Illegal eviction in NYC?
June 6, 2015 7:17 PM   Subscribe

Hi all! I live in a 10-person "communal" house in NYC, and about 5-6 of my roommates are on the lease. I have lived here for 5 months. The lease is being renewed in July and my roommate have let me know that they have renewed the lease as a 9-person house and that they want me to move out in July. They are a communal house and I am kind of the extra person that they hoped would buy into their community model, but I am technically just renting a room. I think my room is illegal because it has no window, but previously the landlord wanted it filled. Is there anything I can do to keep my room? Is it legal for them to oust me due to not filling their expectations?
posted by Kombucha3452 to Law & Government (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes it is legal for them to oust you, because you're not on the lease. There's nothing you can do really, short of trying to convince them to let you stay. And a room without a window can't legally be a bedroom.
posted by Koko at 7:39 PM on June 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Why would you want to continue living in a death trap? The window requirement is so that you can escape, or rescue services can reach you, in a fire or other emergency.

Also, I can't imagine living with 9 people who would like you to leave will be that much fun if you decide to stay. What are your thoughts about this?

You can report the illegal bedroom if you need to, I guess. Make sure you get back your deposit. Good luck! I'm sure you can find a more welcoming and safer place to live.
posted by jbenben at 7:40 PM on June 6, 2015 [12 favorites]

Well, firstly consider whether you want to live with people who don't want you around.

That aside, perhaps this will help. Your rights as a roommate, from the Metropolitan Council on Housing.

It appears that, as you are not on the lease, the tenants who are on the lease can ask you to leave with 30 days notice. Also you don't have any rights to be added to the lease.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:42 PM on June 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

Others have better info about the legal situation, but your question makes it sound like they asked you to move in as a precursor to joining in a communal living arrangement. Having lived there for 5 months, do you want to be part of that setup? It sounds like you don't ("I am kind of the extra person that they hoped would buy into their community model, but...") and if that's the case I can't see why they would want you to stay on, and I can't see why it would seem reasonable or preferable for you either.
posted by Cheese Monster at 7:52 PM on June 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Having been on the other side of this (person living in a communal house and having to deal with asking people to leave who really don't fit with/want to fit with the model), please be kind to everyone and move on. It is SO AWKWARD to ask people to move out, and especially so if they insist on trying to stick around after it's very clear that they're not a good fit for the space and everyone wants them gone. Believe me, it is no fun from either side of the equation. It's not a commentary on you as a person -- some people are just not into the community vibe in their living space, and that is FINE. Just don't try to force yourself on people who are trying to create that space.

Consider: from what you've written, it's sounds like the best case scenario here is that you force people who don't want you in their living space to let you continue renting a room, and every interaction in common spaces is forced and awkard for everyone. Do you really want that?
posted by rainbowbrite at 6:19 AM on June 7, 2015 [5 favorites]

Yeah, jeez - cut your losses here. Not just a room with no windows, and roommates who (will?) hate you, but a room with no windows and NINE roommates who will hate you. Eff that.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:02 AM on June 7, 2015 [5 favorites]

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