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Is it legal in NY to rent rooms of a house zoned as a single family dwelling, using an enforceable lease?

Albany, NY |

My landlord owns a house zoned as a single family dwelling and is renting out 4 of the bedrooms by 6 month leases. Is this legal to do and if so is the lease enforceable? What tenant rights exist or sctions of the law apply to this situation? Where might I research more about these laws?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Dear is this legal?

Not likely in Albany (City and County).

Check with the Albany City offices listed here regarding gaining an inspection of your house for compliance with the certificate of occupancy:

The renting out may not be allowed by the certificate of occupancy, but the lease may still be valid. Other than the parties to the lease deciding to terminate the contract, only a court may invalidate a lease. However, a lease or contract that is made in violation of local or state law, may not be enforced in a court case involving a dispute with that lease.

If the occupancy is not legal, by reason of a violation of the certificate of occupancy, a vacate order might be issued that would force all persons out of the house who are not related to the home owner.

If you intend to disturb the hornets' nest, you should protect yourself with a local attorney.

Good luck.

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.


It depends on the certificate of occupancy that the owner has. If there is a C of O that allows it fine, if not it is not legal. Landlord will have a hard time enforcing a lease that he entered into without having the proper C of O. Speak with local experienced tenant's lawyer for more advice.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


The other attorneys are right on. Check the ordinances of the city this property is located in. It's possible that the landlord is violating local landlord occupancy rules and /or zoning codes. If this is the case, a complaint may be made to your code enforcement board in the city.

My answers on are intended to help clarify the legal process in your situation to the extent possible on this website. Criminal law can be very complicated and very serious. Every case is different and my answers are not intended to serve as legal advice unless so stated. If you have been charged with a crime you could be placed on probation or face incarceration. Please contact an attorney if you think you need legal advice in a criminal matter.

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