NYC Rental – Rules for Roommate of Regulated Tenants

What are the rules for roommate of regulated tenants? Below is the Question and Answer provide by Jay Romano and published on July 7, 2011

Rules for Roommates of Regulated Tenants

Q I have heard that in a rent-regulated apartment a roommate can be charged only a “proportionate share” of the total rent. I have also been told that the law applies only to rent-stabilized apartments. Can you clarify this?

A “The law applies only to rent-stabilized tenants,” said Jamie Heiberger-Jacobson, a Manhattan lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law. “There is no such proportionate-rent rule for rent-controlled tenants.” But, Ms. Heiberger-Jacobson said, judges have long disapproved of “profiteering” by rent-regulated tenants, which is when a subtenant or roommate is charged an amount of rent that is well in excess of the total, legal rent. Current case law states that while a rent-stabilized or a rent-controlled tenant who charges a roommate a disproportionate share of the rent will not be subject to eviction by the landlord, he or she may be subject to an overcharge complaint by the roommate before the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. And if the overcharge is deemed willful, the tenant could end up paying the roommate three times the amount of the overcharge.

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