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Adam Leitman Bailey P.C. Obtains Ruling From DHCR Requiring Landlord To Add Husband’s Name to Lease

Adam Leitman Bailey P.C. represents a tenant in a rent stabilized apartment who was served with a notice of non-renewal of lease (“Golub Notice”) alleging that the Premises were not her primary residence. Tenant claimed that she had asked the landlord to add her husband’s name to the Lease but her request was ignored. Tenant and her husband had been married and resided together in the apartment for more than 30 years.

Rent Stabilization Code (“RSC”) §2522.5(g) provides in pertinent part:

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the tenant shall have the right to have his or her spouse, whether husband or wife, added to the lease or any renewal thereof as an additional tenant where said spouse resides in the housing accommodation as his or her primary residence.

Tenant filed a complaint with New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (“DHCR”), submitting proof of the marriage and proof that her husband resides in the Premises as his primary residence. The landlord opposed the application on the grounds that Tenant had signed the renewal lease before requesting her husband’s name be added and therefore waived her right to have her husband’s name added to the Lease.

Adam Leitman Bailey countered the Landlord’s argument on the grounds that the Rent Stabilization Law does not require that the tenant make the request prior to any renewal or that renewing the Lease without making the request to add the spouse’s name waives the right to have the name added. In fact, it is well settled that a tenant cannot waive her rights under RSC and any agreement to do so is void.

DHCR determined that the Tenant is entitled to add her spouse’s name to the Lease and directed landlord to add the Tenant’s spouse to the Lease.

Tenant has now moved to dismiss the non-primary holdover petition on the grounds that the DHCR ruling has res judicata effect and is binding on the Court.

Bonnie Reid Berkow, a partner at Adam Leitman Bailey P.C. in the Coop/Condo Litigation Group represented the Tenant in this matter.

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