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How many people can legally live in a one bedroom apt in NYC?

New York, NY |

My oldest son (27) just lost his job and is losing his apt. My 12 year old son and I live in a one bedroom apt (my son has the bedroom, I camp out in the living room). Can I have my older son live with us temporarily until he gets on his feet? Thanks.

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Attorney answers 2


Yes, of course, unless your lease specifically prohibits it.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Ms. Brown’s response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, please contact an attorney in your state. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to contact her directly for a legal consultation, you may do so by calling 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at:


Dear How many people can legally live in a one bedroom apt in NYC:

You should be allowed to have your adult son reside with you. Your son is a member of your immediate family. New York State law prohibits a landlord from barring a tenant's immediate family member from residing with the tenant. You would be entitled to an additional adult person in your household even if the person were not your son. New York State law allows a tenant to share an apartment with a roommate. The only restraint on your right may be the actual square foot measurement of the apartment.
First is the right to allow another person in your apartment:
You may find that Real Property Law Section 235-f offers you an answer to your inquiry:
"§ 235-f. Unlawful restrictions on occupancy. 1. As used in this
section, the terms:
(a) "Tenant" means a person occupying or entitled to occupy a
residential rental premises who is either a party to the lease or rental
agreement for such premises or is a statutory tenant pursuant to the
emergency housing rent control law or the city rent and rehabilitation
law or article seven-c of the multiple dwelling law.
(b) "Occupant" means a person, other than a tenant or a member of a
tenant's immediate family, occupying a premises with the consent of the
tenant or tenants.
2. It shall be unlawful for a landlord to restrict occupancy of
residential premises, by express lease terms or otherwise, to a tenant
or tenants or to such tenants and immediate family. Any such restriction
in a lease or rental agreement entered into or renewed before or after
the effective date of this section shall be unenforceable as against
public policy.
3. Any lease or rental agreement for residential premises entered into
by one tenant shall be construed to permit occupancy by the tenant,
immediate family of the tenant, one additional occupant, and dependent
children of the occupant provided that the tenant or the tenant's spouse
occupies the premises as his primary residence...
5. The tenant shall inform the landlord of the name of any occupant
within thirty days following the commencement of occupancy by such
person or within thirty days following a request by the landlord."
Second, is the requirement for the maintaining housing standards in New York City:

"HOUSING MAINTENANCE CODE Sec. [D26-33.03] 27-2075 Maximum permitted occupancy
a. No dwelling unit shall be occupied by a greater number of persons than is permitted by this section.
(1) Every person occupying an apartment in a Class A or Class B multiple dwelling or in a tenant-occupied apartment in a one- or two-family dwelling shall have a liveable area of not less than 80 square feet. The maximum number of persons who may occupy any such apartment shall be determined by dividing the total liveable floor area of the apartment by 80 square feet. For every two persons who may lawfully occupy an apartment, one child under four may also reside therein, except that a child under four is permitted in an apartment lawfully occupied by one person. No residual floor area of less than 80 square feet shall be counted in determining the maximum permitted occupancy for such apartment. The floor area of a kitchen or kitchenette shall be included in measuring the total liveable floor area of an apartment but the floor area for private halls foyers, bathrooms or water closets shall be excluded.
(2) A living room in a rooming unit may be occupied by not more than two persons if it has a minimum floor area not less than one hundred ten square feet in a rooming house, or 130 square feet in a single room occupancy. "

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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