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Roommates, Sublets, And Rent Overcharge

Having a dispute with a tenant or landlord? Rental Law discussion

Roommates, Sublets, And Rent Overcharge

Postby Dae-Hyun » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:08 am

Hi Sylvia!

My 'roommate'(the leaseholder) and I signed a rent agreement last August to share a 2 bdrm apartment in NYC, the exception being she moved to Colorado to be with her new husband, while I lived in 1 of the bedrooms of the apt and she keeps the 2nd bedroom for herself(and friends) when she comes to visit.  I agreed to pay $800 and she pays $200 on a $1000/mo apt.

Recently, she advised another person would be moving in and renting the 2nd room for $400 while my rent would remain $800.  My 'roommate' would keep the extra $200/mo for herself(since it is "stressful" to maintain an apt when not living there).

Since then, I have researched NYC housing laws and found that:

1)The primary tenant/leaseholder, is allowed 1+ roommates with written permission from the landlord, provided that she remain a primary resident of the apartment for at least 6 months out of the year.  

If she is not a primary resident, it is considered 'subletting' which is not allowed by the management company(and so stated on the lease) and is grounds for both of us being evicted.

2)If the prime tenant/leaseholder has given and recvd written permission to have a roommate, but does not inhabit this apt as her primary resident, am I considered a sublet, the new 3rd roommate considered a sublet, or both of us considered sublets?

2)The primary tenant/leaseholder can only charge a proportionate rent to an occupant based upon the legal rent of the apartment.  In this case, I would pay $500 and she would pay $500, or if the 3rd person moves in, we would each pay $333/month.  

3)If I have been overcharged for the past year(paying $800/mo instead of $500/mo), I have the right to seek reimbursement for being overcharged.

Am I correct in what I've read or am I misinterpreting the law?  

Thank you!
Dae-Hyun
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:39 am

Roommates, Sublets, And Rent Overcharge

Postby Henson » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:32 pm

Hi Jennifer

Since I don't know the specific laws regarding NYC housing(each city, county and state tack on their own codes),  you need to visit the Fair Housing Agency in your city ASAP. Take your copy of the lease agreement with you(along with a copy of this letter to me) and explain what you have been paying, what your roommate is intending to do, and if you are a subletter or what?!! You need to determine what your rights are here. And you might also ask them if they think you have a case in taking her to small claims court for all the money you have been paying. Did you have this agreement in writing for instance?

It also wouldn't hurt to talk to the landlord about this situation because something is not kosher here. Did she get written permission from him to "sublet" her place?  Doesn't he have to do a security clearance before this person moves in?  Do you have any say so on who this new person is? Just reading your letter, I feel you are being and have been cheated royally from day one. If I were you, I would start looking for another place, like yesterday!  Once you find a place, give(or send) a WRITTEN 30 day notice to your roommate that you are moving. And do it.  DO NOT allow her to talk you out of it. Buy my Roommate Survival Guide to see what you should do next as far as finding or getting into a roommate situation.  You will find there were many errors committed in your present arrangement.

Good Luck

Sincerely

Sylvia Bergthold

www.aroommatesurvivalguide.com  
Henson
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:42 am

Roommates, Sublets, And Rent Overcharge

Postby Jukka » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:39 pm

Hi Sylvia!

My 'roommate'(the leaseholder) and I signed a rent agreement last August to share a 2 bdrm apartment in NYC, the exception being she moved to Colorado to be with her new husband, while I lived in 1 of the bedrooms of the apt and she keeps the 2nd bedroom for herself(and friends) when she comes to visit.  I agreed to pay $800 and she pays $200 on a $1000/mo apt.

Recently, she advised another person would be moving in and renting the 2nd room for $400 while my rent would remain $800.  My 'roommate' would keep the extra $200/mo for herself(since it is "stressful" to maintain an apt when not living there).

Since then, I have researched NYC housing laws and found that:

1)The primary tenant/leaseholder, is allowed 1+ roommates with written permission from the landlord, provided that she remain a primary resident of the apartment for at least 6 months out of the year.  

If she is not a primary resident, it is considered 'subletting' which is not allowed by the management company(and so stated on the lease) and is grounds for both of us being evicted.

2)If the prime tenant/leaseholder has given and recvd written permission to have a roommate, but does not inhabit this apt as her primary resident, am I considered a sublet, the new 3rd roommate considered a sublet, or both of us considered sublets?

2)The primary tenant/leaseholder can only charge a proportionate rent to an occupant based upon the legal rent of the apartment.  In this case, I would pay $500 and she would pay $500, or if the 3rd person moves in, we would each pay $333/month.  

3)If I have been overcharged for the past year(paying $800/mo instead of $500/mo), I have the right to seek reimbursement for being overcharged.

Am I correct in what I've read or am I misinterpreting the law?  

Thank you!
Jukka
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:32 pm


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