New York Roomate Law

5 Replies

Hey BP ! I’m hoping to get some advice from BP members, especially BP members who operate in NY.

The girlfriend of a tenant in one of my units has effectively moved in and has a copy of the key that I did not authorize. My lease states that the unit is to be occupied by the tenant and the tenant only and that any requests for a copy of a key shall be submitted to me the landlord for approval.

Now here’s my dilemma... New York just passed the roommate law which effectively allows the tenants girlfriend to live in the unit with the tenant. However, the tenant previously agreed to our original terms which were agreed upon before the roommate law went into effect.

The real question here is, if my lease was agreed upon by both parties before this law went into effect, does it still hold up? And also, can a lease agreement be written more stringent than state law ?

The roommate law has been around a long time. It’s not new. I’m not an attorney and I suggest you consult one. Having said that, my understanding is any lease that tries to be more stringent than NYS law would be void.

I think you're wasting your time. The law allows your tenant to add the girlfriend. You may not like it. Your lease may say something different. None of that matters because the law allows him to do it.

That's what happens when big government gets involved.

At the end of the day, a contract cannot supersede the law. Even if your contract was in compliance before, once any law takes effect, it overrules your contract.