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...
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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.
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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.
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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.