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Can You Have Guests Over?

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Who’s allowed to live in your co-op or condo? Most people may think that they have full control of their apartment once the keys are handed over, but that may not be entirely true. Co-ops and condos have very specific rules about subletting and renting out the apartment. “The terms by which you are able to sublet are prescribed generally by the proprietary lease and based upon the framework set forth in that lease.  Also, most co-ops have a set of house rules that detail what procedures fit within that framework.”[1] The unit owner of a co-op must follow the building rules when a long-term guest or child comes to stay. Co-op boards have pretty strict rules on subletting, many that set time limits, or some that outright prohibit it. These strict rules are in place to protect the rest of the building residents in terms of security and comfort of living.

There are many instances where extraneous circumstances can cause a family member or friend to stay in the apartment for a longer period of time. “There is case law that says your children can live in your apartment even if you’re not there.”[2] Their name doesn’t particularly have to be on the proprietary lease for them to be allowed to live there, however co-op boards will usually not cause any issues if they adult child is living in an extra bedroom. Another extraneous circumstance is when a child or family member needs to move back in to assist their elder parent who can no longer live on their own. Usually there will be a clause under the occupancy clause, however, again the board will be lenient in this type of situation.

A big topic recently in New York City is the issues of Airbnbs and other short term rentals. Almost all co-ops and boards will not allow short term leasing in their building. “The City of New York has passed ordinances to prohibit Airbnb-type rentals altogether. That doesn’t mean some don’t try to find a way around it.”[3] Proprietary leases usually have clauses that provide the specifics on who is allowed to live in the unit. Unit owners are allowed to have guests, only when the unit owner is present as well. This matter deals with security concerns for the building, as well as to ensure the safety and comfort of the other residents. The building is very strict when they conduct initial resident interviews, and they are certainly strict on any unwelcome guests.


[1] Sidransky, A.J. (December 2017), Non-Owner Residents, Retrieved from The Cooperator New York https://cooperator.com/article/non-owner-residents/full#cut Accessed on January 21, 2019

[2] Ib.

[3] Ib.

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