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What Should I Know About Subtenant Rights in NYC?

You know that a tenant has specific rights when they rent an apartment in NYC, but what about a subtenant? This is someone who lives in a space while the original tenant is away. Plenty of people sublet their room when they travel or if they need to get out of a lease early, but no matter why they choose to enter into this kind of arrangement a subtenant has rights. If those rights are violated, a New York City residential lease dispute lawyer from our firm is ready to help.

How Do You Become a Subtenant?

When you rent out an apartment, you are legally entitled to ask your landlord about subletting arrangements. If you want to let someone else live in your apartment for any reason, you must inform the landlord by certified mail. The landlord must be made aware of the tenets of a proposed sublease agreement, including the name of the subtenant, the reason for the sublease request, and the terms of the sublease.

The landlord can consider this request and then ask for more info if they want to. If they do not respond within 30 days, that is considered consent. If the landlord does not have a good reason to deny the sublease, then the tenant can allow a subtenant to move in. Then the subtenant pays rent to the landlord directly, or they can pay the tenant who passes that money along to the landlord.

What Are the Rights of a Subtenant?

Being a subtenant can seem like a precarious situation since your name is not on the lease itself. You still have some rights though, and the tenant and the landlord must respect them.

Rent costs: The tenant should not be able to dramatically overcharge you for rent. If you become a subtenant in a rent-stabilized apartment the tenant can only increase the rent by 10%, and this is usually only allowed in situations where the apartment is fully furnished. A landlord cannot just arbitrarily decide to raise the rent on you.

Warranty of habitability: Like any tenant, a subtenant has the right to a habitable living space. If a landlord will not supply water or heat, or if there is an unaddressed issue like a bug infestation, your rights are being violated.

Eviction: You cannot be evicted for no reason. The landlord and the tenant must have good reason to want you out of the apartment, like nonpayment of rent or a breach of the sublease agreement.

Can a Subtenant Take Over a Lease?

You do not have an automatic right to take over a lease. However, you can ask for the lease to be assigned to you and the landlord can decide either way. They do not need to give any reason for refusing though.

Contact Our Tenant Lawyers

If you believe that your landlord has violated your rights, we are ready to stand up for you. Contact Robert Rosenblatt & Associates and ask to schedule a consultation. If you have legal options, we’re ready to help you exercise them.

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