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Rules regarding apartment sharing in New York

People in New York have many different living situations and family situations. Sometimes family members or friends are in between apartments or one needs to have family members or friends live with them in order to take care of them. Sometimes situations also arise quickly and there is not always time to change a lease or find a new one. People need to be able to have their friends and family live with them from time to time.

Landlords must allow this to occur. Landlords are not allowed to indiscriminately restrict occupancy in an apartment to only the people named on the lease. If they do, there could be a landlord-tenant dispute. Tenants are allowed to have immediate family members and children live with them. They are also allowed to have one additional occupant regardless of familial relation and that occupant's dependent children as long as the tenant uses the apartment as his or her primary residence.

The tenant does need to inform the landlord of the occupant within 30 days though and if the tenant leaves the apartment, the occupant cannot stay in the apartment.

There are many reasons why a landlord may want to restrict occupancy in an apartment, but as long as the tenant follows the rules above, the landlord cannot do so. That does not mean that the landlord may tell the tenant incorrect information and put pressure on them to either move out or force the occupants to leave. If they do though, they may need to compensate the tenant for harassment or forcing them out of the apartment.

Many people in New York have family and friends who live with them either permanently or for a temporary period of time. This is perfectly acceptable and legal. Landlords cannot restrict occupancy, but it is important for the tenant to follow all the rules in order to protect their rights. Tenants have many other rights in addition to this one and experienced attorneys may be able to help protect them.

Source:, "Tenants' Rights Guide," accessed on Jan. 2, 2018

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