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Succession—Nontraditional Family Member:

Tenant's Long-term Partner Wins Right to Rent-Controlled Tenancy after Trial

After trial, the Court found that the partner of a rent-controlled tenant, who had died, had a right to succeed to the tenancy, although the tenant and partner did not share bank accounts or credit cards, and the partner had used another address for mailing purposes.  The Trial Court found that the partner was a nontraditional family member of the tenant, because the tenant and her partner had "considered each other to be life partners or spouses.  Though they had married other individuals, and never committed to marrying each other, they regarded each other as spouses."  

On review, the Appellate Division also found that the partner had a right to succeed to the rent-controlled tenancy.  The Appellate Division held that the modest intermingling of finances does not negate the conclusion that [the tenant] and [her partner] had a family-like relationship.