Section 1.21 Tenant In Occupancy

(Effective June 5, 2001; amended for clarification December 3, 2002)

            A tenant in occupancy is an individual who otherwise meets the definition of tenant as set forth in Ordinance Section 37.2(t), and who actually resides in a rental unit or, with the knowledge and consent of the landlord, reasonably proximate rental units in the same building as his or her principal place of residence. Occupancy does not require that the individual be physically present in the unit or units at all times or continuously, but the unit or units must be the tenant’s usual place of return. When considering whether a tenant occupies one or more rental units in the same building as his or her “principal place of residence,” the Rent Board must consider the totality of the circumstances, including, but not limited to the following elements:

(1) the subject premises are listed as the individual’s place of residence on any motor vehicle registration, driver’s license, voter registration, or with any other public agency, including Federal, State and local taxing authorities;

(2) utilities are billed to and paid by the individual at the subject premises;

(3) all of the individual’s personal possessions have been moved into the subject premises;

(4) a homeowner’s tax exemption for the individual has not been filed for a different property;

(5) the subject premises are the place the individual normally returns to as his/her home, exclusive of military service, hospitalization, vacation, family emergency, travel necessitated by employment or education, or other reasonable temporary periods of absence; and/or

(6) Credible testimony from individuals with personal knowledge or other credible evidence that the tenant actually occupies the rental unit or units as his or her principal place of residence.

A compilation of these elements lends greater credibility to the finding of “principal place of residence” whereas the presence of only one element may not support such a finding.