Unauthorized Occupant in Rental Unit


(New York)

Sub-letting From A Lease Holder?

I moved in to a room in New York in an apartment with no written contract. The ad stated, "Looking for someone who will rent for at least 3 months."

I paid one month's rent as a deposit and have to pay the first month's rent today.

The landlord watched me as I moved in and got angry at the lease holder because the apartment was not to be shared.

The lease holder apologized to me and said that he'd work it out with the owner.

Can they kick me out or raise the rent before 3 months are up?

If so, is there any way I can be reimbursed of the moving cost and my time?


ANSWER:

You have no written contract with the lease holder however, a verbal agreement can hold up in Court if it came to that.

For me, I would avoid Court and move on, it would be less stress and less costly. Yet there are options...

Can the Landlord or Lease Holder Kick You Out?

I wouldn't want to stay with a room mate if they didn't want me! Anything could go wrong in this situation.

The landlord cannot kick you out for being a guest; you have no written agreement with them. The lease holder is allowed to have guests, although, in my lease, I allow one week per month for visiting guests.

The landlord can evict the lease holder for breaking the lease and then evict you as an unauthorized occupant along with the lease holder.

Did you change your address and drivers license to this apartment?

If you did, then you are legally claiming this place as your residence.
The landlord would have to go through the eviction process to force you to move out along with the lease holder who sub-let his apartment to you.

Reimbursements for moving costs and time?

Very unlikely unless you want to take legal action for damages.

What Are The Damages?

If you had a written lease and your agreement was broken, then you could have grounds for a refund.

Making a claim of damages for moving and your time... I suggest you to get a legal opinion from an Attorney.

On the other hand, you could tell a story to the lease holder and ask him for money to move out. It would be a long shot since he needed money from sub-letting his apartment in the first place.

Hopefully your lease holder "will work something out with the landlord for your three month stay", as he said.

Introduce yourself to the landlord and maybe you could work something out with them too.

In the mean time, be on the look out for another place to live just in case the landlord and the lease holder cannot come to an agreement.

Now that you have this experience, get your next rental agreement in writing. If it’s a shared apartment, check in with the landlord.

Suggestion:

Buy the landlord a gift of Cookies or something small and inexpensive, with your apologies.
Ask for some leeway for next three months of sub-letting with the lease holder until you find another apartment to move to.

Landlords are usually fair, although tend to be firm when lease rules are broken intentionally.

It wasn't your fault, it's the lease holders fault for knowingly accepting an "unauthorized occupant" (as stated in some leases).

Gifts and pleasantries could possibly get you a warm welcome for your three month stay.

Best of luck on this one,

Joe Trometer

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