FAQ

Before contacting Lingsch Realty, please browse our list of Frequently Asked Questions to see if you can find an answer to your questions here.

 

LEASING

I am a student.  Will you lease to me? 

If you are a student, you will either need to show proof of salary of at least three times the rent (total with all occupants considered), financial aid award letter, or have a co-signer.  The co-signer must submit an application, have good credit, substantial liquid assets, and own property in California.  There are no exceptions to these requirements.  Also if you have a co-signer you will be required to pay a deposit equal to two month’s rent.

 

SECURITY DEPOSITS

For information on questions associated with your security deposit, please visit the San Francisco Rent Board Web site.

 

PAYING RENT

You may set up automatic bill-pay on your own bank’s Web site.  For most banks, you will go to the Bill Pay center and add a new pay to account.  Please enter your street address as your account number, and our mailing address, 3229-A Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.  For some banks, you will also need a phone number.  Please use (415) 648-1516.

 

PROBLEMS PAYING RENT

If you are having problems paying your rent on-time, please visit Direct Rental Assistance Programs for information on organizations that can help you pay your rent.

For help budgeting and paying your bills on-time, please visit Payee Services for information on organizations that can help you manage your money.

 

LEASE ISSUES
What happens if I need to break my lease?

Your lease is a binding contract for the entire term of the lease. Therefore, you are responsible for carrying out your end of the contract. For example, if your monthly rent is $1,000 per month, and you have a year lease, you are responsible for a total payment of $12,000.

Therefore, if you need to break your lease six months into your contract, you can be held responsible for paying the remaining $6,000 of the lease, regardless of whether or not you keep possession of the apartment.

However, this is the worse case scenario, and most landlords will not require this of you.

The tenant can be held responsible for any lost rent, rental commissions, advertising expenses, and painting costs necessary to ready the apartment for re-rental. The landlord may withhold any such amounts from the Tenant’s security deposit.

In order to decrease the costs for which the tenant may be held responsible, the tenant may help the landlord find a new tenant. This would mean advertising the rental, as well as pre-screening any tenants. Once you find a tenant who may be suitable, you would then be required to pass their applications and credit reports to the landlord for final approval.

 

Can I sublease my apartment?

If your lease does not specifically prohibit subleasing or assigning your lease, you may be allowed to sublet all or part of your apartment.

However, most leases require that the landlord approve the sub-tenant, and give written permission to sublet the apartment, once they have given their approval. All sub-tenants would be subject to the same application process and credit check through Lingsch Realty, and Lingsch Realty would have to approve any and all new sub-tenants.

You will be responsible for paying the application fees and document preparation fee for any subtenants.  Please ask us about current pricing.

 

Can I list my apartment or a room in my apartment on an online vacation rental site? 

As couch-surfing and subletting goes online with the likes of Airbnb and Couchsurfing.org, you may feel tempted to make the leap. However, you need to make sure you are abiding by the terms of your lease and are not putting your landlord and yourself at risk for serious fines and penalties.

Be sure to think through your plans and have all the information at hand.  You may suffer consequences, not only from your landlord, but from the city as well.
  1. Most leases forbid subleasing for any number of days.  Is a couple extra dollars in your pocket really worth an eviction on your record?
  2. José Cisneros, the San Francisco Tax Collector has recently clarified that hotel taxes apply to Airbnb rentals. Anyone who rents out a room must pay an approximately 15% transient occupancy tax (except rooms that rent for less than $30 a day or $100 per week).
  3. San Francisco law prohibits the rental of an apartment for less than 30 days. A new ordinance, which went into effect December 1, 2012, broadens this restriction to apply to rentals of not only full apartments, but also rooms, for a period of time of less than 30 days. Under the law, both the owner of the property and the lessee alleged to have offered the property for rent can be held liable.

 

My Roommate is moving out. Can I stay and get new roommates?

In most situations, yes. All subsequent roommates would be subject to the same approval process listed in the previous question.

You will be responsible for paying the application fees and document preparation fee for any subtenants.  Please ask us about current pricing.

Once the landlord approves your new roommates, you would become the “master tenant” and the new tenants would become the “sub-tenants.”

In this event, the sub-tenants would essentially be YOUR tenants, and you would be Lingsch Realty’s tenant. All rent checks and repair requests would have to come directly from you.

Should you move out, they would all need to move out (or obviously talk with Lingsch Realty about staying and getting a new lease).

Just one of our roommates is moving out. What do we do?

If any of the current tenants want to leave before the lease term has expired, you can decide not to replace the tenants, and split the full amount of rent between the remaining tenants, or chose to get another roommate for that time, in which case, the same sublet scenario as above would apply. They would be sub-tenants.

 

I am moving out, but my roommates are staying? 

Not all roommates need to move out at the same time.  Please see above about getting new roommates and subleasing.   Your security deposit is tied to the apartment, not individual tenants.  Therefore, it will not be refunded until all tenants on the lease have vacated.  If you are leaving, but your roommates are not, you will need to work out with them how they they are going to refund your portion of the security deposit.

 

All the master tenants (original tenants) on our lease are moving out. What do we do?

In this situation, the landlord may decide to execute a new lease with the subtenants. It would be as the subtenants are renting the place anew without any prior tenancy at the apartment.

Therefore, the security deposit will be refunded in whole to the last remaining tenants on the existing lease. Distribution of any part of the security deposit which may be owing to the subtenants, will need to be determined between the master tenant and the subtenants.

The subtenants would then be responsible for establishing a whole new lease agreement with the landlord. The appropriate steps would be:

Execute a year lease at market rate
Provide the landlord with a security deposit
Complete a security deposit walk through with Lingsch Realty

 

Do I have to give my 30-day notice to vacate on the first of the month?

You do NOT have to give your 30-day notice to vacate on the first of the month. You can give it on any day and the 30 days will begin counting from there.

For example, if you gave your landlord a 30-day notice on June 18, your 30 days would be up on July 17.

The rent you pay for July, which is still due on the regular due date, would be prorated for the number of days in July you would be in possession of the unit. In the example above, that would be 17 days.

Therefore, if your rent is $1,800 per month you would divide $1,800 by 30 (all calculations use a 30-day month, called a banker’s month) to get the per diem rent of $60. You would then multiply the per diem rent, $60, by the number of days you are occupying the unit (in the above example, 17). So your total rent for July would be $1,020.

To avoid any problems with miscalculations, please verify the rent amount with your landlord before submitting your rent payment.

 

MAINTENANCE ISSUES

I have a maintenance request for my apartment. What should I do?

If you have a maintenance request please fill out a “Maintenance Service Request Form” and submit it to Lingsch Realty. You can fax it to (415) 648-1516, or email it to ndrees@lingschrealty.com.

No maintenance requests will be fulfilled unless they submitted on a “Maintenance Service Request Form.”

If you run out of forms please call or email Lingsch Realty for extra copies, or download one here.

My toilet/sink is clogged. What do I do?

Please try your best to unclog a toilet or sink with drain cleaner or a plunger. If it does not become unclogged you will then need to call a plumber. We recommend Atlas Plumbing, who may be contacted at (415) .

If the plumber determines the clog was caused by you, the tenant, you will be responsible for paying for the repair. However, if the clog is due to the age or a defect in the pipes, the owner will cover the cost of the repair.

Since the majority of San Francisco buildings are old and, therefore, have old plumbing systems, we ask that you please take precautions to avoid clogged pipes.

Please purchase drain traps for your shower and bathroom sink that will catch any hair and other debris and make clogs less frequent.

For toilets we recommend putting nothing down there, aside from human waste and minimal toilet paper. Please do not flush any foreign objects, including feminine hygiene products, in the toilet.

 

MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES

I have a conflict with one of the other tenants in the building. What should I do?

Lingsch Realty’s power in these situations is limited. On one hand, these situations usually turn into a “He Said, She Said” situation. Since Lingsch Realty cannot be at the property 24 hours a day, it is hard for Lingsch Realty to determine who is correct.

On the other hand, even if we can determine fault, it is very difficult to evict a tenant who is a nuisance.

Therefore, we suggest the Alternative Dispute Resolution program at the San Francisco Rent Board. You can find more information about the program at www.sfrb.org.