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Re: Lilly is correct; Gwen and - are wrong

Posted by Gwen on August 03, 2001 at 01:58:53:

In Reply to: Re: Lilly is correct; Gwen and - are wrong posted by New York Tenant on August 02, 2001 at 08:46:35:

I feel the need to further clarify this situation because I feel that I do have some justification, legal or not, for being uncomfortable about this person living in my apartment. I've explained (at length I'm afraid) below if you care to know.

Also, please forgive my ignorance of real estate law if possible. This is the first time I have ever been on the 'landlord' side of the fence. I tried to become informed about the details and laws but clearly missed a few things. However, I now understand HIS rights thanks to your responses. I just wonder if I have any rights...

The person signing the lease wanted a roommate and planned on a roommate during the negotiation of the sublease, but failed to mention it to me even when asked if he would be living there alone and told (incidentally anyway) that the place was perfect for a couple. I specified very clearly in the sublease that there would be only one person occupying the apartment because I just wanted to be clear on what was agreed upon, in that regard as well as others. The day after he signed the lease and moved in, he chose to tell me that he wanted a roommate and had all along but didn't tell me for various strange reasons. I didn't really care if he had a roommate on principle, I cared that he hadn't been forthcoming about it even when he read and signed the lease as well as when asked straight out if he would be the only one living there. I know this person doesn't know the laws any better than I do so it wasn't that, he was just not being honest about his intentions. If he had lived there for a while and wanted a roommate because circumstances had changed or wanted one in the first place, I would have understood and accepted that but this was clearly not the case. Also, I should note that he was evasive about other things as well although they were realtively minor by themselves and wouldn't stand up in court. Add them to this and I get the feeling there is a pattern...

Do I understand correctly that even if a lease says something is forbidden and a tenant agrees to it and signs it knowing that they will not abide by it, not because it is illegal or unenforceable but for some other reason, they have the right to do this? ( I suppose this is moot since it is, in fact unenforceable but I just think it should be pointed out that he is, in a way, partly to blame for being in this situation.) I wasn't trying to FORBID this person from having a roommate, I was just under the impression from what he said that he didn't want one or need one or whatever. The fact that he wasn't forthcoming about it and had this person move in despite having signed a piece of paper saying that he wouldn't do that the DAY BEFORE disturbed the heck out of me!

Here's another question as long as I'm at it. What's to stop this guy from having ten of his closest buddies and people he met in a bar, move into my one bedroom apartment? Is there just no limit? Not to mention the fact that if they all just want to stay there and not leave at the end of the sublease, I have to go through a lengthly and costly eviction process while having no place to live myself. Do I, as a person subletting my apartment have any rights at all or do I just sign away any right to my home by subletting it and just hope that the person there is an honest, decent person? I did some research before subletting, although obviously not enough, but never did I read anything saying that there are so many risks involved.

I understand that the laws are there for a reason. I'm not trying to hurt anyone or trample on anyone else's rights. I'm just trying to protect my property and home. I don't feel that this person is able to respect that, which is why I've asked him to move. And I don't really believe that this is that uncalled for. I will say, however, that if he took the time to investigate HIS rights and confronted me, I would respect that. But he hasn't and I must admit that I'm in no hurry to inform him although, for the record, I backed down on the "penalty" when I learned it was not my right to ask him for it.

: The sublessee doesn't want to break the sublease. It's Gwen who doesn't want a second person in the apartment, despite the sublessee's right to have a roommate (RPL 235-f), and Gwen has asked the sublessee to move. The sublessee could ignore Gwen and remain in the apartment with his roommate. If Gwen wants the sublessee to move and he agrees to move, the sublessee should be able to move without any penalty.

: : While Lilly is correct about the Roommate law, Gwen is referring to the fact that the sublessee wants to break the lease and move out. This is a violation of the lease, and Gwen, as sublessor, would be entitled to demand rent for the entire term of the lease agreement if she wished to.

: : Gwen's proposal is good. It is rarely worthwhile to try to to force someone to stay who doesn't want to or to take such a dispute to court.

: : : Your sublessee didn't violate her lease- You can't restrict occupancy to only the person named on the lease. Real Property Law 235-f (aka the roommate law) Anything in the lease which restricts occupancy to only the person named on the lease is not enforceable....You should know that by now!


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