Q. I am a 70-year-old rent controlled tenant in a co-op building where I have lived for 42 years. My apartment is owned by a shareholder. I would like to have a friend move in. I am now the sole occupant and haven’t had a lease for many years. Can I have a roommate without jeopardizing my rent-controlled status?
A. David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant matters, says that the letter writer is entitled to have a roommate under the state’s Real Property Law, commonly referred to as the “roommate law.” In order to preserve his or her rent-control tenancy rights, and not violate rent control laws, the letter writer must be careful not to charge the roommate more than the entire legal regulated rent,” Mr. Kaminsky said.The New York Times Q & A orignally published in The New York Times on November 13, 2011.