The Pros and Cons of Subletting: Is It Your Cup of Tea?

By: ROS Team

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The pandemic has thrown a financial wrench in many New Yorkers’ plans; thanks to unemployment and underemployment, some tenants are facing lease payments and terms that they’re unable to honor. But there is a workaround to moving out of your apartment before the lease period ends without necessarily violating the lease agreement–you can sublet your apartment.

1- What is Subletting
2- Why do Tenants Sublet
3- Law say about Subletting
4- How Risky is Subletting
5- Pros of Subletting
6- Cons of Subletting
7- FAQs

What is Subletting?

A sublet, also known as a sublease, is a type of rental arrangement in which a tenant rents out his or her apartment to another individual while still possessing the lease. In this setting, the one who has the name on the original lease is called a sublessor.

It is different from having a roommate seeing that your roommate’s name would also be on the lease and you’re both bound by the terms outlined in the lease. When subletting, the original tenant’s name is still on the lease. Which also means he or she is still responsible for the actions of the sublessor.

Why do Tenants Sublet?

There could be various reasons why someone would utilize subletting. The most common reason, however, is when someone has to leave the apartment for an extended time. New York City is a city full of immigrants and, when they return to their home country, apartments can stay empty for months.

Why do Tenants Sublet?

During that period, tenants sublet their apartments as a means to cover their rent instead of paying rent on space while they’re away.

Another reason someone may sublet is when the tenant has to move out before the termination of the lease. During such situations, tenants will find a sublessor to not violate the terms of their lease. Which may include penalties for early termination.

What does the Law say about Subletting?

Subletting rules differ by state. In most states, subletting is allowed while in other states, the choice is left with tenants to figure it out for themselves.

What does the Law say about Subletting?

If subletting is allowed in your state but your lease doesn’t allow it, talk to your property manager about the state laws. And, when you decide to sublease, make sure to follow all the requirements outlined in the lease about subcontracting to avoid trouble for yourself.

How Risky is Subletting?

To be honest, subletting is risky because the tenant is responsible for the sublessor’s actions. If the sublessor does not pay the rent or damages the apartment in any way, the tenant is financially responsible.

How Risky is Subletting?

So, if you have been thinking of subletting your apartment, invest some time in selecting a trusted sublessor. If you absolutely must break your lease but you’re not ready to take on the added risk of subletting, talk with your landlord about other options available to you.

The Pros of Subletting:

  • It helps you maintain the lease without incurring any early termination penalties.
  • Another chief advantage of subletting is of course financial. No one wants to pay bills at two places. Subletting would allow you to focus your financial attention on your new primary residence while the sublessor picks up financial responsibility at your previous apartment.
  • It gives you more freedom to travel for extended periods without worrying about how you will cover your rent while you’re gone.

The Pros of Subletting

The Cons of Subletting:

  • Finding someone you trust to sublet is tricky. A sublessor doesn’t have the same vested interest in maintaining the apartment in good working order as you do since you’re financially responsible at the end of the leasing term.
  • There’s no way of knowing if the sublessor will break the lease. If they decide to leave, you will again bear full responsibility for paying the rent.
  • A bad sublessor can ruin your relationship with the landlord. If the subtenant behaved recklessly, you might lose the property as well and ruin your reputation as a tenant.

The Cons of Subletting


What are the Rules for Subletting?

A tenant must obtain written consent from the landlord before subletting and remains responsible for the subletter’s actions and rent payments. Failure to comply with subletting rules can result in eviction or legal action.

How do I not Get Scammed when Subletting?

To avoid being scammed when subletting, always meet the subletter in person, verify their identity, and sign a written sublet agreement that includes details such as the rent amount and payment schedule, security deposit, and any house rules. Beware of sublessors who request payment before showing the property or refuse to provide a written agreement.

Do People Get Caught Subletting?

Yes, people can get caught subletting if they violate the terms of their lease agreement or fail to obtain written consent from their landlord. This can result in legal action, eviction, and financial penalties.

Can I Sublet without my Landlord’s Permission?

In most cases, you need your landlord’s permission to sublet your space. Some lease agreements explicitly prohibit subletting, while others require that you obtain written consent from the landlord first. If you sublet without permission, you could face legal or financial consequences.

Can I make Changes to the Lease Agreement when Subletting?

Generally speaking, you cannot make changes to the original lease agreement when subletting. The sublessee is bound by the same terms and conditions that were outlined in the original lease agreement between you and the landlord.

What Information Should I Include in a Sublease Agreement?

A sublease agreement should include information such as the names of the sublessor and sublessee, the rental period, the rent amount and due date, any security deposits or cleaning fees, and the terms and conditions of the original lease agreement that will also apply to the sublessee.

What should I do if the Sublessee doesn’t Pay Rent or Damage the Property?

If the sublessee fails to pay rent or damages the property, the sublessor is typically responsible for addressing the issue with the landlord and paying any associated costs. It’s important to have a clear plan in place for how to handle these types of situations before entering into a sublease agreement.

Final Words:

When you sublet, you step into the shoes of the landlord for better or worse. If you can find someone trustworthy and reliable then subletting may be a viable option for you.

Related Article:

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