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Tenant or Roommate what makes them different? 20 People can live together as a family, ok but 5 woman can't share a home.? Why?

Middle Island, NY |

Threes company considered each other roommates. Golden Girls considered each other roommates They didn't know each other to start with.
A person living with you as a roommate and states they are roommates, once you ask them to move because the want to live for free NOW ARE TENANTS.
Shared housing normally split and divided bills so each pay their share. 10x10, and 25x20 with private bath one would pay a higher split than the other, YES.

Boarders in the past were people that ONLY HAD A BEDROOM, and the landlord supplied dinner to the guest. They didn't share the house.
Is it not BIAS? Only families that are allowed to own homes. Once my husband dies I have no rights to continue to own my home and not allowed to share with other woman.. No locks, no separate areas, all share complete home

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    I can't really answer your question as far as New York law, but this has been an issue I've dealt with extensively because of how the California Supreme Court interpreted what constitutes a "family" in the case Adamson v City of Santa Barbara. At the same time, keep in mind that the decision was under the California Constitution and there is a U.S. Supreme Court case that says its ok to have a narrow definition of family in zoning regulations under the federal constitution. Anyway, here's a link to an interesting law review article on the subject that may be of interest.... Perhaps some of the New York zoning law attorneys will weigh in with more information...

    http://scholarship.law.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1516&context=mlr

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  2. Most of the time it is zoning issues and for the protection of the other residents from fire, etc- sometimes it is allowed if you attain a variance like a fraternity or sorority. take care.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  3. Almost no part of your post is accurate.

    A person you invite to live with you is your tenant when you bring them in, has nothing to do with asking them to move.

    Three's Company and Golden Girls were sit-coms. Not a good basis for assessing a real living situation.

    What boarders in the past did or did not do in the past is immaterial to your specific situation. And your assessmen of how things were operated is at best a general description, at worst a TV image of boarding houses.

    It is not true that only families are allowed to own homes.

    Your statements about what will happen when your husband dies is as inaccurate as the rest of your post.

    Strongly recommend you chat with a NY property attorney ASAP.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.


  4. You do not say who has told you that you CAN'T live with these roommates. Your town government may have passed an ordinance restricting occupancy. You need to speak to a very local attorney who is familiar with the laws of Suffolk County and of Middle Island.

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