Thinking of going on a short vacation, but don’t want to keep paying rent while you’re not staying in the apartment? Subletting is the solution for you. To sublet means to rent out a room that’s already being rented for a short period of time. It’s a great idea to ensure your rent is paid and your room is still intact when you return. However, it’s important to do your research about NYC subletting laws before starting anything.

Remember that there are terms and conditions, and the rights to sublet involved in the process before you make money subletting. It isn’t as simple as saying ‘I want to sublet my room’ to a friend who pays your rent for you.

In fact, in some states, you can go to prison if you’re found subletting your room without getting your landlord’s approval! Make sure you’re following the rules and know all about the laws for subletting in NYC.

5 Things to Know Before Subletting

New Yorkers, if you’re thinking of subletting your room, you have more flexibility than other renters across America! It’s the only other jurisdiction (alongside Chicago) where subletting your room is allowed. That too, even if your landlord denies or ignores your request. But there are laws in place and some restrictions in subletting. Here are five things you need to know about NYC subletting laws:

#1: Confirm if you’re able to sublet in your apartment

Although subletting is legal in New York, there are restrictions in place for certain types of apartments. If you fall under any of the following categories, you may not have the right to sublet your room. So make sure you get permission from the relevant body in writing before starting to make money subletting:

  • Public housing residents or those who receive rent subsidies don’t have the right to sublet.
  • Tenants that live in non-profit buildings don’t have the right to sublet.
  • Tenants in co-op and condo apartments should consult their proprietary lease. Also check the building’s by-laws, as they may not have the right to sublet.
  • Rent-stabilized tenants can sublet with a few restrictions: 1.) You have to maintain the apartment as your primary residence; 2.) You can’t charge more than the asking rent; 3.) You can’t sublet for more than 2 years.
  • Rent-controlled tenants don’t have the right to sublet by law and should check the clauses of their lease.

#2: Let your landlord know through writing

The first step to subletting your apartment is to let your landlord know your plans to sublet 30 days before. You have to submit the following information by certified mail, return receipt requested:

  • The term and reason for subletting
  • The name of the person you’re subletting your room to
  • The business and permanent home address of the person subletting
  • Your address for the term of the sublet
  • Written consent from co-tenants or guarantor on the lease
  • A copy of the proposed sublease acknowledged by the main tenant and subtenant

Source: Unsplash

Your landlord has 10 days to ask for additional information, as long as it’s within reason. Then, if they fail to notify you whether they approve or reject your request within 30 days of your submission, it’s considered consent to sublet. However, your landlord can withhold the request if they have a good reason. As a result, you won’t be permitted to sublet your room by law. In circumstances where the landlord unreasonably withholds consent, you can go ahead with subletting your room anyway.

#3: Subletting means you have to return to your apartment

For subletting your room legally, you must plan on returning to the property once the term for subletting your room is up. If you think you’ll be gone for longer, speak to your landlord about breaking or re-assigning your lease to determine what the process should be.

As mentioned, you must have plans to return to the property after the term of subletting your room is over. But what happens when everything is going swimmingly? And you don’t want to go back to the room, and the new tenant has settled in? Can they take over your lease as per the right to sublet? Yes, they can.

Under NYC subletting laws, you must obtain written consent from the owner before proceeding. The owner is under no obligation to give their consent, nor do they have to provide a reason for denying the lease takeover.

#4: Be aware of legal issues surrounding subletting

If your landlord declines your request, and you still let another person sublet your room, there’s a high chance that you’ll be evicted for lease violations depending on your lease. With NYC subletting laws, certain legal issues could easily be avoided as long as you’re careful in planning and have everything in writing.

Source: Stock

If your landlord rejects your request and you still proceed to sublet your room, you may face eviction. A case can be filed and if you lose, you can still keep the apartment by having the subtenant (the person subletting) move out within 10 days of the judgment. Either way, you’ll probably still pay your landlord’s attorney’s fees if your lease has an attorney’s fees clause. So, make sure to check and review your lease well.

One thing to consider is if you can actually make money while subletting, and the simple answer is yes, you can, with a few limitations. The right to sublet allows adding an extra 10% of the monthly rent onto the price when subletting your room. But only as long as the place is furnished. Your landlord also has the right to “sublet allowance,” another 10% of the monthly rent.

So as per NYC subletting laws, you can rent the room at 20% more than you pay. If you’re adding on more and the new tenant finds out, they can file a complaint and you’d have to pay a heavy fine. But if you’re in a rent-stabilized apartment, you can’t charge more than your current rent. NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) is the state agency that governs this and contains up-to-date information regarding the latest updates to the right to sublet.

There’s also the issue of illusory sublets where the main tenant hasn’t been in the apartment, meaning it isn’t their primary residence violating NYC subletting laws. A complaint can be filed by the cotentant which will require the owner to recognize the subtenant as the actual tenant who can renew their lease.

#5: You can use an online tool to help sublet your room

You can use an online room and roommate finder tool, like Roomi, to help streamline your subletting process. Roomi is a trusted online platform with listings and verified users around the globe. Especially for New Yorkers, Roomi complies with the city’s legal requirements and NYC subletting laws making it easier for users to sublet or find a subletter.

Roomi makes searching simple with its filters on age, gender, monthly rent amount, duration, layout, type of apartment, amenities, number of bedrooms, and even lifestyle. And more importantly, Roomi takes the privacy of its users seriously with ID verification and background checks for all. Plus, there’s an in-app messaging feature to protect users against scams and fraud.

Get Ready to Sublet with Roomi

In New York City, subletting your room can be a great way to make some extra money and help out a friend in need. While there are rules and regulations to follow, it’s legal under certain circumstances. This article highlighted five key things to know before subletting your room in NYC.

Source: Roomi

Plus, an online tool to streamline your subletting process: Roomi! It’s a room and roommate finder with a user-friendly interface, thousands of listings, top-notch features, and secure verification processes. Use the tool’s filters to find the best subletter for you and start a conversation with secure in-app messaging without worrying about violating NYC subletting laws.

If you’re ready to take the next step and make some extra cash, sign up today and start subletting in the Big Apple!

Don’t Worry About NYC Subletting Laws with Roomi.