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Apartment "sitting"Aug 10, 2007


We have a sublet rule. A Shareholder has asked if she can have her cousin apartment "sit" for 8 months while she goes to Los Angeles.
Should this be considered a sublet?

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Re: Apartment "sitting" - AR Aug 10, 2007



There are two answers to that...
A technical one and logical one.
Technically and legally: Subletting is when the lessee or tenant rents out all or part of the apartment to another person, while still maintaining status as the prime tenant/shareholder. so, if the person is house-sitting, they would not be paying rent and no legal sublet action is taking place, therefore, no infringement. However, some boards do, in the house rules further define subletting to include housesitting for more than XX weeks.

You need to know first, who is paying the maintenance, and other bills, if it is the house sitter, then let them know that it is considered a sublet (being non-descriptive about your reasoning as possible) and that it could not be permitted; that is, if the Board is opposed to it.
then you might wish to amend your house rules to include other scenarios such as this, time frames, etc.

i typed fast, did I convey the thought correctly?

~AR

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Absolutely - AdC Aug 10, 2007


8 moths is 2/3 of the year and cousins are not considered members of the family. Ready your proprietary lease for occupancy for the definition of family members.

Finally, how do you know the person is a cousin? Well, a difficult one to provide proof.

AdC







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Absolutely... (Revision) - AdC Aug 10, 2007


8 months is 2/3 of the year and cousins are not considered members of the family. Read your proprietary lease for occupancy for the definition of family members.

Finally, how do you know the person is a cousin? Well, a difficult one to provide proof.

Although I usually agree with AR, "housesitting" becomes a rather elastic term. In addition to what AR said about proving who is paying for the basic services, it comes to mind that why not housesitting the following year, etc. Why not start a swap of property with a foreign owner to spend vacations, etc.

I think unless you have a building doorman and strict definitions, it will be difficult to control your occupancy and a chaos may follow.

AdC







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> Join the conversation Comments (1)
you said it.. - AR Aug 10, 2007


I think you hit the nail right on the head with creating strict definitions, so these terms do not become, or remain "elastic".

Best
~AR

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)
Apt sitting cousin - BP Aug 11, 2007


I agree that you need strict definitions of who can stay in apts. Most Prop Leases state that a "guest" is allowed for up to 30 days (or longer with board approval in writing) but the primary SH/resident must be in occupancy at the same time - the guest can't stay there alone.

Gerry - As AdC said, it's difficult to prove that a person is a cousin. My guess is, whether the person who'd apt-sit for your SH is a cousin or not, he just needs or would like a place to stay in NYC for 8 mos. Why does he have to live there? Most people who go away for an extended period have someone come in once/twice a week to check the apt, collect mail, water plants, etc. Is the cousin from outside NYC and able to drop work or other commitments to live in your SH's apt for 8 mos? If he lives in the area, why can't he just come in once/twice a week to take care of things?

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)
Apt sitting - continued - BP Aug 11, 2007


Sorry, I accidentally hit "send" too quickly.

Gerry - What if your SH goes to LA for 8 mos, you let the cousin stay in her apt, then the SH tells you she has to stay in LA another 6 mos or a year. At that point would you tell her the cousin has to move out? That could be sticky.

It would also be difficult to prove if the cousin is paying the SH rent and if this constitutes a sublet. The SH may tell you he isn't paying anything but it's not necessarily true, whether he's really a cousin or not.

Gerry - your board has to define cases like this and decide if you want to allow the cousin to apt-sit. This has come up with us a few times and our board always says it's too easy to turn apts into a hotel for friends and relatives.

One of your main concerns should also be that your SH pays maintenance, etc. every month. You should have her address in LA and be able to reach her. If you let the cousin apt-sit, you could require the SH to pay 8 mos maintenance in advance. That's stiff but some bldgs would do it. And what if you send SHs letters with important news about the bldg, new policies, financial issues? I think you should be able to send such letters directly to the SH and not assume the cousin would forward them. A lot can happen in a coop in 8 mos and you have to keep all SHs informed.

I think you need more info from your SH and you need to make the terms of any apt-sitting you decide to allow very specific and very clear. Just my opinion.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)
Apartment "sitting" - Gerry Benson Aug 12, 2007


Thank you all for your responses.
Our Board has agreed to treat this situation as a sublet.

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NYS Tenants law - AdC Aug 13, 2007


For your information, BP, proprietary leases "lifts" the wording that you mentioned below from NYS Tenant Law regarding tenants obligations to inform landlords:

"Most Prop Leases state that a "guest" is allowed for up to 30 days (or longer with board approval in writing) but the primary SH/resident must be in occupancy at the same time - the guest can't stay there alone.


In other words, any shareholder may have a guest up to 30 days. Of course, guest means a person that is not left alone in an apartment. Only hotels refer to people who pay to stay in a room of a property "a guest". IN fact, by stretch of imagination, you may say that management who represents the hotel owner stay in residence 24 hrs by managing the "castle."

AdC


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yup. that is a sublet. - sally Aug 12, 2007


no grey area here. its a sublet.

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