Succession Claims

In New York City, members of the tenant’s family, including non-traditional family members like a same-sex domestic partner, have rights to be deemed a tenant in their own right after the tenant of record either moves out of the apartment or passes away. This right is known as a right to succession and there are two ways, normally, in which the issue of “succession rights” comes up.

Sometimes after the tenant of record moves out of a NYC apartment or passes away, that remaining family member asks the landlord for a lease in his or her name. Often times a landlord will simply deny such a request, as it would be more economically advantageous to get rid of the remaining family member, so that the landlord then could charge a free market rent. At that point the remaining family member has a series of options as to how best to secure “succession rights” and a right to a lease in their own names.

  • The remaining family member can file a “succession rights” claim with the New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal. This agency will then make a determination as to whether the remaining family member should be allowed to secure a lease in their own name.
  • The remaining family member can file an action in Supreme Court seeking an order from a Judge declaring that the remaining family member has a right to succeed and named the tenant of record.
  • The landlord, before the remaining family member is able to take either of the previous two steps, may sue the remaining family member, claiming that this person has no rights to stay in apartment. If this last situation, the remaining family member can assert as a defense to the proceeding that the landlord has no grounds or basis to evict the remaining family member because they have “succession rights.”

If you are a remaining family member and you want to secure a NYC lease in your own name or are being evicted by the landlord because the landlord does not believe you have a right to succession, contact the Law Offices of Attorney Eric Feinberg for assistance.