Boshernitsan v. BachAnnotate this Case
Appellants filed an unlawful detainer action against the tenants, seeking to evict them under a provision of San Francisco's rent control ordinance that allows a "landlord" to evict renters from a unit to make the unit available for a close relative of the landlord (the family move-in provision), Rent Ordinance, section 37.9(a)(8)(ii).
The Court of Appeal concluded that, in sustaining the demurrer, the trial court correctly ruled that a trust is not a "natural person." However, the trial court was mistaken in assuming that appellants' trust is the landlord. The court explained that, as a matter of law, only trustees—not trusts—can hold legal title to property. The court held that natural persons who are acting as trustees of a revocable living trust and are also the trust's settlors and beneficiaries qualify as a "landlord" under the family move-in provision. Therefore, the court reversed the trial court's judgment in favor of the tenants, because appellants are not barred from seeking to evict the tenants under that provision. The court remanded with directions to enter a new order overruling the demurrer.