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I own a single family house in Queens, NY. I have an illegal basement apartment where my ex (legal domestic partner) has lived for 3 years to share care of our dogs. One of the dogs recently died and she has become increasingly verbally abusive. She has not paid rent consistently in several years; missing payments about every 3 months. Will I be penalized for allowing her to live in a basement apartment although a domestic partner is supposed to be viewed as a relative in the sight of the law? Can I just evict her as a non-paying tenant?

I found this on the NYC.gov site:

Can the basement of a one-family dwelling be lawfully rented?

Yes, but only if all of the following conditions are met:
  • Compliance with the requirements of the Housing Maintenance Code for rooms not located in the cellar or basement, e.g., minimum room size.
  • There is a minimum ceiling height of seven feet.
  • The walls, as high as ground level, must be damp- and water-proofed if HPD determines that subsoil conditions on the lot require such damp- and waterproofing.
  • The basement is occupied by one family and does NOT include boarders.
  • Every room must have at least one window complying with the requirements of Housing Maintenance Code § 27-2062.
  • The bottom of any yard or other required open space cannot be higher than six inches below the window sill of any required window in the room.

Thank you so much for your time and response.

  • Tenant rights are such an incredible can of worms that you're going to need a lawyer's opinion on this. The most you're going to get here is a statement of what the law says, and perhaps some things to look at before talking to the lawyer. – Mark Sep 27 at 23:29

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