Who All Are Considered to Be Family Members of a Rent Controlled Tenant ?

In Braschi v. Stahl Associates, 74 NY2d 201, 543 N.E.2d 49, 544 N.Y.S.2d 784 [1989], the Court confronted the meaning of the term family as used in the rent control regulations. Those provisions protected from eviction, "either the surviving spouse of the deceased tenant or some other member of the deceased tenant's family who has been living with the tenant" (id., 74 NY2d at 206). The Court held that the term family, as used in 9 NYCRR 2204.6[d], should not be rigidly restricted to those people who have formalized their relationship . . . . the intended protection against sudden eviction should not rest on fictitious legal distinctions or genetic history, but instead should find its foundation in the reality of family life (id., 74 NY2d at 211). Current rent control regulations reflect the broad definition of "family" enunciated by the Braschi Court (9 NYCRR 2204.6[d][3]). The term "family member" now includes both traditional as well as non--traditional family relationships; they range from varying degrees of relatives of the tenant of record to "any other person residing with the tenant in the housing accommodation as a primary residence who can prove emotional and financial commitment and interdependence between such person and the tenant" (id.). However, "no single factor shall be solely determinative" in verifying a non--traditional family relationship (id.). the regulations now protect from eviction, members of a rent controlled tenant's "family," as broadly redefined, who have primarily resided with the tenant in the apartment for either two years immediately prior to the tenant permanently vacating the apartment, or for one year where the family member is disabled (9 NYCRR 2204.6[d][1]).