Tenants with leases who live in buildings with four or more
apartments have the right to sublet with the landlord's advance consent. The
landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent. If the landlord consents to the
sublet, the tenant remains liable to the landlord for the obligations of the
lease. If the landlord denies the sublet on reasonable grounds, the tenant
cannot sublet and the landlord is not required to release the tenant from the
lease. If the landlord denies the sublet on unreasonable grounds, the tenant
may sublet. If a lawsuit results, the tenant may recover court costs and
attorney's fees if a judge rules that the landlord denied the sublet in bad
These steps must be followed by tenants wishing to sublet:
1) The tenant must send a written request to the landlord
by certified mail, return-receipt requested. The request must contain the
following information: (a) the length of the sublease; (b) the name, home
and business address of the proposed subtenant; (c) the reason for
subletting; (d) the tenant's address during the sublet; (e) the written
consent of any co-tenant or guarantor; (f) a copy of the proposed sublease
together with a copy of the tenant's own lease, if available.
2) Within 10 days after the mailing of this request, the
landlord may ask the tenant for additional information to help make a
decision. Any request for additional information may not be unduly
3) Within 30 days after the mailing of the tenant's
request to sublet or the additional information requested by the landlord,
whichever is later, the landlord must send the tenant a notice of consent,
or if consent is denied, the reasons for denial. A landlord's failure to
send this written notice is considered consent to sublet.
4) A sublet or assignment which does not comply with the
law may be grounds for eviction.
In addition to these sublet rules, there are additional
requirements limited to rent stabilized tenants. These rules include the
- The rent charged to the subtenant cannot exceed the
stabilized rent plus a 10% surcharge payable to the tenant for a furnished
sublet. Additionally, the stabilized rent payable to the owner, effective
upon the date of subletting, may be increased by a "sublet
allowance" equal to the vacancy allowance then in effect. A subtenant
who is overcharged may file a complaint with DHCR or may sue the prime
tenant in court to recover any overcharge plus treble damages, interest, and
attorneys' fees. (RSC § 2525.6(e))
- The prime tenant must establish that at all times
he/she has maintained the apartment as a primary residence and intends to
reoccupy it at the end of the sublet.
- The prime tenant, not the subtenant, retains the rights
to a renewal lease and any rights resulting from a co-op conversion. The
term of a sublease may extend beyond the term of the prime tenant's lease.
The tenant may not sublet for more than two years within any four-year
period. (Real Property Law §226-b, RSC §2525.6)
YOUR LEASE MAY CONTAIN SPECIFIC CLAUSES RELATING TO
SUBLETTING YOUR NEW YORK LEASE. DOES NOT APPLY TO COMMERCIAL UNITS.