Printed from at 07:32 PM, Oct 22 2016
Talk » Sales » Discussing 'illegal for primary residence to rent rest rooms?'

illegal for primary residence to rent rest rooms?


I was preparing pre-qualification letter with my lending broker who informed me that it's against the NY law to rent rooms from my primary residency with owner occupied. I am very confused, anybody heard of such law? If I buy an condo apartment or single family house, I am not allowed to have roommates that I rent 2nd or 3rd bedrooms to?

The title led me to believe this discussion was about something else.

Greens -- funny! Thought the same thing.

Char -- this might be the right answer:

NYC coops -- roomate law applies
NYC Condos -- depends on the condo's own rules
NYC Houses -- do whatever the f you want

EXCEPT: there's an upper limit:

eh..i was thinking you were renting out like a partitioned bathroom to like the floor or a corporate site or something...bah.

I heard once, on a travel show I think, that in suchnsuch country each house has a bathroom just inside by the front door because if someone asks to use the loo, you must let them.

That was a different thread.

restroom for customers only!

So, if you sub lease some rooms out, then it is more than your primary residence. It is becoming an investment. The first thing that I can think of would be your mortgage interest rate and the type of insurance required. The lender surely would be concerned if the insurance company decline you claim using this as their bases.

Half the hipsters in Brooklyn are renting rooms from an owner/primary leaseholder occupant. see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

I'm confused.

There's a law against having roommates??

Vic, from my understanding, it's not about sub-leasing. Sec 235-f doesn't deal with subleasing. From my understanding, Sec 235-F of the RPL allows you to have ONE roommate, who does not need to be on the lease or proprietary lease. Moreover, any dependents of said ONE roommate are also allowed to live there, so long as the renter/tenant-shareholder also resides there full time, and the unit is their primary residence. This law supersedes any stipulation, statute, rule, or contract introduced by a co-op board or a landlord (as a contract cannot counteract pre-existing law). This is just what I understand from what I've read (I'm not an attorney). Sub-leasing, as I understand it, is different in that monies are being collected (by the lease-holder, presumably) and that he/she does not necessarily have to reside in that unit as their primary residence. There is also, I believe, a 30-day disclosure rule with rental situations. Someone who knows more, feel free to add.

Let's draw the distinction between what's "legal" for you to do, and what you "agree" to do vis-a-vis your use of the property which the bank is lending you the money to purchase.

It sounds like your lender wants you to pledge to them that, as a condition of your loan, you won't become a landlord. If you want to get around that, find a different lender with different terms, or pay cash.

ali r.
DG Neary Realty

I probably should not use the word "sub leasing". I think the Op was talking about leasing out part of the house (seems to be a single family house) he is buying and disclosed that to his lender. It is the lender/broker who is giving him trouble. The question is,"is it really illegal to do so?", or it is just the lender's concern that they may have other problems down the road with the property, such as insurance claims.

Yes, I was just talking about legalities. Not what one "should" or "shouldn't" or "agrees" or " is allowed." Because, ultimately, if there is disagreement and a lawsuit, the law is really the only thing that you have. (well, provided you get a good lawyer!:)

"It sounds like your lender wants you to pledge to them that, as a condition of your loan, you won't become a landlord"
Ali, that's not what I took. I took from charcheng's post that: they don't want him to become a sub-lessor.

Vic, yes, perhaps we just need a little clarification from the OP. I don't think the law (at least, the part of it that I'm talking about -- the "Roommate Law") applies in this case, as he is not yet living there, and this concerns a private entity (the bank) lending money, which, I believe, they can do at their discretion. If they don't feel confident in the loan, they don't have to do it. It is different than if he was already a resident in the building, and some other party was trying to prohibit a roommate from living there.

Still, however, (and someone correct me if I'm wrong), this seems VERY inaccurate (except, maybe, for the term "rent" -- which would have to be defined):
"my lending broker who informed me that it's against the NY law to rent rooms from my primary residency with owner occupied."

he/she wants to buy a house, not live there, make it his/her "primary resudence" then stuff it with illegal SRO. that's what I'm reading and seeing all over. the asian population in southern brooklyn and eastern queens are buying 1/2/3 family houses and then renting each room to a family of illegal chinese/mexican/what have you. this person just wants to know how the bank can crew him/her if they find out or if the neighbors will start calling DOB/Fire Dept.

Re: I'm confused. There's a law against having roommates??

There's an actual law against having TOO MANY roommates.

So, if the Op is doing what ab_11218 is saying but without a mortgage, will his plan be legal?
Meaning that the landlord is leasing out individual rooms to unrelated people.

The OP mentioned: "with owner occupied." From that, I take that s/he DOES intend on living there.

But yes, we need clarification on the living situation and sale entirely.

drdrd, Sweden, I believe.

Charchung, it's not simply that the lender won't count income from the rented rooms towards your qualifying income for the loan?

You may not have more than 3 people in your house who are unrelated to each other. You may not contravene the zoning laws -- i.e., you may not (as one guy tried to do here in the outer boroughs) turn his 2-family house into 5 apartments. You may not put in illegal kitchens and bathrooms, nor are you allowed to turn your house into an SRO. You may not rent out the shed in your backyard as a dwelling space. I've seen it all and more in the past 10 years. However, we've learned recently that if you have a lot of money and a well-connected architect, BSA will grant a variance for you to build a second house in your side yard on a lot that's legally too small for it.

No matter which country you originally came from -- and no matter what they let you do in that country -- you are probably not going to be able to do what you did there and still be legal. Your neighbors will eventually turn you in once they figure out what's going on. DOB is slow and they hate to enforce but they've done it. In the case of the guy who tried to make an illegal apartment building in his 2-family, he had to rip it all out and put it back the way it was originally.

ha, i also thought dude was trying to rent out the john.
i met someone in brooklyn last week who was considering renting the area under someone's STAIRS for $400 a month! you couldn't even stand upright or put a full size bed in it!


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