Rent-stabilized apartments are a precious commodity especially in current times as rent prices continue to soar. If you have an older relative with one of these apartments who wish for you to take over when they move out or die, then you might want to jump on the opportunity right away.
But inheriting a rent-stabilized apartment is not as easy as simply getting a house or different piece of inheritable property in a will. You must prepare yourself to handle some complexities as you move forward with your bid on the apartment.
What are the rules regarding rent-controlled apartments?
City Realty discusses rent-stabilized apartment inheritances. Specifically, they bring up the state rules that New York implements for these rent-controlled apartments. First, you need to have resided within the apartment with its current tenant for at least two years before inheriting it. This must overlap with the current tenant’s stay. Though you can still leave for a portion of that time, the only exemptions are for things like military leave or attending college. For those over 62 or disabled, the requirement is one year.
While the current tenant is there, only a spouse can be on the lease. But after the tenant moves or dies, you can take over the lease if you are a close family member or a domestic partner.
Working with your new landlord
You must have evidence proving that you did reside in the apartment for the required amount of time, which can include tax returns, a driver’s license or voter’s registration. Though experts recommend you alert the landlord of your plans, it is not necessary. When you intend to take over the lease, you can seek legal help in drafting a letter to the landlord letting them know of your intention to succeed and asking what documentation they need. This can facilitate an easier change of hands, which benefits all parties.