Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in New York

I am renting a room in a 4 bed room apartment. Guy A who has the lease is living in one room while he is renting the other three rooms. The problem is cleaning the common areas. Generally, Guy A is using the kitchen and has the most traffic in the apartment due to his guests visiting him every single day. No other roommates bring any guests. Guy A likes to create the environment where he implies that he owns the apartment and treats everyone else as tenants rather than roommates. He has the pantry almost entirely uses the fridge to stock provisions, has a separate bathroom etc. Please bear in mind that there is no communication with Guy A, as you can tell he is very inconsiderate individual. My question is if people are only renting rooms in an apartment, and are living there as tenants; are they legally liable to clean common spaces?

Of course we clean it but legally are we required to?

A synonym example that comes to mind is renting a room in a home from family where you are required to keep your room in order but everything else is a courtesy and not liability.

State: NY

City: Brooklyn

Thanks in advance,


Asked on 12/25/09, 9:25 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Markowitz Michael A. Markowitz, PC

Q. My question is if people are only renting rooms in an apartment, and are living there as tenants; are they legally liable to clean common spaces?

A. From your question it seems that guy A is renting the apartment illegally - unless there is a certificate of occupancy allowing for the apartment to be occupied by 4 families (each tenant is a family). Since a Court will not uphold an illegal rental, no one is required to clean the common space.

Mike.

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Answered on 12/31/09, 5:14 am


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