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Just Married, PM says I have to apply to be added to lease?

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Just Married, PM says I have to apply to be added to lease?

Postby NotACalico » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:07 am

We were just married and my husband wants to add me to his lease.

We contacted the property manager, who said I would have to apply as a tenant or occupant and be approved by senior management.

I had assumed that providing a marriage liscence would have been enough.

Having just moved to the US, I don't have a credit history or a job yet, I'm concerned I wont meet the requirements in the application.

Are they legally obligated to add me to the lease as a tenant based on martial status alone?
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Re: Just Married, PM says I have to apply to be added to lea

Postby TenantNet » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:25 pm

Oops, I just re-read your post and noticed this is in the Non-regulated part of the forum. I thought I had seen it as a regulated tenancy question. So my entire reply to you (below) was based on my understanding that the unit was rent stabilized.

And to answer the question for a non-regulated unit, right now I don't know the answer (I'll try to ask around and post back here if I get some good information).

In the meantime, you can check with a tenant attorney.

We agree with you.

But first, did you search the forum for a likely keyword here, such as "spouse?" There are 18 pages of posts where the word spouse is mentioned, and some directly applicable to your question.

Here's one such thread your should read:

Landlords will often try to intimidate tenants on this issue, but any rent stab tenant can add their legal spouse to their lease, at any time (not just lease renewal time) with no cost or credit/background check. Do not pay them any money.

Here's a view from a landlord lawyer:
https://www.landlordsny.com/blog/rent-s ... d-to-lease

Spouses would be co-tenants on the lease, not occupants (the latter is for roommates who have no tenancy rights). Spouses have full tenancy rights. Landlords can require a copy of a valid marriage certificate, but as far as we know, not much else. So it's not a question of landlord's "approving" the request. The only requirement is that you are legally married to the tenant and living in the apartment.I think a domestic partnership also would qualify.

Also - just FYI - understand that in our opinion, spouses really don't qualify for succession because they are already a tenant on the lease. In other words, you can't succeed to something you already have. However, there are times a person claiming to be a spouse never got on a lease and can claim succession rights. That used to be the case for non-traditional family relationships.

Also understand that if not legally married, one can live with their romantic other as a roommate. That is also up to the tenant, not the landlord. (the landlord can ask for a list of all who reside in the apartment). For those rules see the roommate law.

DHCR states this at https://hcr.ny.gov/rent-stabilization-and-rent-control

You can file a lease violation complaint with DHCR at:

(we usually do that on paper where you copy all documents and send to DHCR via certified mail).

In the instructions, DHCR says:
"If you are seeking the addition of your spouse as a tenant named on the renewal lease, please submit a photocopy of your Marriage Certificate, together with evidence that your spouse is residing in the apartment and a statement that you asked the owner to add your spouse's name on the lease."
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