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You may anticipate residing in your apartment for six months, a year, or whatever duration is outlined in your lease agreement. But the truth is that you cannot predict the future, and a situation may arise where you cannot live in your apartment for the remainder of your lease. This may prompt you to seek out a sublessee. Read on to discover the legal implications of subleasing your apartment and how a seasoned New York City real estate attorney at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can offer you the necessary guidance.

What is subleasing?

By definition, subleasing is the act of re-renting a property by an existing tenant (i.e., a lessee) to a new third party (i.e., a sublessee) for a portion of the tenant’s existing lease agreement. This is also commonly referred to as subletting.

You may find yourself considering subleasing if you have to make a quick move out of New York; whether it be for a job opportunity, due to a family emergency, or otherwise. In urgent situations such as these, you do not want to break your lease agreement and subsequently suffer its financial penalties. At the same time, you do not want to continue incurring the cost of monthly rent payments when you are no longer utilizing the space. So this may be deemed a cost-effective, not to mention legally acceptable, option.

What are the legal implications of subleasing my New York apartment?

You must understand that the owner of your apartment complex (i.e., a leaser) may not allow you to sublease your rental unit at all. For example, in New York, typically owners of public housing buildings, non-profit buildings, co-ops, and rent-controlled apartments cannot offer subleasing options. This is why you must read the terms and conditions of your lease agreement before proceeding any further.

And even if subleasing is permitted, you may still be intrinsically tied to the rental unit and certain legal obligations as its lessee. With that being said, below are examples of legal implications associated with subleasing a New York apartment:

  • You must allow your leaser to approve of a sublessee before they move in or take over the lease agreement (which usually requires a written request via certified mail).
  • You must keep this rental unit as your primary residence (or else a leaser may initiate a nonprimary residence holdover proceeding).
  • You must only charge a sublessee your legal rent amount (if your unit is furnished, then you may only add a 10 percent surcharge).
  • You must not sublease this rental unit for any more than two years.

With such complex legal implications, you should not go through this process alone. Rather, you should have a competent New York City real estate attorney from Zimmet Law Group, P.C. stand by your side throughout. Contact our firm today.