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Should I insist that my name is on the lease?

Rights for non-regulated tenants

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Should I insist that my name is on the lease?

Postby whoknewthis » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:06 am

I have lived in my girlfriends parent's apartment building in a non-regulated apartment for the past year at below market rent. My name is on the lease. My girlfriend moved in with me a few months ago, but is moving out of NY in Aug. There is now an apartment that opened up in the building which is rent regulated and my girlfriends parents want us to move into it so they can charge market rate for my current apartment. I am fine with this, however, her parents insist that her name and her name alone be on the new lease "in case something happens between you two" and "it provides them with flexibility for the future." I am uneasy with this because if something happens between us I am out on my bum. This is causing a major problem between my girlfriend and I as she does not understand why I care so much about my name on the lease. Should I just not care?
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Postby Cranky Tenant » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:58 am

You're right to be concerned. Without your name on the lease, if anything happened between you and your girlfriend you could be "out on your bum," with only 30 days notice.

I also wonder if the daughter of the landlord moves into a rent stabilized apartment whether or not this would count as owner occupancy.

You didn't mention when your current lease is up but I wouldn't suggest moving without your name on the lease for the new apartment and a written agreement that the parents/landlords are canceling your current lease.

On the other hand, if your current relationship with the LL's daughter goes south, you may want to find another apartment anyway.
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Postby whoknewthis » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:02 am

Thank you for your reply, Cranky.

I recently renewed my lease so it will expire 9/2013.

Also, the building is held by an LLC, is owner occupancy still viable?
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:13 am

Owner occupancy is a different animal altogether; it's where the LL seeks to evict a longtime RS tenant claiming they need the space for themselves or their close relatives.

In any case owner occupancy is not allowed if the LL is a corporation.

That is not what is happening here. They want to allow their daughter to live in an already vacant unit and allow you to live with her, presumably as long as you two are together. But you would not have any tenancy rights. You would simply be a roommate.

This would also deregulate a RS unit, so there is less affordable housing.

Why not have the daughter move in with you into your current unit? Makes more sense.
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Postby whoknewthis » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:35 am

Thank you, TenantNet.

The daughter is currently living with me in the current unit. They want us both to move to the RS unit, me surrender my current lease and agree to be her roommate, and, in exchange, I save $25/month off rent.

How would this allow them to deregulate? Wouldn't it just be a vacancy lease?
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:10 am

So you might save a few bucks, but you will have no tenancy rights. That's a deal-breaker from the get-go.

While it may not be owner occupancy per se, it would not surprise me if they claimed the RS unit (if you moved there) was either temporarily or permanently exempt. With DHCR, they don't often differentiate the two. A temp exempt unit is - for example - when a super lives in the unit, it is temp exempt from RS and would return to RS when the super leaves. With some buildings the super never leaves or is replaced by another super, so in effect it is off the RS rolls permanently.

A real perm exempt unit is owner occupancy, for example, and would not return to RS if the owner or relative move out.

Here it doesn't matter as you will have no tenancy rights.
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Postby whoknewthis » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:04 am

Very interesting!! I always assume people will follow the law; my take was they were trying to get to the $2,500 threshold as quickly as possible:

I figured that the daughters lease will be a vacancy lease permitting them to increase by 16%; they also just renovated the RS unit, allowing for more increase. They also know that the daughter MUST move out in a year for school, but I do not have to (and probably won't). Then, when the daughter moves out, it would be another vacancy lease, and they would probably give it to me if daughter and I were still together.

Does this at least make sense?
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:16 am

From what you've said, it would be crazy for you to make this move.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:18 pm

Hi All
Good grief! No no no! It does not make sense to me. If there was a care you would be put on the RS lease. Your a goner when vancancies is the goal. I agree with TN & Cranky.
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Postby 10ants » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:59 pm

I'd opine that the poster is a goner either way, and that he might as well move and save a few bucks.

In September, if he's no longer with Miss Landlord, her parents will raise his rent to market or beyond, or decline to renew his lease entirely. Moving to the other apartment and signing a one-year lease with gf, with a 'roommate agreement' that allowed him to stay for the full time period of the lease would give him security as well a slightly longer period of guaranteed stability.

There's no reason for her parents to put him on the lease of the new apartment.
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