“The Roommate Law overrides proprietary lease provisions that limit occupancy because of a non-waiver provision written into the text of the Roommate Law. Therefore, no matter how the lease attempts to limit occupancy to cooperators and their immediate families, a cooperator may nevertheless have an unrelated roommate.
“In New York, the Business Judgment Rule gives cooperative boards an enormous amount of autonomy to make decisions and shields the majority of board decisions from judicial scrutiny. However, the Business Judgment Rule will not shield a board decision that breaks the law. Therefore, the Roommate Law controls and the cooperator can have not only a roommate, but can also house the dependent children of that roommate, without interference from the board and without regard to the orientation of the parties involved.
“It should be noted that the Roommate Law does not go so far as to allow cooperators to circumvent the cooperative’s subletting policies. The Roommate Law only applies to roommates by definition, and therefore, there is a strict concurrent occupancy standard. The cooperator and/or the cooperator’s spouse must also occupy the apartment as his or her primary residence in order to benefit from the protection of the Roommate Law.”