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is she a roommate? fine line bet roomate and subleases?

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is she a roommate? fine line bet roomate and subleases?

Postby libertey777 » Sun Aug 25, 2002 1:21 am

I signed a lease and a lease renewal up to 2004 with a friend who is currently away and now based in Geneva because of her job. We do not know if she will come back to NY and she does not want to give up the apartment.

In the meantime, I do not want to live alone and got a friend to stay with me. She is paying her own phone and the cable bill as her contribution to the apartment. Recently, however, I got a letter from the lawyer of my realty and it reads:
As managing agent and attorney for Realty Corp. I am distressed to learn that you are subleasing rooms and/or portions of Apt A. In effect, you are treating the apartment as a rooming house.

I am also informed that you have rewired the apartment for addtl appliances (eg a computer) and have done so without landlord consent.
--hahaha! computer is an appliance! come on!!

We will not longer tolerate your defaults, and retain landlord's rights to terminate your lease, move for your eviction, opt against lease renewal, and /or sue you personally for all consequential damages.

Guide yourselves accordingly.

We already responded to the letter denying the accusations.

And as for the lease that we signed (its the traditional bloomberg 327 form) which only states in paragraph 12 re: assignment and sublease that tenant must not assign all or part of this lease or sublet all or part of the apt. or permit any other to use the apartment.

The question is: Is my friend considered an illegal occupant? Or is she considered as a roomate? What can I do to protect myself? Is it better to just move out and cancel the lease (If we do, up to how much should I expect to be fined by terminating the lease?). If I remove the legal tenant, my friend in Geneva and the lease and add my friend's name in the lease and my landlord refuses, what then? What is the worst case scenario...eviction?

Am I protected by this law, with my current lease? Real Property Law §235-f(4):

Any lease or rental agreement for residential premises entered into by two or more tenants shall be construed to permit occupancy by tenants, immediate family of tenants, occupants and dependent children of occupants; provided that the total number of tenants and occupants, excluding occupants' dependent children, does not exceed the number of tenants specified in the current lease or rental agreement, and that at least one tenant or a tenants' spouse occupies the premises as his primary residence.

What is the difference between a paying roomate and a sublease?

<small>[ August 26, 2002, 10:54 PM: Message edited by: libertey777 ]</small>
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