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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Roommate vs Sublet

    My question involves a roommate in the State of: New York

    I recently bought in a co-op building in NYC. My job currently has me traveling extensively; I'm gone for months at a time, and will likely just be spending a day or two here and there in the apartment over the course of next year. All of my belongings are in the apartment - it's fully furnished, and everything belongs to me. This will be the address I have on my tax returns, and it's the address on my utility bills, cable bill and most of my credit card bills. I don't own any other property, and I'm not living anywhere else. I'm in a different city almost every week for work, staying at hotels.

    I wanted to sublet my apartment for the year, but the co-op board is not allowing me to. I know that New York has the "Roommate Law" which allows me to have an unrelated occupant living in my apartment with me, so I was hoping to fall back on that and take in a roommate instead. But they claim that I'm not "living" in the apartment, so they would consider it an illegal sublet.

    Here's how the law reads (NY Real Property Law Section 235-f):

    "Any lease or rental agreement for residential premises entered into by one tenant shall be construed to permit occupancy by the tenant, immediate family of the tenant, one additional occupant, and dependent children of the occupant provided that the tenant or the tenant's spouse occupies the premises as his primary residence."

    The apartment is my primary residence, but I'm not technically "occupying" it for a good portion of the year...

    Has anyone had a similar experience? Any info or advice would be really appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Roommate vs Sublet

    I think they're splitting hairs. Have you tried getting help from one of the NYC tenants' unions?

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