Santa Barbara, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: My rental agreement gives me "nonexclusive" rights to 2 bedrooms. These are my only rooms. What does this mean for me?

I rent 2 rooms in a house, but my rental agreement specifies I have nonexclusive use of the two rooms. Do I still have an expectation of privacy and quiet enjoyment? Can my landlord use this wording to restrict guests?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt
  • La Jolla, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This sounds like a lease that an attorney did not draft. But it says what it says, so you need to deal with it. Your lease gives you a right of possession to some real property. If it is non-exclusive it means that you cannot exclude another party who may have possessory rights too (this is common in common areas like walkways and pools). This necessarily diminishes any expectation you have of privacy or exclusive possession (e.g. "Mine, get out!"). This means that you may have to endure other people having access to your space.

Now the landlord's ability to restrict, that is suspect. Unless your lease says otherwise, your right of possession to your rental means you can reasonably invite people into it. That another tenant or the landlord also has rights to the space does not diminish yours. Check the terms of your lease. And, not to be presumptuous, but, check for potential other places. This kind of situation tends to get worse, not better. Escape while you can.

1 user found this answer helpful

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