't have a lease.

    If you do, you do.

    2. there is no such thing as a legitimate ESA registration

    - it appears to be fine now, but why wouldn't this be the first thing you would ask "is my cat allowed"? you moved in with people who could have been allergic and your cat would have had to go regardless of ADA laws.

    3. "I absolutely cannot leave"  It's a RENTAL.  you might have made decisions associated with it, but if the place becomes uninhabitable whether physically or emotionally, I'm sure you have the capability to move.

    In response to the additional information:

    - you do not have a signed lease.

    - whatever you have in a text is not legally binding.

    - yes, they can kick you out, if they want by providing you 30 days notice (60 days if you remain more than a year).  On the flip side, you can also leave with 30 days notice.

  • 28AKO
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    you have to get rid of the cat! No pets are allowed, u can ask for your deposit to be returned and find somewhere else to move close by your job. He's allowed to move back in and probably sleep on the couch or something in the living room if everyone agrees to it. Look it as another person helping to pay the bills and everyone saving. Remain positive about the situation and just talk to him in a respectful manner and come up with a plan tg how to handle the situation in a positive manner.  Be patient

    With all this stuff going on everything can close back down and yall need an extra rmmate to make ends meet. Hope everything works out for you all and good luck

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