Subletting NYC Apartments: What to Know

Subletting NYC apartments is something many New Yorkers think about, especially if they plan to be out of town for a period of time. NYC has specific rules for subletting spaces, so check out below to find out more.

Subletting NYC apartments: there are things you’ll need to consider before you sublease your space. It may seem like the smartest thing in the world to do; you’re heading out of town for the summer, or you’ll be away for a few weeks or a month or two for work. Your apartment will just sit empty during the entire time you’re gone, so you figure you’ll sublet it out. It’s a win for everyone! Someone will be able to stay in the city for a while, and you’ll benefit by not only having someone in your home keeping an eye on things but also by having your rent or mortgage paid. What could go wrong? Well, a few things, actually. Before you sublet your space for any amount of time, check out below.

Find Out if You’re Allowed to Sublet

If you live in a co-op, you need to find out if you’re even allowed to rent out your apartment. Some co-ops have very strict rules regarding tenants subletting out their apartments. Some require that their residents use the apartments as their primary residences for a year or two before they rent them out as sublets. Other buildings limit the amount of time an apartment can be subletted. Wile other buildings forbid sublets outright. Boards often require that prospective subleasees pass screening tests prior to being allowed to live in the building.

Get Permission from Your Landlord

If you live in a privately owned building that has four or more apartments, you have the legal right to sublet your apartment. Sublets in NYC must be for 30 days or more. Contact your landlord in writing via certified mail and let him or her know that you need to sublet your apartment for a certain period of time. Some landlords want to be a part of the selection process, while others don’t really care as long as they get their checks. Some may require a deposit. Be sure to give your landlord as much of a heads up as possible before you move your subleasee in.

If you live in a rent-stabilized apartment, you are legally allowed to sublet your space, but there are rules you’ll need to follow to make that happen, including providing written documentation of info like the name and business of the subleasee and how long the sublet will last. If you live in a rent-controlled apartment, you don’t automatically have the right to sublet your apartment unless your lease stipulates otherwise.

Choose Your Tenants Carefully

You want to make sure that you sublet your apartment to someone you can trust. You may have that friend who you love to pieces but who is irresponsible with money. That is not the person you should be renting to. A lease (or your mortgage) is a serious legal document that has your name on it. Handing all of that over to an unreliable person will hurt no one but you in the end. Put personal friendships aside, and only sublet to people who you know will take care of your good name and your space. Keep this important fact in mind: If your subleasee doesn’t pay your rent or your mortgage costs/co-op maintenance fees, you are the one responsible for paying them. So choose wisely when subletting NYC apartments.

Image Source: Flickr/Esteban Chiner

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