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How Can I Add My Partner to a Rent-Stabilized Lease?

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Q: My partner and I are both elderly. We decided to live together in a flat in New York where I currently live alone, with stable rent. I want to know: If something happens to me, the tenant of record, can he stay in the apartment? We are considering domestic partner registration. Will this help add him to the lease as an additional tenant of record?

A: Domestic partnerships would probably help. But if you and your partner were married, you would make a stronger case.

In rent-stabilized apartments, the tenant can request that the partner be added to the lease “if the partner became the tenant’s spouse and lived in the apartment as the tenant’s primary residence.” is a real estate attorney specializing in property and rent management and is a partner at Manhattan law firm Graubard Miller.

Other family members may be inquired by the tenant, but approval is up to the landlord.



Domestic partners who are not on lease are right of inheritance There are several boxes to check upon the death of a tenant or permanent eviction of an apartment. First, the partner must reside in the apartment, and she usually has a two-year minimum, Schwartz said. For Senior Citizens (New York’s Rent Stabilization Act defines him as 62 or older), the term is she one year.

Tenant families generally have a more direct route to lease inheritance under New York law. “Family is defined by law as either a spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, stepchildren or in-laws,” Schwartz said.

But there is another category. “Other people living with the tenant who can demonstrate emotional and financial commitment and interdependence with the tenant,” he said.

This is where domestic partnerships can help. New York home and community regeneration The agency or housing court will check many details to confirm the status of the relationship. This usually includes the length of the relationship, shared bank accounts, if the partners name each other in their wills, if they name each other, etc. If you have other powers of attorney and domestic partnership declarations. (You can read more about eligibility and criteria here.)

However, none of these factors alone are decisive. Domestic partnerships are “one of the helping elements, but it’s not enough,” Schwartz said.

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