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No non-related roommates: how much trouble can I get into?

Posted by sd on May 03, 2001 at 02:34:14:

I'm in a non-stabilized apartment in Brooklyn, only 2 units in the building. OK, here's the bind that I'm in: I ran out of time to find a place that I could both afford and that would accept my dog. My plan was to have my brother sign a lease with me on a 2-bedroom apartment and I would get a roommate as soon as I could; my brother lives out of state and does not plan to live with me. I told this plan to the original real estate agent that I dealt with and she said this would be fine. I then went to sign the lease and another agent handled it. I read in the lease that no other people except those signing the lease, our spouses, or our children could live in the apartment and that no part of the apartment was to be sublet at any time. This was listed as an offense that would need to be corrected within 5 days or eviction proceedings would begin. I was so afraid that if I said anything at that moment, I would end up with no place to live, so I didn't say anything and just signed the lease. I am still planning to get a roommate. My question is, is it legal for the lease to say this? And what are my options if I'm found out? And get this: The second agent that dealt with the actual lease signing is part owner of my building and lives on my street. I just found that part out.

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