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Roommate Holdover Eviction- Just Cause/ Process

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Roommate Holdover Eviction- Just Cause/ Process

Postby rentstabilizedish » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:16 pm

I signed a rent stabilized lease with my roommate (as co-tenants) 4 years ago. This year, when we were sent a renewal (for Aug 1) we discussed that my roommate would leave the apartment at some time after the lease period, and would not resign the lease. She provided the landlord with a notarized letter relinquishing her claim to the apartment and security deposit, and I signed the renewal lease alone. I am now the sole tenant on the lease, according to our rent slips.

I understand that she is having difficulty finding an acceptable new apartment, and does not want to leave. In August, following the expiration of our co-tenancy, I had suggested that she move out by the end of October, which she expressed was too soon. She did not provide an alternative date. It is now October 5, and she refuses to leave or provide a date for her departure. She refuses to speak to me or share any plans. We have an increasingly difficult relationship, and I do not wish to live together any more.

Am I within my rights to initiate a holdover proceeding at the end of October? What are my options? Any advice? It's a bit of a maddening situation.
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Re: Roommate Holdover Eviction- Just Cause/ Process

Postby TenantNet » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:40 pm

OK, things can get complicated... Both you and your roommate were RS tenants. When people are added to, or vacate RS leases, it can get a little complicated. We've always heard that adding a new tenant to an existing RS lease in essence creates a new lease and allows the LL to impose a vacancy lease. But OTOH, if one of several tenants who were on the lease leaves, than that does not trigger a new lease. So once your RS roommate leaves, you are the sole remainder RS tenant. Any increases are based on existing RGB renewals (not vacancies).

You can still bring in new tenants without triggering a vacancy lease, as long as they are roommates, not tenants of record.

So this former co-tenant and now de facto roommate can continue as a roommate, assuming you are OK with that. If you want her out, you can commence a licensee proceeding (a type of holdover) in Housing Court, but understand things are backed-up with the COVID-19 backlog. No one knows how long this will last. If you proceed, you should get legal advice, and you will have to serve the licensee (your former roommate). FYI, if this scenario occurs, you will be considered to be acting as a landlord. Most tenant attorney shy from representing tenants hoping to evict a current or former tenant.
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