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A Regulated Tenant Wants A Roomate

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.