NYC Lesbian Couple wins battle with Landlord

A lesbian couple in New York City scored a victory Wednesday when their building’s landlord and management company agreed to comply with city and state laws and put both women’s names on the lease for their rent-stabilized Harlem apartment.

Regina Hawkins-Balducci had sought to add her spouse’s name to the lease after the couple married this past January. She presented a copy of their marriage certificate to the management company, DSA Management, and the building’s owner, Nicholas Place LLC, but a representative responded harshly and said her spouse’s name would never be added to the lease.

Under New York City’s rent control laws, rent-stabilized apartments allow tenants to pay rents below market rate, making the units among the most coveted real estate properties. The mandated lower rents also make rent-stabilized apartments deeply unpopular with many landlords.

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