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Q & A: Roommate Law vs. Co-op Board Rules

By Jay Romano

Q: I live in a self-managed co-op, and we are getting conflicting information about whether co-ops can prohibit roommates. What is the law?

A: Adam Leitman Bailey, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, says the state’s roommate law allows any tenant who has a lease to have a roommate — including the roommate’s dependent children — without interference from the landlord. Mr. Bailey says that while co-op boards have broad powers to establish building regulations under the “business judgment rule,” the rule does not supersede the law.


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