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T & A Drolapas & Sons, LP v. San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board

California Court of Appeals, First District, Fourth Division

June 16, 2015

T & A DROLAPAS & SONS, LP, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTIAL RENT STABILIZATION AND ARBITRATION BOARD et al., Defendants and Respondents GERALD BORJAS, Real Party in Interest and Respondent.

City & County of San Francisco Superior Court No. CPF-12-511944 Trial judge: Hon. Ronald Quidachay

Page 647

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 648

COUNSEL

Fried & Williams and Clifford E. Fried for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Dennis J. Herrera, City Attorney, and Wayne K. Snodgrass, Deputy City Attorney, for Defendants and Respondents.

OPINION

STREETER, J.

In this case we must decide whether Civil Code section 1954.53, [1] subdivision (d)(2) authorizes a San Francisco landlord to raise the rent without limit on an apartment otherwise subject to rent control when an occupant, who moved into the apartment as a child when his parents took possession, remained in possession of the unit after his parents vacated it. The

Page 649

San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board (Rent Board) ruled in favor of the adult child in these circumstances and the superior court upheld its decision. On review here, we have the benefit of the recent opinion in Mosser Companies v. San Francisco Rent Stabilization & Arbitration Board (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 505 [182 Cal.Rptr.3d 619] (Mosser Companies) where a panel in Division Three of this district addressed the identical issue. Seeing no basis for distinguishing our case from Mosser Companies and no reason to disagree with the conclusions or the analysis in that case, we follow Mosser Companies and affirm the judgment.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

On September 3, 1995, Javier and Barbara Lara began renting the apartment at 3380 21st Street, unit 4, of a nine-unit building in San Francisco. The Laras took occupancy of the unit pursuant to a written rental agreement with the building’s then owner, but no copy of that agreement now exists. Gerald Borjas (Borjas), the real party in interest and eldest of three Lara children, was six years old at the time he and his family moved into the apartment. There is no evidence that the occupancy by the entire family was in any manner inconsistent with the rental agreement or was without the landlord’s permission. The initial rent on the apartment was $775.

Appellant, T & A Drolapas & Sons, LP (Drolapas), purchased the building containing the unit rented to the Laras in approximately April 2000. During escrow the Laras signed and provided to Drolapas an “Estoppel Certificate: Landlord Questionnaire" in which they stated that Javier and Barbara Lara were the "tenants” but that the unit was “occupied” by two adults and four children, and this was the “number of allowable tenants.” Drolapas points out that the Estoppel ...


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