Performing Background Checks and Adding Nonspouse to Lease

Q Is an owner violating the Rent Stabilization Code by doing a background check before adding someone to the lease agreement and/or before issuing keys? Also, is the owner allowed to charge a vacancy increase by adding someone to the lease other than the spouse?

A The answer to the first question is “no,” according to a DHCR opinion letter dated May 27, 2009, by Bruce Falbo. The answer to the second question is “yes.”

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