Showing posts with label bylaws. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bylaws. Show all posts

Feb 10, 2014

NY Roommate Law


Recently a couple of buyers have asked about the "NY Roommate Law" pertaining to "bylaws" rules and policies in a coop. Last year while I attended an exhibit at the Museum of New York about small spaces and the trend around the world of living alone, it was at that exhibit that I first learned it is illegal in NY for more than three unrelated people to live in an apartment or a house. 

The law, for decades part of the city’s Housing Maintenance Code, is little known, widely broken and infrequently enforced. NY has many housing laws that were reforms from the 19th and early 20th century tenements.

A landlord or coop may restrict the number of occupants based on housing/occupancy laws but you can generally take on roommates without having to add them to the lease or even get your landlord's approval.

Recently I've learned of "NY Roommate Law" Unlawful Restrictions on Occupancy Law. A law that entitles a tenant to have a roommate. This law trumps coop "bylaws" regarding the coop's right to approve all occupants living in a coop apartment. 

Roommate Law Explanation: 

If you are the only person who has signed the lease, in addition to your immediate family, NY law allows you to have another roommate who has not signed the lease. The roommate’s dependent children are also permitted. (Note: This law applies if the premises is the tenant’s primary residence)
·     Therefore, any lease provision disallowing a roommate that’s not on the lease (as well as his/her dependent children) is illegal.

·     If two or more people signed the lease you may have additional roommates provided that the total number of tenants and occupants (excluding dependent children) does not exceed the number of tenants on the original lease.

·     To make the above more clear, if 3 people sign a lease and 1 moves out, you can replace that person who moved out with a new occupant.  

      While many RE laws to protect tenants do not apply to co-ops, the roommate law overrides proprietary lease provisions that limit occupancy. 

This law allows tenants with leases to have roommates without interference from their landlords. While many tenant protection laws do not apply to cooperative apartments, the so-called Roommate Law does.

      The roommate law does not allow cooperators to circumvent the coops subletting policies, the coop shareholder must also reside in the apartment as its primary residence in order to benefit from the protection of the roommate law. 

Real Property Law, Section 235f "Roommate Law"

 Legal Disclaimer  - Information in this article is not intended as legal or financial advice and should not be used to substitute for advice of legal counsel.

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