Apartment Occupant Proves Succession Rights to Rent-Stabilized Apartment
LVT Number: #31927
An apartment occupant complained to the DHCR that landlord refused to offer her a renewal lease. She claimed that she had succession rights to the former rent-stabilized tenant's apartment as a nontraditional family member. The DRA ruled against the occupant, who appealed to the DHCR and lost. The occupant then filed an Article 78 court appeal, and the case was sent back to the DHCR for reconsideration. After a hearing before an ALJ, the DRA ruled for the occupant.
Landlord then appealed and lost. The DHCR found that the occupant and tenant had a committed and interdependent relationship for almost five years. The occupant presented proof showing that she and tenant had close emotional and financial ties and that she lived in the apartment for at least two years as her primary residence before tenant died in 2016. The lack of documents showing any formal legal obligations or intermingling of finances didn't undermine the occupant's succession claim given the hearing testimony. The occupant and her daughter took many trips with tenant and occupant took care of tenant before he died. Many tenants in the building were aware of the close relationship between tenant and occupant, and tenant's parents considered the two to be husband and wife.
Depew: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. HP410010RP (3/23/22)[3-pg. document]