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C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Expert in Landlord/Tenant Law. Licensed Real Estate Broker.
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Facts: 1. I am 65 years old, a widower and disable. 2. I

Resolved Question:

Facts:
1. I am 65 years old, a widower and disable.
2. I live in an apartment in a rent stabilized building and cannot afford the high rent
3. I have two bedroom apartment
4. in order to reduce the total rental expense , including utilities, i want to
to share the apartment with a co tenant.
5. In the attachment to the lease there is a clue in a document from DHCR “Department Of Housing and Community Renewal”
which discusses subletting and assignment of a lease

Questions:

1. It is my understanding that as long that I maintain my lease right and do not move out of my apartment and does not transfer the entire remainder of his lease to another person i am not assigned the lease.
2. Is subletting and sharing the apartment are the same in defining subletting?
3. Is there a maximum amount that i can charge the co tenant?
4. What steps should i take to assure that co tenant can be trusted?
5. Should i ask for a reference from his previous landlord?
6. Should i ask for an ID? What type?
7. Any other measures that i should be pursue?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 1 year ago.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'm a NYC Real Estate attorney here to assist you.

1) Your understanding is correct - as long as you continue to live in the apartment, you are not subletting or assigning your lease. The person that will be living with you will be your roommate. NY rent stabilization laws expressly provide that anyone living in a rent stabilized apartment in NYC is allowed to have at least one roommate.
2) Subletting an apartment is not the same as sharing an apartment.
3) Yes - you are not allowed to charge more than one half of the rent that you are paying, unless your roommate's bedroom is furnished, in which case you can add a 5% surcharge to your roommate's rent. (5% of half of the rent.)
4) Have that person get a copy of their credit report for you to look at. This will give you an indication of whether that person pays their bills. That person can get a free copy of their credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com.
5) Yes - but it will not help to get reference from his or her current landord - the reference must be from a previous landlord
6) It is not necessary to ask for ID.
7) You would also want to verify their source of income. If they are working, you want to see paystubs. It they are receiving retirement income, such as social security, you want to see their award letter.

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you.
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 1 year ago.
I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Facts:



  1. I am 65 years old, a widower and disable.

  2. I live in an apartment in a rent stabilized building and cannot afford the high rent

  3. I have two bedroom apartment

  4. in order to reduce the total rental expense , including utilities, i want to


to share the apartment with a co tenant.



  1. In the attachment to the lease there is a clue in a document from DHCR “Department Of Housing and Community Renewal”


which discusses subletting and assignment of a lease


 


Questions:




  1. It is my understanding that as long that I maintain my lease right and do not move out of my apartment and does not transfer the entire remainder of his lease to another person i am not assigned the lease.

  2. Is subletting and sharing the apartment are the same in defining subletting?

  3. Is there a maximum amount that i can charge the co tenant?

  4. What steps should i take to assure that co tenant can be trusted?

  5. Should i ask for a reference from his previous landlord?

  6. Should i ask for an ID? What type?

  7. Any other measures that i should be pursue?


 


 


 


1) Your understanding is correct - as long as you continue to live in the apartment, you are not subletting or assigning your lease. The person that will be living with you will be your roommate. NY rent stabilization laws expressly provide that anyone living in a rent stabilized apartment in NYC is allowed to have at least one roommate.
2) Subletting an apartment is not the same as sharing an apartment.
3) Yes - you are not allowed to charge more than one half of the rent that you are paying, unless your roommate's bedroom is furnished, in which case you can add a 5% surcharge to your roommate's rent. (5% of half of the rent.)
4) Have that person get a copy of their credit report for you to look at. This will give you an indication of whether that person pays their bills. That person can get a free copy of their credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com.
5) Yes - but it will not help to get reference from his or her current landord - the reference must be from a previous landlord
6) It is not necessary to ask for ID.
7) You would also want to verify their source of income. If they are working, you want to see paystubs. It they are receiving retirement income, such as social security, you want to see their award letter.

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you.


 


 


Here are some follow up questions:



  1. Whenever I renewed leases in the past 40 years, the issues of leasing a subletting was not mentioned directly in the lease but rather in attachments which were considered part of the lease. When the landlord returned my copy those attachments were included. This time only two pages were included w I t h o u t the DHCR documentation. Do you have any reason in mind? Should I call the landlord and ask for the missing part ( i.e. DHCR regulations) with a cover letter saying “ enclosed is the part which was not returned to you”

  2. Please note that the entire apartment will be available to the co- tenant so your comments that” Yes - you are not allowed to charge more than one half of the rent that you are paying, unless your roommate's bedroom is furnished, in which case you can add a 5% surcharge to your roommate's rent. (5% of half of the rent.) Maybe in correct. In addition what is the definition of rental? I pay electricity, TV, telephone etc. which he may use

  3. Should I ask permission from the landlord? As I mentioned I am a disable and this status put me in a different class. I believe the o tenant will be a “companion tenant” although I am not sure about the term

  4. Finally not indeed a legal question (or maybe yes based o your experience as lawyer) should I look for a male or a female c-tenant? ( I am a male)


 


 


 

Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 1 year ago.
1) I don't know why the landlord did not attach the DHCR papers. But yes, you should ask that they be attached.
2) You are allowed to include up to an additional 5% of one-half of the rent. That is the limit, but you can also ask for one half of any utilities that you pay. If you charge more, your roommate will be able to file a rent overcharge complaint with the DHCR, which can result in an order requiring you to return 3 times the overcharge amount, and it can also result in your losing your lease.
3) You do not need the landlord's permission to have a roommate. However, you are supposed to notify the landlord- in writing so that you have proof - that you will be having a roommate.
4) This question is not possible to answer.
C.Fortunato, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience: Expert in Landlord/Tenant Law. Licensed Real Estate Broker.
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