Occupant Proved He Had Long-Term Relationship with Deceased Tenant
LVT Number: 16734
Landlord sued to evict apartment occupant after rent-controlled tenant died. Occupant claimed that he had a nontraditional family relationship with tenant and was entitled to pass-on rights. The court ruled for landlord, and occupant appealed. The appeals court ruled for occupant. At the trial, occupant proved that he had had a long-term, committed relationship with tenant for 20 years. They weren't merely friends or roommates. He performed household duties and relied on tenant for financial support. They celebrated holidays together, and occupant had power of attorney to conduct tenant's banking. Tenant was wheelchair-bound for the last five years of his life and depended entirely on occupant for care. Occupant arranged and paid for tenant's burial. The absence of documentary proof of intermingled finances shouldn't have been given much weight by the trial court because tenant and occupant had limited assets.
Roberts Ave. Assocs. v. Sullivan: NYLJ, 7/15/03, p. 18, col. 1 (App. T. 1 Dept.; McCooe, JP, Davis, Gangel-Jacob, JJ)