Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Tenants: Never, ever rent a room from an absentee master tenant!
The landlord would argue that you are not an original occupant and, despite the fact that you paid rent directly to her agent, she did not waive his right to increase the rent.
Correctly or not, landlords figure that a tenant offering a buyout may be ready to move voluntarily anyway–as in already found a new place and wants some quick cash to exit.
You can always ask the landlord for his permission to paint or upgrade the carpet yourself. I rarely recommend that a tenant upgrade a landlord’s property, but small fixes and new paint may be justifiable because the benefits may justify the cost.
Technically speaking you are a master tenant, but you cannot demonstrate that you are an original occupant because you moved out for six years.
A dishwasher is a housing service provided to the tenant as part of the initial rent. It is the landlord’s responsibility to repair the dishwasher.
Welcome to Rentpocalypse 2012! Have a seat, but don’t stay too long.
I reread Rules & Regulations §6.14, which as usual, has the effect of a combination of Seconal and Wild Turkey. Your boyfriend is not an original tenant/occupant, but the landlord still cannot increase the rent.
San Francisco is expensive and many landlords these days want to cash in on the new Twitter/tech boom. One of the easiest ways to remove rent-controlled tenants is to sue them for illegal subletting.