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Re: Do I have any rights?

Posted by TenantNet on November 18, 1997 at 08:10:22:

In Reply to: Re: Do I have any rights? posted by Don on November 12, 1997 at 15:44:38:

: : : I am not on the lease of my current apartment - my roommate is,
: : and he wants to move out in a few months. However, the landlord has
: : cashed my rent checks in the past and I have signed two lease renewal
: : forms. Do I have any chance of getting myself permanently on the lease?

: : How can you sign two lease renewals and not be on the lease? The landlord
: : may have created a landlord-tenant relationship with you by cashing
: : your checks.

: When the lease renewal forms were sent (very late, by the way - less
than three weeks before the expiration of the lease) both my roommate
and I signed the renewal form and returned it. The landlord never
questioned this, although on our rent statement each month only my
roommate's name continued to appear.

In general as a roommate you have little rights, but you are in possession,
and they can't just lock you out. You might wish to negotiate with the owner
to take over the unit.

I've seen (older cases) where the owner accepting rent from a roommate
might establish a LL/T relationship, but that's usually after a prime tenant
leaves. Some newer cases indicate this is not possible (I thought I saw one
like that recently in the Housing Court Decisions area of the web site).
It has to do with waiver by the owner.

If the lease renewal was just signed and the prime tenant is moving out soon,
you might try to stay on as a sublet for the duration of the lease, but be
careful you don't get caught up in a non-primary residency situation (assuming
you're rent stab in NYC). Some owners will allow you to take over the unit,
but will impose a hefty increase.

BTW, if the renewal was not offered until shortly before the term (and again,
if you're RS in NYC), the term should start (at the tenant's option) 120
days from when it was offered. See the FAQ on how RS renewals are handled.

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