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TenantNet Forum Archives 1996-2002
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Posted by TenantNet on January 07, 1997 at 04:14:44:

In Reply to: ROOMMATE LEASEHOLDER RELOCATING;ROOMMATE LAWS posted by Passion DeLanti on January 06, 1997 at 17:00:13:

: I need help! I have been living with my roommate for 7 years and she has
: decided to relocate by the end of the month. She is suddenly in search of
: her self and is leaving. She has had "control" issues and has never agreed to
: put me on the lease. My grandmother recently passed away, and I have inherited
: a fourteen year old cousin as a kinship foster son. I need to keep the apartment
: as part of the adoption procedures that I will commence in April. The "slumlord"
: does not want me to succeed the lease, nor is he willing to let me live out the lease
: which is up 10/31/97. Are there any laws that protect me as a roommate, though not
: on the lease? I have no where else to go and am not in a financial position to
: vacate the premises by the end of this month. Are there any laws that protect me
: as a foster parent to my 14 year old cousin? Also, I have been considered by her
: whose name is also on the lease as part of the "family". Wouldn't this make me a
: "non-traditional" family member entitled to succeed the lease? I am desperate, please
: help me. I will be back tomorrow to check the message system. THIS MATTER

I'm assuming you're in NYC. The first thing you may wish to do is consult
with a tenant attorney experienced in succession issues. We have the
succession "regs" on the web site and there are very clear guidelines
as who can be considered a non-traditional family member and the burden
would be on you. If you decide to claim this, it would be a defense in
a holdover proceeding or you ask for a prior opinion/status from DHCR.

Even if the tenant moves out leaving you behind. the owner cannot just
lock you out without going through court process, but as long as you
can't talk him into letting you take over the lease or take a new
lease with a legal increase, you may be stuck. You may buy some time,
maybe a few months to let the court do its work. You may also wish
to consult with family and children agencies to see if they know any
special provisions when minors are involved, but I don't know of any.
I believe the Social Service Law (but ask someone who really knows this)
will only place a foster child when there is adequate housing, but your
argument is in a way, the reverse: you're hoping to keep your existing housing
because you have (or hope to have) a foster child. I believe the owner
would have to commence a "licensee" proceeding to out you as a roommate.

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