Roommate Can't Get Rent-Controlled Apartment
LVT Number: 9068
Facts: Landlord sued to evict rent-controlled tenant's roommate after tenant died. Landlord claimed that tenant and roommate weren't life partners. Roommate argued that he had pass-on rights to the apartment under the nontraditional family theory. He claimed that the apartment had been his primary residence for more than two years, and that their friends treated him and tenant as a couple. Court: Roommate must move out---he doesn't meet the criteria for nontraditional family membership. He and tenant kept their financial affairs completely separate, paid all their bills separately, and kept the details of their assets private. Outside their small circle of friends, they didn't represent themselves as a couple, and neighbors knew them as ''uncle'' and ''niece.'' Plus, roommate wasn't a beneficiary under tenant's will and made no attempt to handle the funeral arrangements or distribute tenant's assets. So, even though tenant and roommate were close, roommate didn't prove there was an emotional and financial commitment between them which would give him pass-on rights.
Walber 72nd Street Associates v. Pardo: NYLJ, p. 22, col. 5 (8/24/94) (Civ. Ct. NY; Wendt, J)