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deceased tenant in rent control apt

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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deceased tenant in rent control apt

Postby NoMoreAds » Sun May 20, 2018 7:57 am

Hello,
First off, I realize I need a lawyer and will start making phone calls this week. But looking for some advice and one very important question.
My single elderly neighbor died. She was in a rent controlled apt. I’m working with her family, who don’t live in NY, to make me some sort of executor of her estate so I can do all the paperwork and get access to the apt.
Our big question is how long will we be able to keep the apt while we do all the necessary legal work and go through her belongings? For example, can we take one or two months if we continue to pay the rent? Or can the landlord tell us we have 3 days and that’s all. NOTE – the landlord is already salivating at the idea of renovating this cheap apt.
Looking for general thoughts and advice while I shop for a lwyer. Thank you.
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Re: deceased tenant in rent control apt

Postby TenantNet » Sun May 20, 2018 1:03 pm

First you say you're working with the family. That is the first step. They should handle a lot of this, and they should probably consult with a good estate attorney. Too often families from out-of-city-or-state will grab the first estate attorney they can find, usually a bad way to make a decision. I can't offer any suggestions, but perhaps you can ask around to give them some options of someone that comes recommended. The estate should go through probate if no executor was designated.

First thing for you is have the family agree on paper that you should deal with one person. Families can get divided after someone passes and you might get put in the middle.

I would make sure the family (or you) has keys to the place so you can make some sort of inventory of the contents. Too often building staff carts off the deceased tenant's possessions. Don't let that happen.

With RS tenants, the estate can maintain legal possession of the unit - and contents - until the current lease runs out - as long as rent is paid. But the LL is not obligated to offer a new lease. With rent control it's different. I can't offer a citation, but I seem to remember that RS tenants estates might get around 90 days to clear things out, etc.

But some rules still hold. The LL can't evict without going through court. If the probate process is not completed, a family might be able to get a hold on any eviction proceedings. That's where a tenant attorney comes in.

The LL will get the unit soon enough. A tenant attorney might be able to get more time to sort things out. The LL still cannot legally take possession without a court order.
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Re: deceased tenant in rent control apt

Postby NoMoreAds » Sun May 20, 2018 9:44 pm

thank you so much!
There are some positive things in your response that give me hope!
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