Posted by Linda on February 09, 1999 at 17:27:13:
I have had my apartment for 23 years. It is zoned as a commercial studio, but my landlord has used the residential rent-stabilized guidelines for rent increases at the time of lease renewal, granting me 2-yr. leases as I have requested.
About 2 1/2 years ago I helped a friend out by letting him "temporarily" move into the apartment because he had no job and no money. I slept at my boyfriend's apartment but had most of my possessions at my apartment, so I was (at first) regularly going to my apartment to check on it, pick up mail, get clean clothes, etc.
Because I preferred to be at my place when my friend wasn't, I sometimes couldn't get there as frequently as I would have liked based on his and my schedules..
My landlord renewed my lease without a problem 2 yrs. ago, but when I requested my usual renewal this week, he pronounced that I was: illegally subletting to my friend, that he didn't have to go by the residential guidelines, that it wasn't my primary residence and that he had to install water meters for the building somewhere near the basement entrance and my apartment looked like the perfect candidate.
The basement opens to the street at below ground level and has three entrances. One entrance leads to my apartment, the center one to a corridor to storage areas in the back (that I've never seen), and a third that opens into my neighbors' apartment.
The landlord said that the corridor is too narrow to put the meters in, and as far as my neighbors' apartment is concerned, even though it's twice the size of my space since it's two people who are living there he feels that I'm the one who should sacrifice since I did the wrong thing by letting my friend live there!
My friend still has no money to move out, but the only way I might have a chance (without a fight) to keep the apartment is for him to get out so that I can get back in.
My lease is up at the end of February and my landlord only contacted me after I sent him February's rent with the note requesting the renewal, not before.
All my legal personal business is at that address, except for credit card correspondance because I have an outdoors mailbox and so I have that sent to my boyfriend's home for security reasons. However, my apartment is still my permanent address and the other is for mailing purposes.
What is this snowball's chance in landlord hell to keep my apartment?
I know that even if I move back in to prove my residency, he could still use the commercial lease angle to take my place away, right or wrong?
My landlord told me to think about it and let me know what I will be doing.
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