Does a landlord have the right to refuse to include my childrenon the lease even though they have been living in the apartment since I rented it?

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Does a landlord have the right to refuse to include my childrenon the lease even though they have been living in the apartment since I rented it?

I have been living in this apartment for 20 years. I want him to include my youngest son in the lease because he is still attending college and I am getting ready to retire for medical reasons and he will be assuming some of the bills to help out. I just got a letter from the landlord saying he would not include him in the lease and even states that “we discussed the matter with the city officials”, which is not true. I don’t even know who “the city officials” are. What rights do we have under tenant laws for me and my son to be on the lease. He always refuses and only writes my name on it.

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Is the apartment subject to Rent Control of Rent Stabilization laws in New York? If the answer is yes then you should make inquiry in to your situation through the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal at (718) 739-6400 or (212) 961-8930. 

There are different regulations that apply to each of them.  They will be able to read your lease and to tell you your rights under the law.  What constitutes a "family member" and living in the apartment is defined under the law and through case law. 

If, however, your apartment falls under neither of these laws the landlord can refuse to add your son to the lease.  Seek help from the experts in the matter.  Good luck. 


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