Rent-controlled apartment and deceased roommate.
May 8, 2017 6:52 PM   Subscribe

My roommate passed away recently. I live in a rent-controlled apartment with the deceased and a third roommate. They had both signed a renewed lease this year. The guarantor on the lease is the deceased's family member. We are not sure what to do next. Are we to notify building management? find another guarantor? find a roommate who will take over her part of the lease? I will not takeover the lease. We live in NYC. Please advise.
posted by quasicalligraphic to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Contact the Met Council on Housing renter's hotline or the city's HPD has aresources page. These organizations will be able to give you up-to-date, reliable advice on next steps.

New York's rental laws are complex, but especially if you are in a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartment, they work in your favor. Good luck!
posted by mishaps at 7:47 PM on May 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

Your lease probably specifies what happens in the event that a guarantor is no longer willing to serve as guarantor. Certainly for the next lease the landlord is entitled to insist on a new guarantor being found, but on the same terms as before.

Since your third roommate is on the lease, there actually isn't anything that has to be done immediately. Be aware that if you add a new person to the lease, the landlord is entitled to charge a vacancy allowance, significantly increasing your rent. Technically, if one person is on a rent-stabilized lease, he or she is entitled to have only one roommate/"licensee" not on the lease. You probably have some idea what kind of landlord you have and whether he or she is likely to be a stickler about such things. Your main choices, then, are: (a) give up and move out; (b) find a third roommate and hope that your landlord doesn't notice/object; (c) find a third person who is willing to co-sign the lease while you all eat the large vacancy allowance.
posted by praemunire at 12:45 AM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

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