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Question for breaking a lease in NYC

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Question for breaking a lease in NYC

Postby LostInNY » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:45 pm

So here's my situation. I moved into an apartment taking over an existing occupant's remainder of lease. There is one girl that has been living there for several years, and I took over her roommates portion. I signed an occupancy addendum saying I would abide to the article of the Lease. The Addendum clearly states that I am not a signatory on the lease, and that I am directly responsible to the other tenant (my roommate) as my conduct as an occupant. It states states the signatory (my roommate) is the only party directly responsible to the landlord.

I asked my LL is we could just transfer the lease again, as I did, and that I would find a stable candidate to fulfill the lease. She came back with a $650 fine plus charging the new tenant and additional 1,500 deposit on top of first, last, security, and admin fee. Which brings up the cost for a new person to move in to a ridiculous amount.

My questions are:
A. Is this legal, can she charge whatever fine, security deposit she wants?
B. Am I even liable being I am just listed as an occupant and did not sign the original lease only an occupancy addendum?

I feel like I did the good thing by going to her and asking for a reasonable out. Please any advice would be of great help.

Another note (and this was stupid I know), I didn't see nor do I have a copy of the original lease.

- Lost In NY
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:52 pm

When you say "existing occupant, " it appears you mean the person you replaced was simply a roommate and not a tenant named on the actual lease. You didn't sign the lease itself, but a side agreement between you and the prime tenant.

When you say you asked the landlord about "transferring the lease," that makes no sense as you have no relationship with the landlord. So I don't understand how the landlord can demand a fine and deposit increase.

Tenants who are named on the lease have every right to have roommates. That's guaranteed by law. See http://tenant.net/Rights/roommates.html

You should work with the prime tenant on the terms of your leaving and finding a new person.
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Postby LostInNY » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:12 pm

Quite frankly I dont understand how she can demand that either. As I said I signed an occupancy addendum, in which both the tenant, myself (occupant) and another occupant sighed.

What legalities does an occupancy addendum hold?

Does the landlord have any pull here?
Its a doorman building where residents must be approved by the board.
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:59 pm

When you say residents must be approved by the board, you probably mean it's a coop/condo and purchasers have to be approved, not renters. That should not apply to you, although it might be true that the owner of the unit (your LL) might have to give names of renters to management to get past the doorman.

But legally the prime tenant has a right to have a roommate -- and it is not up to the LL. The only information the prime tenant has to give to the LL is the name of all occupants. See the page on Roommates (from above)

Also, chances are you are not responsible to the LL for the rest of the lease. The prime tenant is. Although that might depend on what you signed. You can leave and not necessarily be on the hook to find a new person. Look at your agreement (even then I don't know if that would hold.)
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