Subletting Rights

Many New York City tenants want to sublet their apartments, because, let's face it, rent in this City is too damn high! Or maybe you're here for just for a few months and a short-term rental is what you need. New York City law allows market-rate and rent-stabilized tenants to sublet their apartments if they live in a building with four or more units.  New York City law does not allow tenants that live in multiple dwellings (3 apartments or more) to sublet apartments for less than thirty days.  

Tenants must receive permission from their landlord in order to sublet their apartment by following a very technical procedure set forth by RPL 226-b. In order to get a sublet request approved, the tenant will need to send their landlord a written request via certified mail, return receipt. The request must include the length of the sublease, the reason the tenant is applying to sublet the apartment, the identity of the prospective subtenant and their personal/financial information, the tenant's address during the sublet period, written consent from any roommates or guarantors, and a copy of the proposed sublease agreement.

Once the tenant submits the request, the landlord has 10 days after the request is mailed to ask the tenant for more information. The landlord has 30 days from the date the written request was mailed, or 30 days from the date the request for more information is made to approve or deny the sublet. If a tenant is denied, the landlord must include a valid reason for denying the sublet. A landlord's failure to respond timely and in writing is considered consent to the sublet.

A tenant should keep in mind that even if the landlord approves the sublet, they are still on the hook for rent. Should a sublessee fail to pay rent, the tenant is still responsible for paying the rent to the landlord, so it is best to have a well-drafted sublease agreement in place before subletting an apartment. Of course, any potential sublessees should be thoroughly vetted.

Rent Stabilized tenants have a few additional restrictions placed on them in relation to subletting their apartments. Rent Stabilized tenants cannot charge a subtenant more than the legal rent for the apartment, plus ten percent if the apartment is furnished. A rent-stabilized tenant should also make sure that they do not sublet their apartments for too long, otherwise the landlord may bring a non-primary residence claim if the tenant has been absent for many months out of the year. A rent-stabilized tenant may not sublet their apartment for more than two years within any four year period.

Rozen Law Group can counsel you on all matters related to subletting your apartment, including drafting a sublet request and agreement, advising rent-stabilized tenants on how to sublet their apartments without violating their residency requirements, and dealing with landlords who deny sublet requests without justification.