Profiteering(Sub-tenants & Transient Guests): An Incurable Ground for Eviction

The Rent and Eviction Regulations provide that it shall be unlawful “for any person to demand or receive any rent for any housing accommodations in excess of the applicable maximum rent established therefore.”[1] (Emphasis added). In these instances, the “person” has profiteered, which is incurable. This rule has been applied not only when a landlord overcharges atenant, but also when a tenant overcharges a sub-tenant or transient guest.

The Court has held that a tenant’s rental of short-term occupancy at illegal higher rents was considered subletting, rather than taking in roommates, and should be considered profiteering and the commercialization of the apartment, which is an incurable violation of the Rent Control law.[2]

Profiteering(Roommate):

Now, when it comes to overcharging a prime tenant’s roommate, Courts have held that “no provision exists in the rent control regulations … which prohibits charging a roommate a disproportionate share of the legal rent.”[3] Therefore, a landlord cannot attempt to evict a tenant for overcharging a roommate.[4] However, in these instances, the prime tenant slightly overcharged the roommate. Courts may rule differently if the prime tenant significantly overcharges the roommate.

The information above is intended to provide limited information only and is not legal advice. The laws relating to eviction, rent-controlled, and profiteering, in New York are complex. If you are a party to a matter concerning an eviction holdover proceeding and otherwise need further guidance in this or a related area of law, SINGH & RANI, LLP can assist you.


[1] Rent Stabilization Code§ 2205.1(a)

[2] 220 West 93rdStreet v. Stavrolakes, 33 AD3d 391 (1st Dept. 2006), lv to app denied 8NY3d 813 (2007).

[3] WSC 72ndStreet Owners v. Bondy, 9 Misc 3d 126(A) (App Term 1st Dept. 2005)

[4] No possessory cause ofaction is available to the landlord. See, Id. and, Porto v. Watts,11 Misc 3d 1069(A) (Civ. Ct. 2006) (“no possessory proceeding lies against arent-controlled tenant who overcharges a roommate”).

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Bikram Singh

Mr. Singh has been practicing law in the New York State and Federal Courts for almost 10 years. He was a principal attorney at Bikram Singh Law, P.C., after graduating with honors from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in 2008.