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Judge Miriam Breier

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Landlord sought possession of the subject premises in this holdover proceeding against Rivera, arguing he was deceased tenant of record Rodriguez’s licensee and his license was revoked. Rivera sought succession rights to the tenancy. Landlord proved its prima facie case at trial, presenting evidence that riders to the lease reported the household consisted only of Rodriguez as no one else was listed as an occupant or family member. Rivera testified he lived in the premises for nearly 12 years, and while he remained married to another woman—because she would not grant him a divorce—, he and Rodriguez started dating 18 years ago and moved in together to the premise approximately 12 years ago. The court noted while there was little documentary evidence, Rivera’s credible testimony established he and Rodriguez shared a long, committed relationship and she relied on him for household expenses and he cared for her when she became ill, among other things. The court opined Rivera proved by a fair preponderance of the credible evidence he was Rodriguez’s non-traditional family member, proving his right to succeed to the tenancy and have a renewal lease in his name. Thus, it dismissed the petition.