Occupancy Agreement Law In New York
An Occupancy Agreement between two parties is a contract and, as such, should be construed in light of the applicable laws of contract.
Words in a contract "are never to be construed as meaningless if they can be made significant by any reasonable construction." (67 Wall St. Co. v. Franklin Natl. Bank, 37 NY2d 245, 248 (1975).)
However, "it has long been the rule that ambiguities in a contractual instrument will be resolved contra proferentem, against the party who prepared or presented it" (151 W. Assocs. v. Printsiples Fabric Corp., 61 NY2d 732, 734 (1984); Rapid-American Corp. v. Olympic Tower Assocs., 157 AD2d 589, 590 [1st Dept 1990] holding that ambiguity in a contract "must be construed against the drawer of the instrument").
The resident is to be "provided with a clearly written residency agreement" (14 NYCRR 595.10 a 2), which details the rights and responsibilities of the resident.
Where a resident is not "discharge-ready," the resident may nevertheless be discharged where "the resident fails to meet one or more material responsibilities for residency as described in section 595.10(a)(2) and (c)" (14 NYCRR 595.9 c 3).
The responsibilities and conditions of residency include, inter alia, payment of residency fees in full in a timely manner (14 NYCRR 595.10 c 4) and compliance with the residency agreement and house rules (14 NYCRR 595.10 c 5).
Section 595.10 (d) states that a "residency agreement entered into by the provider of service and the resident may create additional rights and obligations, but may not impose conditions that are inconsistent with the provisions or intent of this Part."