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Unread 09-02-2010, 10:58 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,033 times
Reputation: 11
Default Can my roommate throw me out of apartment?

I'm in a situation that is making me nervous, and I'm hoping that someone here with better knowledge of NYC's housing laws than I may have some advice.

Basically, here's what happened. I moved into a 1-month-long sublet a few days ago. There was no written agreement, but the person I'm subleasing from seemed trustworthy; she's the owner and lives in the apartment with me. However, it's a somewhat under-the-table arrangement: it's a coop apartment, and she's not supposed to sublease it without board permission, so I was asked to just say that I am a 'friend' of hers. I guess this technically makes me a roommate in an apartment share rather than a subtenant?

I realize that this sounds sketchy, but this type of arrangement seemed to be fairly common in the short-term subleases that I found while searching; as I said, she seemed trustworthy, and I was pretty desperate for a place to stay, because I had been hunting for two weeks without luck, and had very little time remaining to find one.

I paid her one month's rent, plus a security deposit of half that amount, up front.

To the point: Everything was going well until today, my second day here, when it turned out that, after I left the apartment in the morning, I had not locked the door properly. (This isn't an outdoor door; it's indoors on a high floor in an elevator building, fairly safe neighborhood; no doorman, though, and there have been some break-ins in the area recently. It was unlocked for approximately 2 and a half hours.) She freaked out. I was horrified too, and enormously apologetic; this is in NO WAY typical behavior for me. I promised up and down that it would never happen again--and it won't. But in the course of this discussion, she informed me that because of this incident, her friends thought that she should throw me out on the spot, and she half felt the same way; she said in so many words that 'if it happens again, you're out' immediately.

I'm now terrified that I'm going to accidentally leave the door unlocked and find myself homeless.

Do I have any legal standing here? Can she just throw me out on the street with no notice, and keep the rent + deposit? I've only been here for three days, so it seems l don't qualify as an occupant under the unlawful eviction law. I really need to be able to stay for at least the one month that was agreed on--or in the worst case scenario, have time to find another place and get my deposit back.

I'm kicking myself some for not having made better precautions beforehand. But I'm not sure what I can do at this point. I can still talk to her--it's not like we're now on toxic terms, and I think that she decided not to throw me out because she feels that I am basically trustworthy. But now that she's brandished this threat at me, I feel the need for some basis to this agreement other than trust. Is there, or can there be, any?
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Unread 09-02-2010, 11:37 PM
 
700 posts, read 756,519 times
Reputation: 405
Stop worrying yourself first of all.

If I were her I would have threatened to throw you out on the street too even if I had no intentions on doing it simply to let you know never to repeat the action again. Which is probably the reason she threatened it.

Had it been a cold callous person they would have just thrown you out and not cared anything about you but this, in my opinion, shows she has a heart.

This is simple, just don't do it again. If it were me I would get ocd about that lock by checking it and checking it again to make sure it was locked. Remind yourself you need a place to lay your head at night and NYC is no place to be homeless.

Even so, and I might be wrong, I doubt if she could legally throw you out anyway w/o legally doing so which would take weeks so by that time your agreed upon stay would have been reached.

Also I hate to play dirty but you do have an ace up your sleeve...the fact she's subleasing which is a reason for her not to make waves.

Just be a good tenant, don't make waves, and stop worrying yourself.

Last edited by luvnyc; 09-03-2010 at 12:25 AM..
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Unread 09-03-2010, 06:37 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,033 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely going to be completely OCD about the lock from now on...
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Unread 09-03-2010, 07:26 PM
 
14 posts, read 32,196 times
Reputation: 17
You're not subletting. You're a roommate. But still... leaving a door unlocked in NY is DANGEROUS. Other posters are correct. Check & double-check now and when you have your own place. Especially if you ever live alone.
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Unread 09-03-2010, 07:31 PM
 
230 posts, read 337,603 times
Reputation: 200
1. Don't take sh(t from anyone if you're in the right.
2. They can't throw you anywhere.
3. Stay ground and don't let anyone push you around.
4. If the above 3 fail, get a gun.
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Unread 09-03-2010, 09:01 PM
 
18 posts, read 60,593 times
Reputation: 16
Be a good tenant and constantly check the door when you leave. You lost her trust with the door and you need to earn it back. That will come with time.

If she does throw you out, simply mention that you would have to go to the board and tell them what is going on. It would not be nice and destroy your relationship, but throwing you out is not nice either.

If you make the threat, mean it and follow through. That should give you enough time to find someplace else to live. Of course, if you are a good roommate this will never be necessary.
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Unread 09-03-2010, 11:16 PM
 
876 posts, read 1,170,914 times
Reputation: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInQueens View Post
1. Don't take sh(t from anyone if you're in the right.
2. They can't throw you anywhere.
3. Stay ground and don't let anyone push you around.
4. If the above 3 fail, get a gun.
Not a good idea to get a gun.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 08:51 AM
Status: "Showery morning, birds singing." (set 3 hours ago)
 
Location: Zawaia, Al-Gharb
5,803 posts, read 4,264,759 times
Reputation: 9191
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirina View Post
I'm in a situation that is making me nervous, and I'm hoping that someone here with better knowledge of NYC's housing laws than I may have some advice.

Basically, here's what happened. I moved into a 1-month-long sublet a few days ago. There was no written agreement, but the person I'm subleasing from seemed trustworthy; she's the owner and lives in the apartment with me. However, it's a somewhat under-the-table arrangement: it's a coop apartment, and she's not supposed to sublease it without board permission, so I was asked to just say that I am a 'friend' of hers. I guess this technically makes me a roommate in an apartment share rather than a subtenant?...
You do not have a sublease of any kind, and you have no document which states her intention in having you there. You are whatever she says you are to the coop: friend, roommate, live-lover, etc. It's her call.

If you have future problems and you think your ace-in-the-hole is to run to the Board and rat on her, don't be sure that anyone on the Board would even talk to you - you are an outsider in the scheme of things. The last thing any Board wants to do is get involved with a non-shareholder. She is a shareholder, you are no one. Boards deal with their shareholders not complaining strangers.

Best to keep her happy by being conscientious, and get out asap.

Good luck.
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Unread 09-06-2010, 12:47 AM
 
Location: North shore, Long Island
1,919 posts, read 2,714,441 times
Reputation: 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirina View Post
I'm in a situation that is making me nervous, and I'm hoping that someone here with better knowledge of NYC's housing laws than I may have some advice.

Basically, here's what happened. I moved into a 1-month-long sublet a few days ago. There was no written agreement, but the person I'm subleasing from seemed trustworthy; she's the owner and lives in the apartment with me. However, it's a somewhat under-the-table arrangement: it's a coop apartment, and she's not supposed to sublease it without board permission, so I was asked to just say that I am a 'friend' of hers. I guess this technically makes me a roommate in an apartment share rather than a subtenant?

I realize that this sounds sketchy, but this type of arrangement seemed to be fairly common in the short-term subleases that I found while searching; as I said, she seemed trustworthy, and I was pretty desperate for a place to stay, because I had been hunting for two weeks without luck, and had very little time remaining to find one.

I paid her one month's rent, plus a security deposit of half that amount, up front.

To the point: Everything was going well until today, my second day here, when it turned out that, after I left the apartment in the morning, I had not locked the door properly. (This isn't an outdoor door; it's indoors on a high floor in an elevator building, fairly safe neighborhood; no doorman, though, and there have been some break-ins in the area recently. It was unlocked for approximately 2 and a half hours.) She freaked out. I was horrified too, and enormously apologetic; this is in NO WAY typical behavior for me. I promised up and down that it would never happen again--and it won't. But in the course of this discussion, she informed me that because of this incident, her friends thought that she should throw me out on the spot, and she half felt the same way; she said in so many words that 'if it happens again, you're out' immediately.

I'm now terrified that I'm going to accidentally leave the door unlocked and find myself homeless.

Do I have any legal standing here? Can she just throw me out on the street with no notice, and keep the rent + deposit? I've only been here for three days, so it seems l don't qualify as an occupant under the unlawful eviction law. I really need to be able to stay for at least the one month that was agreed on--or in the worst case scenario, have time to find another place and get my deposit back.

I'm kicking myself some for not having made better precautions beforehand. But I'm not sure what I can do at this point. I can still talk to her--it's not like we're now on toxic terms, and I think that she decided not to throw me out because she feels that I am basically trustworthy. But now that she's brandished this threat at me, I feel the need for some basis to this agreement other than trust. Is there, or can there be, any?
What were you thinking not to check to see if the door was locked? This is NYC, not little house on the prarie. If she didn't kick you out on the spot don't worry. Check the lock when you leave and when you enter and before the month is over get a written contract.
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Unread 09-06-2010, 07:57 AM
 
Location: New York City
3,155 posts, read 2,095,290 times
Reputation: 2325
Yeah she could throw you out...you have no legal basis for being there, but she doesn't want to do that.

She knows she can get into hot water with the co-op board if they figure out what she's up to, and furthermore the last thing she probably wants to do is give you any half-way valid reason to ask for your money back. Throwing you out after 3 days and not refunding your money would make her look bad in small claims court, as no harm to her property came from you accidentally leaving the door unlocked.

Just be aware that if you leave the door unlocked and somebody comes and takes things, you're financially liable for the damages.
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