Can I be denied adding my sister to my lease even though I have supporting documents?

I currently live in a 2 bedroom Section 8 HUD apartment. I took over the apartment when my mother left 4 months ago , I’ve been trying to add my sister to the lease who’s 7. I have school papers that she goes to the school in the area with my address on file, as well as a notarized letter from my sisters mother stating my sister is living with me. They still refuse to allow me to add her to the lease unless I go to court and adopt her is this legal?, and now is trying to force me to downsize to a 1bedroom, is there anything I can do?

Asked on July 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In the first place, a landlord is never obligated to allow a tenant to add additonal people to her lease, other than children and a spouse; any landlord can refuse to do this. In the second place, publically subsidized housing is governed by its own additional, strict rules about household composition, and is not required--and legally cannot, even if they wanted to--tio add additional tenants to a subsidized tenant's lease, not unless those tenants go through the application process, are approved, etc. And publically subsidized housing is generally required to match apartment size to household composition, and to downsize tenants if they have more room than they need. From what  you write, it does not appear that there is anything you can do.


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