Q: NYC Rent Stabilized Apartment - Succession Rights (see More Information)
Please refer to Fact Sheet #30 from the NYS HCR Office of Rent Admin. I was not technically a 'primary resident' of my mom, because it wasn't my primary residence during the last two years per my mailing/license address/STAR abatement. But I never changed my shipping address for packages via USPS, UPS, FedEx, Amazon, and PayPal received at her apartment. Additionally, I've slept there every night for the last THREE years she was bedbound being her 12/7 caregiver (can get documentation we hired another 12/7 caregiver for the daytime). However, the second option for right of succession mentions "from the inception of the tenancy". In other words, I was with my parents as a two-year old when they moved in around 1966, and remained there continuously until 1999, then lived there from April 2020. The verbiage does not say "continously" from the inception, only "from inception", therefore am I entitled to the apartment rental at their current rate-stabilized rate and for lease renewal?
From what you have said, it seems like it would be difficult to "win" a succession case in court. Although, an argument can be made that you were there as a caregiver for your mother, the problem being that when the court looks to determine succession they look for documentation such as tax returns, driver's license, pay stubs and if you are paying rent somewhere else.
However, it might be worth an inquiry to your landlord though a tenant lawyer such as ourselves to see if there is some room for discussion on this matter instead of going the court route.
Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer
Dear Flushing Tenant
The NY City Housing Court has never relied on the expansive definition of 'inception,' as you suggest that it should. I could suggest that is so since the same statute offers defined absences that do not cause a break in the living together with the tenant of record since the inception of the tenancy requirement.
You have several hurdles to overcome. The inception test fails since you moved out in 1999 without reliance on a statutory exception [such as military service, away at school]. You were absent from the household for twenty years. I cannot guess the reason you had all your deliveries sent to an address where you once lived, but if your government records and address of residence on tax forms also have your mother's address, you have evidence to work with to save a succession tenancy, perhaps.
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