10:26 AM 02/21/2013
I am the lease holder for my apartment and I have been called into active duty in a month. I also have a roommate who stays in my living room. I have two questions.
First, will it be okay to break my lease on such short notice for active duty, or will I face a penalty from the rental office? I heard that NYS law says that I can break the lease within 30 days notice with a letter sent to the office from the military and myself.
And second, does my roommate have any rights to stay in the apartment with the lease broken? They are not on the lease. They do not have the means nor the credit to maintain the space alone. And I'm not comfortable letting them live out the lease while I am away on duty. They have already told me they refuse to move out. HELP!!
1) Active-duty personnel are covered by NY law as follows:
LEASE TERMINATIONS FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL
Individuals entering active duty in the military may terminate residential lease if: (a) the lease was executed by the service member before entering active duty; and (b) the leased premises have been occupied by the member or the member’s dependents. Any such lease may be terminated by written notice delivered to the landlord at any time following the beginning of military service. Termination of a lease requiring monthly payments is not effective until 30 days after the first date on which the next rent is due. NY Military Law § 310.
2) Your roommate is a more complicated question. Maybe they're calling your bluff, and will move when you terminate your lease (which, in addition to the notice above, requires you to remove all your personal items and leave the premises broom clean). But maybe, as they claim, they intend to stay. Does your landlord know about him/her? If not, s/he would be a licensee, YOUR licensee, and your responsibility to evict. Eviction is a legal procedure, with very particular steps you need to follow.
It would be worthwhile for you to get more info on both questions by contacting: http://www.cwtfhc.org/contact-...
You might also want to contact MFSO, or keep their number for future reference: http://www.mfso.org/
11:26 AM 02/21/2013 | 4 Votes
I don't know about NYS law, but Federal law protects certain protections for servicemembers on active duty, including rental agreement terminations. You can find more information about that here: http://www.justice.gov/crt/spe...
11:43 AM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes
Thanks for the answer Cupolacoffee
Another question, as I have not had a chance to check your links as yet.
The rental agency does not know they live here and we do not have a written lease between us either.
After my lease is terminated. Will my roommate be in an illegal situation if they decided to stay and does not want to move out after I terminate my lease? And just to be sure. Would this be the kind of situation that then makes me responsible for evicting them? If so, how would I then take action? Should I inform the rental office?
12:31 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes
Benny, there are a lot of moving parts to your situation. Your most complete answer will not come from this forum. It will come by consulting the first of my two links above. Their phone number is 212-962-4795
That organization, Housing Court Answers, maintains an information table in each housing court, in each borough. In Brooklyn, that's: 141 Livingston Street, Brooklyn NY, 11201
Second Floor Clerk’s Office – Room 202
Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 4:30 pm, Friday 9 am to 1 pm
(Maybe closed between 1pm and 2pm)
2:09 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes
Are they getting mail at the address? paying bills in their name? anything at all that ties them to the address in an official manner?
I'd make the argument they are a GUEST, instead of a room-mate, and you should refer to them as such.
I did a friend a favor once... Let him crash on my couch for "a couple of weeks" when he had some hard times, when he started pulling the room-mate crap, and asserting his room-mate rights. I bounced him out on his ass with the help of the police, but at all times, he was referred to as a house-guest who refused to leave.
2:42 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes
This person has no bills, no mail , fowarded to the address nor are any bills in their name,
but has paid half the rent the last 4 months.
But the last 2 months were paid using checks written in someone else's name .
6:46 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes
Benny, you will find yourself in a world of hurt if you think that goatcrapp's advice is good advice. You cannot legally lock out a tenant or a roommate or a "guest", and there's way more to gc's story if police actually helped "bounce him out on his ass."
6:55 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes
having paid rent is the big difference here - you left that part out. he's a room-mate if you've accepted money for rent. Cupola - nothing extra to my story, but thank you for your assumptions.. He was a guest for two weeks, and refused to leave, and started speaking as though he had a right to crash on my couch indefinitely once let him in. After another few days of getting nowhere with him, I called cops - cops removed unwelcome house guest. Simple. Biggest and most important determining factor is whether money was accepted in exchange for living there. In my case, no. In OPs case, he did . OP - at the end of the day however, this room-mate (legit or not) issue is a bigger problem than you breaking the lease. I've rented apartments to service members who are suddenly called up, and have no problems releasing them from the lease without problems... I can't imagine the landlord or management company being unreasonable about it (since it seems you're talking about a bigger building than the typical 3-families on brownstoner, right?)
re: the room-mate - the landlords may get bent out of shape if you can't deliver the property vacant. You can try to resolve this a few ways: a> immediately start your own eviction procedure. Send a registered letter giving 30 days notice. File the appropriate paperwork, and see what happens. b> suggest to the landlord you have a room-mate who is willing to take over the apartment *(you're allowed to have a roommate in NYC without informing the landlord, so even if they don't like it, it's within your rights) - see if they go for it. If they do, you absolutely have to insist they remove your name from the lease, and add the room-mate's. c> move out and let it be the landlords problem. As a landlord, i won't recommend the last part of it, butwhen it comes down to it, your status as active duty affords you many protections against lawsuits and other such things when it comes to rentals. Letter-of-the-law, yes you can be sued. But the reality of it is, it'll not likely be persued, and the landlord will get the a-hole out for you. It'll be a d-bag move on your part, but frankly, you have other things to worry about.
That's why i brought my story up in the first place.. sounded like you got stuck in a situation where you were helping someone out, and now they're digging in instead of acting reasonably. You HAVE however accepted money for rent (who paid it, or where it came from makes no difference) - so that limits youour available options. Written or not - accepting money for rent becomes a contract.
8:46 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes
**to be clear, there are steps you'll need to take as a tenant evicting a room-mate that are slightly different from a landlord doing so, but it ALL starts with notification. the sooner, the better, and always with a minimum signature confirmation... served is better if you can swing it.
8:48 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes