Lambda Legal Urges NY Landlord to Add Wife of Lesbian Tenant to Lease

Browse By

Blog Search

June 27, 2012
Lambda Legal client Regina Hawkins-Balducci

Lambda Legal is fighting for the right of a New York City woman to add her wife to her rent-stabilized lease.

After marrying her partner of over 11 years in January, Regina Hawkins-Balducci provided a copy of her marriage certificate to the building management company DSA Management Inc., requesting to have her wife added to the lease. In response to her request, a representative for DSA Management and the building owner, Nicholas Place LLC, berated the couple and emphasized that they would not recognize their marriage and Regina's spouse would never be added to the lease.

In a demand letter released today, Lambda Legal urged the management company and the building owner to add Hawkins-Balducci's wife to the lease on her Harlem apartment, in accordance with New York State and City law.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Natalie Chin says:

Today we are putting DSA and other New York State apartment management companies, landlords and building owners on notice: New York same-sex spouses must be treated equally under the laws of New York. The New York rent-stabilization laws are clear: tenants have a right to ensure housing security for a spouse by having their spouse's name added to a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled lease. DSA Management and Nicholas Place LLC responded with insults, harassment and an outright refusal to recognize Regina's marriage to her spouse. This conduct is both outrageous and in violation of New York State and City laws.

Hawkins-Balducci adds:

I've lived in my apartment for nearly 15 years, and built a home with my wife for the last seven. If something were to happen to me, my wife could be evicted. Life is short and we're not getting any younger. Every day that DSA Management and Nicholas Place LLC refuse to issue a lease with both of our names is another day that my spouse is denied housing security. My landlord is standing in the way of protecting my family—something New York law says I can do.

More about the case here.