Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My boyfriend is moving into my NYC apartment? Do I have to notify anyone?

By Dianne Ackerman  | September 13, 2019 - 3:00PM

You should tell building management that your boyfriend is moving in and give his name—but that's end of your obligation.


I am a single woman renting in a co-op.  My boyfriend is about to move in with me. Do I have to notify anyone? Signed, Ringless in Manhattan

Dear Ringless,

As a parent, I suggest you have the talk about when he’s going to put a ring on it, if that is what you’re hoping for by co-habitating. But, as Ms. Demeanor, trying to help you navigate NYC real estate rules and etiquette, my answer is that your only obligation is to provide your new roommate's name to management.

In my building, we ask anyone who is going to have someone new living in their apartment to merely notify the management company or the board. We do that because we like to know who exactly is living in the building and to alert the staff. Your boyfriend would also, I imagine, want to have his name added to the mailbox. 

If he is not going to be added to your lease, there should be no other obligations or charges. It’s your apartment and you have the right to add a friend or roommate. 

And, of course, I would also ask for a sizable ring. But that’s your call more than mine.

Ms. Demeanor

Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.


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