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One co-tenant not renewing

Rent stabilzed lease renewals and how to apply Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) percentage increases

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One co-tenant not renewing

Postby bronxboy » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:36 pm

If one of the two co-tenants is leaving at the end of the lease, is it necessary or
advisable for him to notify the landlord in writing? If so, is there a recommended
form or content somewhere, and should it be notarized?
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Re: One co-tenant not renewing

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:02 pm

Assuming this apartment is rent stabilized, then both tenants have the right to a renewal (individually or collectively), and the landlord doesn't get a vacancy increase if a co-tenant departs.

While you probably could just cross one tenant's name off the renewal lease when you return the signed copy, it probably makes sense for the departing co-tenant to send a letter to the landlord (Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested) stating that tenant A does intend to renew once the renewal lease is received, but tenant B will not be staying, so the renewal lease should be in tenant B's name only.

That would remove any uncertainty about whether tenant B was departing voluntarily (since tenant B can't be removed from the lease without his consent, absent some really unusual circumstances).
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Re: One co-tenant not renewing

Postby bronxboy » Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:55 pm

Thanks for the reply, Bubba Joe.

It is a stabilized apartment. I take it you don't see a need for the letter to be notarized. But why wait to receive the renewal lease to send it- why not send it sooner, so the renewal form will be accurate, and acknowledge the true situation?

Waiting would then involve either crossing out tenant B, and/or requiring the LL to
write up a new renewal with only tenant A's name.
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Re: One co-tenant not renewing

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:07 pm

That's what I meant, sorry if I wasn't clear. While you could probably just cross out the name, it would be simpler for all involved to send the LL a letter in advance, so there isn't any issue with the LL saying "I'm not allowed to drop people from the lease without their consent."
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Re: One co-tenant not renewing

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:02 pm

I think Bubba's first reply got A and B mixed up. But the idea is correct.

A notice like that is not required to be notarized, but it can't hurt. Check your lease for the paragraph on notices. Many leases require notices to be by certified mail.

The idea is that the two tenants collectively have a tenancy, with all the rights and obligations. They have the right of renewal so I LL can't (legally) refuse to renew the lease.

One tenant can leave and have his/her name taken off the lease, but the remaining tenant stays on as a tenant with the right of renewal and assumes all obligations.

This is important: if one tenant leaves and leaves one tenant on the lease, that does not make a new rent stab lease where the LL can charge a vacancy increase.

But, if the remaining tenant then takes on a new roommate and want that new roommate to be added to the lease, then that creates a new RS lease where the LL can add a vacancy increase. So the advice is the keep the new tenant as a roommate, not as a co-tenant.
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