Let’s say you’re going to be traveling abroad for work for the next six months. You don’t want to break the lease on your New York City apartment, but you don’t want topay rent on a property you’re not living in.
The answer is subletting.
When you sublet your apartment, you’re allowing someone else to live there while you are away.
But is that legal?
All New Yorkers have the right to sublet their apartment. Even if your lease has a condition which states that you can’t, that won’t hold up in court. It is your right to sublet, period end.
However, you do have to submit information to your landlord and receive permission. They’re not allowed to refuse outright just because they don’t want subletting in their building. But there are certain legal reasons a landlord can cite to deny your sublet. That’s why it’s best to consult an experienced real estate law firm like Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. before moving forward.
What are the ways that a landlord can deny your subletting attempt? And what can you do to avoid them?
1. Providing Inadequate Information
Your official written request to sublet must contain a number of items. Failure to list even one of them can result in the landlord denying your request.
When requesting to sublet your apartment, always include: the sublease term, proposed sublessee’s name, business and permanent address of proposed sublessee, reason for subletting, your address throughout the sublease, written consent from any co-tenant also listed on the lease, and a copy of the proposed sublease, signed by both you and the proposed subtenant.
2. No Valid Reasoning for Subletting
You can’t just sublet because you want to go live at your girlfriend’s house for the summer. There has to be a valid reason backing your request.
Some common reasons for subletting are military deployment, extended temporary work travel, studying abroad, or taking care of a sick relative.
3. You Show No Intention of Returning
Subletting is not a forever arrangement. It’s temporary occupancy. As such, you have to show your landlord that you’re not abandoning the property.
If, for instance, you were taking a permanent position in Washington State, you’re not likely to return to New York. But if you’re traveling to Washington State to work on a six-month project, it’s clear that you’re going to be coming back.
4. Your Proposed Subtenant Does Not Qualify
When you moved in, your landlord likely subjected you to a background and credit check. The same will be required of your subtenant before they’re allowed to take possession of the unit. If they fail, the landlord can deny the sublet.
Some common areas in which a subtenant fails to qualify are: poor credit score, a criminal record, a history of past evictions, or a lack of steady income.
Subletting is a great way to ensure that you’re not wasting money while temporarily living somewhere else. That’s why it’s important to know what information you have to present to you landlord, and how to pick an appropriate subtenant. If you feel as though your landlord has unjustly denied your request to sublet, contact a real estate attorney immediately.