She tried to sublease this SF shed for $800. Then she was told her … – SFGATE

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A very small “studio apartment” off Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco was recently offered for rent on Facebook and Craigslist. Next: A family’s life in a tiny house.
As rents have surged in recent years, some clever Bay Area residents have found ways around paying full price on rent. But those savings come with sacrifice, as you’ll see in the following slides.
Who says you can’t find a studio apartment for under $1,000 a month in San Francisco?
A “studio” on Sloat Boulevard in Park Merced was offered this week for only $800 plus $50 utilities on the Bay Area Rooms and Apartments Facebook page and Craigslist.
The apartment is not your traditional apartment building unit, but rather a free-standing, one-room backyard shack like those used to store shovels, rakes and lawn mowers. In fact, it resembles those Tuff Sheds they sell at Home Depot and similar stores.
But it was affordable for San Francisco State University student Vanessa Moreno.
Of course, with cheap rent comes lowered expectations.
For $800 a month, one can’t expect a well-appointed kitchen. Or in Moreno’s case, any kitchen.
“I had to cook outside on a burner (plate) and use a convection oven I plugged into the wall inside the studio and extended to outside since I wasn’t allowed to cook inside,” says Moreno.
At least there was indoor plumbing — a sink, running water and a toilet. But anyone using the toilet with a guest present would have had an audience.
Moreno supplied her own curtain.
ALSO: She found herself in San Francisco, but was forced out 50 years later
“It is to separate the toilet and sink from the rest of the room so water doesn’t splash,” she says.
The water wouldn’t have had far to travel to douse her bed or clothes.
“My belongings were kept inside and the space was very crammed,” she says.
She also had to put in the vinyl flooring herself. When she moved in, the flooring was just bare concrete.
There was no shower; Moreno had to go outside and then enter the main house in order to access a shared bathroom. She said she used the toilet in that bathroom rather than the one in her unit.
The SFSU student moved out of the apartment last week in order to live with her boyfriend in El Cerrito and listed the apartment for rent.
RELATED: How you can live in a tiny house without breaking the law
At first, her landlord refused to let her out of the lease.
“The landlord has stated I am obligated to make the rest of the payments until June since I broke the lease and they won’t give me my deposit back unless I find someone to rent the room out,” she said Tuesday.
“That’s why I have been advertising it on Craigslist and Facebook and people have gone to see the unit and then informed me they think it’s illegal. So I just did some research and it is in fact illegal.”
But later that day, her landlords relented and agreed to return her $1,200 deposit in return for her not lodging a complaint with the city Department of Building Inspection.
Moreno said she told them that she believed the unit should not be rented out again until it receives the proper permits, and they said they were no longer renting the space.
The Craigslist and Facebook ads have since been taken down.
Efforts to reach the landlord for comment were unsuccessful.

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Reporter Mike Moffitt has been writing and editing stories for newspapers and news websites for more than 25 years. Before joining the SFGate team, he worked at the San Francisco Examiner, Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. He covers news, politics, science, sports, outdoors and Bay Area history.


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