Scout from Lincoln Square asks:
My father just passed away and my siblings and I are in the middle of cleaning out his Rent Stabilized (or maybe Rent Controlled?) apartment. I do not have a copy of my father’s lease.
Can I move into my father’s apartment and become the Rent Stabilized tenant? Can I somehow get a settlement from the landlord for releasing custody of the apartment? I know someone who did that with her parents’ apartment.
Any advice would be appreciated,
Instructor Michelle Answers:
If: (1) the apartment was your father’s primary residence before he died (i.e., you had not moved him out permanently to a nursing home); (2) you are the child; (3) you lived with your father in the apartment as your primary residence (which you need to prove with paperwork and sworn testimony under penalty of perjury); (4) for two full years directly before your father died (or one year if some other circumstances apply); then you are entitled to succeed to (inherit) the apartment. All those things need to be true. From your question, I cannot even tell if you live in the apartment, it does not sound like you do.
The story you heard about the kid who got a settlement, that was likely because the kid could check those four boxes above and the landlord was scared the kid might secede to a very low-rent Rent Controlled tenancy. Apartment situations are like snowflakes, no two are ever exactly alike. So, it is not wise to rely upon other people’s apartment stories.