He came to stay: “A Telegraph Hill resident who was squabbling with his building co-owners allegedly duped them into renting him their unit by using a false identity on Airbnb, according to a complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court. Then, after two months in the apartment, he claimed he qualified for tenants’ rights and said he planned to stay indefinitely.” [San Francisco Chronicle, earlier in series]
It happened on AirBnB, the lodging-sharing service: “A woman rented her 600-square-foot Palm Springs, California, condo to someone for a little over a month, and now she says the guy won’t leave and is threatening to sue her.” [Business Insider, ABA Journal] For the case of the nanny who declined to leave her in-home living quarters after a falling out with the family that hired her, see this post last month. A February post raised the question of whether AirBnB visitors staying in units in San Francisco, a city with notably pro-tenant housing laws, might be able to dig in after a period much shorter than 30 days, the span that triggers tenancy status under general California law.
Upland, Calif.: “A California family is stumped about what to do with a live-in nanny they say refuses to work, refuses to be fired and refuses to leave. In fact, Marcella Bracamonte claims that the nanny, Diane Stretton, has threatened to sue the family for wrongful firing and elder abuse.” Stretton’s hiring agreement with the Bracamontes entitles her to room and board as part of her compensation, but she now indicates that she is suffering a disability and stays mostly in her room, the couple says. After the dispute arose the Bracamontes discovered that Stretton is on the state vexatious-litigants list and has been involved in at least 36 lawsuits; police say because Stretton is in residence it is a civil matter, but a judge threw out the couple’s initial eviction attempt, saying they had not filled out a quit notice correctly. [ABC News, auto-plays video ad; CBS Los Angeles] In September of last year, whether coincidentally or not, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the so-called California Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, affording domestic workers substantially more legal leverage in disputes with their employers. [SCPR] (& Scott Greenfield, with commenters)
We previously covered the surprising side effect of legal reforms to protect tenants against landlords: homeowners in Florida discovering that a friend or relative invited as a guest gets to leave only when they want to leave without expensive litigation to evict them (Feb. 19). This had tragic results in Montgomery County, Maryland last week. 71-year-old Joyce Hadl charitably allowed a homeless woman, Susan L. Sachs, to stay with her rent-free in exchange for work around the house. According to a friend of Hadl’s, when Sachs started exhibiting signs of mental illness, “walking around the house and calling Hadl insulting names”, Hadl became alarmed and tried to get her to leave, but police called to the home concluded that they could not legally remove her. Hadl has since disappeared, and Sachs is now under police custody, having been charged with her first-degree murder. (David Snyder and Amit R. Paley, “New Arrests in Disappearance”, Washington Post, Aug. 26).
Careful about letting a friend or relative crash at your house: various Floridians found themselves in for legal complications when temporary guests decided they didn’t want to leave. Calling the sheriff doesn’t necessarily work, and it’s legally hazardous to have locks changed, cut off utilities or put the interloper’s possessions out on the street. (Marcus Franklin, “Law slanted in favor of unwelcome guests”, St. Petersburg Times, Feb. 17).