Cana homeownerlease individual rooms in single-family dwelling?

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Cana homeownerlease individual rooms in single-family dwelling?

My landlord owns the building in which I currently rent a single room. It is a 4-room apartment that I share with 3 roommates. He has each of us sign an individual lease for our room, and we are responsible for providing utilities and dividing the cost between us. I have several problems with this. 3 of us (on the upper floor) share a single bathroom, the master suite on the lower floor has a private bath. We all share the kitchen and other “common” areas.

Asked on September 2, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Two different issues:

First, the issue of whether the leases is fair (e.g. one person has a private bath)--to a very large extent, the law doesn't care about this sort of fairness, whether people get good value or equal value, etc. That's an issue between you and the landlord.

Second, whether the leases are legal--you'd have to check both the zoning laws for your municipality and whether this landlord has all the approvals necessary to lease our rooms in a single-family dwelling. My suspicion is that the landlord might not have the necessary zoning and/or approvals, and this therefore may be an illegal lease. Of course, if it is and you complain to the authorities, you may end up having to look for a new place to live.


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