A New York sublease agreement is a document that allows an initial tenant (a sublessor) to rent out the property to another tenant (a sublessee), either in full or in part.
A sublease agreement must abide by the original lease. It cannot change the terms of that agreement. In New York, the original tenant is still responsible for paying rent to the landlord on time, and if utilities are in the tenant’s name, they must ensure they are also paid on time. The initial tenant remains bound under the lease terms, so if the sublessee breaches the lease, the initial tenant is liable.
How to Write a New York Sublease Agreement
- Name the current tenant or tenants – List all people named in the original lease, along with an address and email address.
- Name the subtenant(s) – Write the name(s) of whoever will be subleasing the property, their address for notices, and their email contact.
- Name the landlord – The landlord on the original lease should be listed, along with an address where the notice can be sent.
- List the terms of the original lease and attach a copy – List the date of the original lease and the beginning and end dates of the agreement. Format the dates in mm/dd/yyyy. You should also provide a copy of the original lease.
- List the terms of the sublease agreement – State the start and end dates of the sublease in mm/dd/yyyy format, and the address of the subleased property, including the city and state.
- Include additional information about the property if applicable – It’s best to clarify aspects of the property that are available to the subtenant — such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, parking spaces, storage units, and furnishings. Also, list any restrictions, such as smoking or pets.
- Calculate the rent – State the total amount of rent for the entire sublease term and the amount of rent due each month that the sublessee is responsible for. Also, list any utilities or additional fees owed each month. If there’s a security deposit the sublessee must pay the sublessor, it should be noted.
- Sign the sublease agreement – The sublessor and the sublessee must sign and date the agreement and print their names.
New York Sublease Laws
You should check your original lease agreement to see if you can sublet your apartment. It’s recommended that a tenant receive written permission from their landlord before subletting in New York. Once you’ve filled out a New York sublease agreement, you will be responsible for your subtenant and liable for any violations of the original lease.
A sublessor must honor the terms of the sublease agreement (as well as the original lease) and follow all New York laws regarding the eviction process, security deposits, and all other landlord-tenant matters.
New York Landlord-Tenant Laws: Real Property Law of the New York Consolidated Laws and Constitution
In New York, a sublessor must:
- Give a subtenant fourteen days (14) written notice to pay rent or leave
- Return the security deposit within fourteen days (14) of the end of the sublease
- Provide thirty days (30) written notice of your intent not to renew the sublease and/or original lease
New York Sublease FAQs
Is subletting illegal in New York?
No, most tenants have a right to sublease their rental property. Tenants in apartment buildings with four or more units have a right to sublease, and even if their lease agreement prohibits it, that clause is unenforceable. Tenants in a home or a building with less than four units have no right to sublease and must defer to their lease agreement terms.
Can a tenant sublet without permission?
You must ask your landlord for formal permission before subletting your property in New York. The landlord has 10 days to request more information, and within 30 days of your initial request or the landlord’s request for more information, whichever is later, the landlord must provide an answer. If the landlord rejects the request to sublease, it must be “reasonable”- typically, an economic reason or if the landlord suspects the sublease is not temporary. Even if your request is denied, you may challenge it.
Are there additional rules for rent-stabilized or subsidized housing?
Yes, if you live in a rent-regulated or rent-subsidized housing unit, there are specific rules you must follow. For example, if you live in public housing, you may not sublease. It is best to consult an attorney and carefully review New York sublet laws.
How to end a sublease agreement?
In New York, a sublease is legally binding, and a sublessor must follow the same eviction process that their landlord would follow if they wanted to remove them from the property.