Family member died (leaseholder) but im still here paying backed rent and the lease ends soon. Can they evict me ?
2 attorney answers
Dear Brooklyn Tenant:
I gather similarly to the other attorney, your apartment is not Rent Stabilized. If so, there is no such thing as succession rights.
Why did I write the response above? If the apartment were Rent Stabilized, you would know, the landlord would have sent a lease renewal offer to the tenant, and you would have initiated a succession claim.
The landlord may commence a nonpayment of rent proceeding when the rent is owed past the rent due date. Eviction for nonpayment of rent has nothing to do with succession rights.
After the tenant passed, you had no obligation to pay rent. You were not the tenant. The "lease" automatically became the property of the decedent Estate. Even if you did not go to Surrogate's Court and seek appointment as an Administrator of the Estate, the lease still belonged to the Estate. The "Estate" not you had an obligation to pay the rent.
Technically, the landlord nonpayment case is brought against the personal representative of the decedent Estate. The landlord must secure a judgment and an eviction against the Estate before seeking to evict you in a separate lawsuit.
"***Where a tenant dies during the term of the lease and rent due has not been paid and the apartment is occupied by a person with a claim to possession, a proceeding may be commenced naming the occupants of the apartment seeking a possessory judgment only as against the estate. Entry of such a judgment shall be without prejudice to the possessory claims of the occupants, and any warrant issued shall not be effective as against the occupants.***"
I have forty three years experience in the specialty of Housing Law and Tenant's Rights advocacy. The answer I provided to you does not create an attorney and client relation. You are free to check my office contact information at my AVVO profile. The answer offered is in the nature of general information, and should not be considered as tailored legal advice. I offer answers as a service to the community with my firm belief that you should try gain a good outcome for your legal issue and to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
You have not specified if your apartment is rent stabilized. If it is and you lived with your aunt for the required period of time, you may have succession rights to your apartment.
Alan J. Goldberg, Esq. is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in representing tenants in life changing multi million dollar buy out situations and defending all types of eviction proceedings. He aggressively defends Non Payment, Holdover and Ejectment eviction proceedings and actions and affirmatively asserts defenses and counterclaims. All answers herein are for general and informational purposes only. The answer to a question is not legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.