What is NYC Sublet Law – Everything You Need to Know About It?

By: ROS Team

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New York City is among the most costly places on the planet. Living in New York City is the dream of millions and very few can make it to it. However, if you aim to sublet your apartment, you will never go out of customers. The real question that arises is whether you have followed the procedure and made it legal? Or, otherwise, the consequences might not be pleasant for you.

Who Qualify The Sublet Criteria?

  • Renters living in non-profit buildings do not have a subletting right.
  • Leaseholders in co-ops and condo apartments are not entitled to sublet and must comply with the by-laws of a building.
  • Rent-stabilized renters may sublet, given a number of conditions are met ( discussed below)
  • Rent-control tenants may sublet.

How to Sublet Your Apartment?

The law of the New York State permits most of the tenants to sublease their apartments and has placed legal procedures for that.

The first step is to inform your landlord about the subleasing. Without prior notice to the landlord, it will be deemed illegal. You are supposed to furnish all the particulars of the person who is going to occupy the space in your absence.

The Following Information Is Necessary:

  • The duration of the sublease;
  • Persona detail of the subtenant;
  • The valid reason behind your decision;
  • How many subtenants will pay;
  • Details of the security deposit
  • A sublease agreement document.

The landlord may ask for more details within ten days of the notice. And the landlord is supposed to reject or accept the application within thirty days of the notice. If the landlord failed to respond timely, the permission will be considered granted and the tenant may sublease.

The landlord may reject the application only with a valid reason. If the reasons are not valid and are rejected in bad faith, the tenant may sublease. If the landlord is still forced to evict the apartment, the tenant may pursue the case and the landlord has to compensate, including the attorney fees.

Rules for the Rent Stabilized Tenant:

  • The apartment must have to be your primary residence.
  • The tenant cannot charge more than the rent.
  • In the case of a furnished apartment, the tenant may charge an additional 10%.
  • The apartment cannot be sublet for more than two years.

Sub-letters cannot automatically take over if the tenant decides to move out. It will be subject to the landlord’s approval.

The tenant has to state the clear reasons for the absence and has to prove that the apartment is his main residence. If he fails to prove that, the landlord may take over the apartment and cancel the lease.

Subletting vs. Assignment and Guests

There is a difference between them and we need to make it clear.


It is the process when the tenant is planning to leave the apartment permanently and assign the remaining lease to another individual. The tenant is supposed to submit the application and follow the exact process discussed above and it is also subject to the landlord’s consent.


Tenants may invite guests to stay over at their place but can’t charge them any money. Charging anyone for less than 30 days stay is subject to the penalty and punishment by law of the land.


In case you are leaving the apartment for some reason for a short period you are allowed to sublease the apartment. But you have to prove that this apartment is still your primary residence.

In case the tenant fails to establish the fact that it is not a primary residence then the lease may be considered null and void and the landlord may take over.


A subtenant has to prove that he is a law-abiding citizen and has a credible financial history.

The following are the reasons which can make the situation tough for a subtenant:

  • If financially not stable and do not have savings to back
  • Credit history is not positive
  • A criminal record may cause the termination
  • History of eviction by landlords for any issue.

Rent Controlled Apartments:

Rent-controlled apartments are different from rent stabilized apartments. The tenant of a rent-controlled apartment may also sublease the apartment. It is considered mandatory for the tenet of the rent controlled apartment to seek the consent of the landlord.

The conditions for seeking the consent of the landlord do not apply to the rent-controlled apartments. There is no particular limitation for timing but is required to mention the duration to the landlord. And it is mandatory to take the approval of the landlord.

However, the tenant must maintain it as a primary residence.


The New York City laws permit most of the tenants to sublease their apartments. But, in almost all cases, the landlord’s consent is considered mandatory, and the fact that it is the primary residence.

The landlord has to have a valid reason to uphold the request and have to respond within thirty days or the permission is considered granted.

It is advised to both the landlord and tenant to consult any professional counsel in matters related to subletting to make things trouble free for themselves.

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