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When Does a Guest Become a Tenant in New York?

In New York your guest becomes a tenant after staying in an apartment for at least 30 days with your consent.


In New York, a guest like a roommate, friend, or a subtenant can claim status as a tenant in four scenarios:

  1. They have an active lease agreement: Most leases specify what happens in the event that any kind of lessee stops paying the rent or defaults in some other way. If you signed a sublease with someone and they aren't paying the rent and won't leave—and the sublease is still active—then they are your tenant. If the sublease agreement is immediately voided in the event of a default, then there isn't an active lease agreement and they're not a tenant.

  2. The landlord has ever accepted rent from them directly: This is pretty self-explanatory, but if the person has paid rent directly to the landlord, then they're considered a tenant.

  3. They have lived in the apartment for 30 days or longer: New York City Administrative Code's section 26-521 says that if someone has an active lease—or has been in the apartment for more than 30 days—they need to be legally evicted with due process, a key right for tenants.

  4. They live in a rent-stabilized hotel room and requested a lease: According to Section 2520.6 of the New York City rent stabilization law, a hotel occupant is entitled to a permanent tenancy if they request a lease from the owner.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.


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