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additional roomate, increased rent and pet deposit

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additional roomate, increased rent and pet deposit

Postby 15minutes » Mon May 06, 2002 4:39 pm

I have two difficult issues. I am the signer on a 2 year lease for a 3 bedroom apt in Brooklyn. I have one roommate named on the lease. I had asked my landlord if I could take on another roommate and he agreed. I did not get this in writing. He now wants to raise the rent for the 3rd person.
1. Can he raise the rent beofre the lease is up for renewal?
2. Can he force the 3rd person to move out if we refuse to pay higher rent?

Secondly, there are no rules about pets in the apartment. I paid a one -month security deposit when I moved in. The landlord now wants to collect a $900 deposit for the 3rd roommates dog. Can he do this?
15minutes
 
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Re: additional roomate, increased rent and pet deposit

Postby Brooklyn Babe » Sat May 11, 2002 12:42 am

If you have a 3 bedroom apt., you and your are automatically entitled to have a partner, spouse or family member live on premises also.
** He now wants to raise the rent for the 3rd person.
- LL can not do this if it is not in the original lease you signed. Rent stays the same.
1. Can he raise the rent beofre the lease is up for renewal?
-No he can't, he can only charge what your lease specifies and not a cent more.
2. Can he force the 3rd person to move out if we refuse to pay higher rent?
He can try, but I doubt he'll get very far. You can tell the court that the roomate is your lover, :-).
Make sure that LL communicates with you in writing, just in case this ever goes to court, you will have your proof.
Since you are the Leaser, you must inform LL (in writing) the name of the new apartment occupant, send a certified receipt so you have proof, and that he will be living there.

Secondly, there are no rules about pets in the apartment. I paid a one -month security deposit when I moved in. The landlord now wants to collect a $900 deposit for the 3rd roommates dog. Can he do this?
-NO! Once again, if your lease does not have a no pet clause there is nothing your LL can do.

Basically, the only thing your LL can do is try to blame you and roomates for creating some sort of nuisance (i.e. dog barking, nosy apt. etc), so be careful and document all events and conversations.

You may want to look up "Occupancy" laws under Multiple Dwelling Registration LAW and you may want to consult the Pro Se Atty. at the local Housing Crt.

My suggestion is that you write your LL a letter (be extremely polite, but to the point) informing him of your rights, quoting applicable sections of your lease i.e. rental amount, rental term, there is no "no pet clause", etc..., Also quote sections of the law i.e Roomate law etc...
Make sure to keep a copy of letter and send it reg. mail. I think once your LL realizes your not an idiot he might stop messin' with you.

You can use/quote the following. I suggest you print and keep a copy of the entire booklet as it is very handy....
http://www.housingnyc.com/resources/attygenguide.html#34

TENANT'S RIGHTS GUIDE
OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
February, 1999

APARTMENT SHARING

It is unlawful for a landlord to restrict occupancy of an apartment to the named tenant in the lease or to that tenant and immediate family. When the lease names only one tenant, that tenant may share the apartment with immediate family, one additional occupant and the occupant's dependent children, provided that the tenant or the tenant's spouse occupies the premises as his primary residence.

When the lease names more than one tenant, these tenants may share their apartment with immediate family, and, if one of the tenants named in the lease moves out, that tenant may be replaced with another occupant and the dependent children of the occupant. At least one of the tenants named in the lease or that tenant's spouse must occupy the shared apartment as his or her primary residence.

Tenants must inform their landlords of the name of any occupant within 30 days after the occupant has moved into the apartment or within 30 days of a landlord's request for this information. If the tenant named in the lease moves out, the remaining occupant has no right to continue in occupancy without the landlord's express consent. Landlords may limit the total number of people living in an apartment to comply with legal overcrowding standards. (Real Property Law ß235-f)

PETS

Tenants may keep pets in their apartments if their lease permits pets or is silent on the subject. Landlords may be able to evict tenants who violate a lease provision prohibiting pets. In multiple dwellings in New York City and Westchester County, a no-pet lease clause is deemed waived where a tenant "openly and notoriously" kept a pet for at least three months and the owner of the building or his agent had knowledge of this fact. However, this protection does not apply where the animal causes damage, is a nuisance, or substantially interferes with other tenants. (NYC Admin. Code ß27-2009.1(b); Westchester County Laws, Chapter 694). Tenants who are blind or deaf are permitted to have guide dogs regardless of a no-pet clause in their lease. (Civil Rights Law ß47)

Taken from Tenantnet site:
http://www.tenant.net/faq.txt
SHARING APARTMENTS

A tenant living alone in either a rent controlled or rent
stabilized apartment may invite an additional occupant, and the
dependent children of the occupant, to share an apartment. An
unlimited number of the tenant's immediate family members are
also permitted to share the apartment.

If two or more people signed a lease, a new occupant may replace
a departing tenant, however, the total number of tenants and
occupants may not exceed the original number of people who signed
the original lease. Most important, one of the original signers
of the lease must continue to live in the apartment.

An important distinction is made in the law between tenants and
occupants.

The tenant is the person or persons who signed the lease, and the
occupant is the person who moves in after the lease is signed.
The tenant retains the rights under the lease and is the only
person who may renew a lease once it expires. (Please read the
exceptions listed under Succession Rights). Once the tenant moves
out of an apartment, the occupant loses the right to remain in
the apartment without the expressed written consent of the
landlord.

A landlord may not pry into the nature of a relationship between
people who want to be roommates.

If you want to share your apartment, you should notify your
landlord in writing within 30 days of the date your roommate
moves in. If you fail to do that, you are required to respond to
an inquiry by your landlord within 30 days of his or her asking
whether a new occupant is living in the apartment.

The right to share your apartment is automatic, and a lease
provision that restricts sharing is invalid and may not be
enforced.

"Unless the lease grants greater rights, the Roommate Law (Real Property Law §235-f) allows a sole tenant who is party to a lease to have immediate family members, one roommate, and the dependent children of the roommate live in the premises.

Unless the lease grants greater rights, if two or more tenants are parties to a lease, immediate family members of the tenants are allowed, but no roommates are allowed, except if a tenant moves out. Then one roommate (and the roommate's dependent children) can take the place of each departing tenant. And at least one of the original tenants (or a tenant's spouse) has to occupy the premises as a primary residence.

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.

See §235-f in Real Property Law - Article 7. "
The above information is from a non-attorney tenant activist and is not considered or to be used as legal advice.
Brooklyn Babe
 
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