Emotional and Financial Commitment Not Shown
LVT Number: 10781
Facts: Landlord sued to evict roommate after rent-controlled tenant died. Roommate claimed he was tenant's gay life partner. He had lived in the apartment with tenant for at least two years before tenant died. He slept with tenant and spent a significant amount of time with tenant. But tenant and roommate maintained separate checking accounts and had no joint account of any sort while they lived together. They each received government benefits separately and didn't name each other on the budgets submitted for receipt of these benefits. In fact, tenant's roommate received public assistance payments jointly with his mother, which were sent to the family home in Queens. Roommate didn't share his disability benefits with tenant and separately received food stamps. Household bills and expenses were, according to roommate, carefully split down the middle. Also, tenant was seriously ill for some time but made no will or any other writing indicating any intent to leave anything to roommate. Court: Landlord wins. To qualify as a nontraditional family member with pass-on rights to a rent-regulated apartment, roommate must show emotional and financial commitment and interdependency with tenant. Proof of a sexual relationship isn't required or to be considered. Roommate carefully split household expenses down the middle---they weren't shared. Roommate also appeared to have treated his mother's house as his family home. And although tenant was seriously ill for some time before he died, roommate didn't actually take care of him.
521 E. 72nd St. Realty Co. V. Weltsek: NYLJ, p. 29, col. 4 (7/3/96) (Civ. Ct. NY; Wendt, J)