Succession Rights Cases Are Complex and Almost Always Involve a Fight

Whenever there's an opportunity to seize control of a rent-protected unit and deregulate it, landlords jump to take advantage. It can mean a lot more profit if the rent can be substantially increased. In addition, escaping renewal rights at the end of the lease tilts the balance of power even more in the landlord's favor. So there's little incentive to keep you in the apartment once the named tenant vacates. That generally means there'll be a lawsuit attempting to evict you.

To retain tenancy rights in the apartment, you'll have to demonstrate that you meet certain criteria. This includes cohabitation with the leaseholder for a period of at least two years in most instances, and proving that you have a close familial or similar relationship. Elderly and disabled individuals have a one-year co-habitation period. The unit must be the primary residence for both occupants during the required co-occupancy time frame.

The court will evaluate many other factors in reaching a decision on succession rights. These are a few of the major elements, among others:

  • the length and nature of your relationship
  • sharing of expenses
  • legal documents such as Wills, Health Care Proxies or Powers of Attorney
  • behavior patterns that evidence a long-term emotional commitment