Many New York City tenants are unaware of their rights under City and State housing laws. In order to regulate the housing market, New York City and New York State have implemented rules that aim to protect tenants from drastic free market rent increases and from the fear of eviction. Many tenants are entitled to the protections of the Rules of the City of New York and the Rent Stabilization Code, but they are unfortunately unaware of their rights, and whether they are covered. The protections offered by these laws can make your apartment a key asset and one of those protections is the right to pass on your apartment to a family member, which is known as succession rights.
If you live in a building with six apartments or more, and that building was built before 1974, your apartment may be rent stabilized. As a rent-stabilized tenant, your family members can be placed on the lease after you permanently move out, or after you pass on. If you have lived in your apartment since 1971 and the building was built before 1947, or if you inherited your apartment from a family member who fits the mentioned criteria, your apartment may be rent-controlled. As a rent-controlled tenant, you are also entitled to succession rights and can pass on your apartment to a family member who resided with you for 2 years. If the family member who will inherit the apartment is disabled or elderly, then they only need to have lived with you for 1 year. Documentation is necessary to prove that they resided with you and your landlord should be aware that they reside there as well.
Another group of tenants who have the right to pass their apartment on to a family member is tenants who live in Mitchell-Lama Housing. This type of housing is known as limited profit housing and the landlord typically charges you rent based on your income. According to the Department of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR), which regulates Mitchell-Lama Housing, a tenant of Mitchell-Lama Housing has the right to pass on their apartment to a family member. There are rules to this type of housing, as, within 90 days, you must inform the management or the owners in writing of any additional family member who resides with you. You should also include them on your recertification forms and income affidavit. That documentation and other proofs of address will be used for succeeding the apartment.
If you would like to know whether your apartment is covered by any of these regulations, speak to a landlord-tenant attorney today. You may also be entitled to further protections from eviction and rent increases. There is a dire need to protect minority-owned assets. In doing so, it will help contribute to the future of minorities as they use the funds and property gained from estate planning to attend college and build businesses in the coming age. This creates an ever-sustainable economy if the cycle can continue on. Preserving your family’s wealth could never be a bad idea.