Q. I have lived in my rent-stabilized apartment for three years. The current lease expires in February 2014. I recently became engaged, and my fiancé has moved into my apartment. We plan to marry next February, although we are not sure if we will renew my lease. Do I need to let my landlord know that there is now an additional tenant? Does his name need to be added to the lease?
A. “Under New York law, a tenant is permitted to have an additional occupant, or ‘roommate,’ without first getting an owner’s permission,” said Lucas A. Ferrara, a Manhattan real estate lawyer and adjunct professor at New York Law School. But he said the tenant should advise the landlord of that individual’s name within 30 days of his or her taking occupancy (or within 30 days of the owner’s request for the information). Additionally, Mr. Ferrara said, under the rent-stabilization code, a tenant is legally entitled to have a spouse — but not a roommate — added to a lease as a co-tenant at the next scheduled renewal. “But it would make sense to hold off making that request until the letter writer is certain she and her spouse intend to remain in the apartment,” he said.
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