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A sublease agreement is a legal document used when a property is leased to a third party. Because we understand that it can be confusing to draw up these documents, we have drawn up a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the laws concerning sublease agreements in New York.

Sublease Agreement

A tenant also referred to as a sublessor, may legally sublease a rental home to a new tenant or sublessee by entering into a sublease agreement. With the landlord's consent, the sublessee makes monthly payments to discharge all or a portion of the initial tenant's financial obligations under the original lease.

Keep in mind that the original tenant will still be obligated to make payments to the landlord under the terms of the sublease contract. Still, the initial renter will be in charge of collecting the rental fee and money for shared utilities when it is due.

Most tenants prefer this type of arrangement when they have to move. It is often used as a substitute for terminating the lease and losing the security deposit because it won't legally violate the provisions that were agreed on. The landlord or property manager must approve this decision before drawing up a sublease agreement.

If a rental application or additional security deposit is necessary, it ought to be specified in the original lease contract between the landlord and the original tenant. Moreover, a sublease agreement must include all the relevant information in the original or master lease he or she may need to know.

What to Include

If you're drawing up a New York sublease agreement, there are certain details you will need to include. Use this list when creating your next sublease agreement:

  • Names and details of all parties mentioned in the master lease, including the landlord and initial tenant
  • The name and contact information of the new tenant
  • A list of terms in the original agreement (it might be a good idea to attach a copy to the sublease agreement)
  • Information about the rental property
  • The landlord's details, including the mailing address for notices
  • Terms of the sublease agreement (such as when the sublessor will be required to pay rent and when the lease expires)
  • A section for all parties involved to sign

How to Write One

Because of the complexities of a sublease agreement and the additional responsibility that a sublessor must undertake, it is imperative to use a sublease contract that is detailed and state specific. A simple sublease agreement that adheres to New York law can be written by following these steps:

  1. Identify and list the names and contact details of all the parties involved. This includes both the sublessor and sublessee and the landlord.
  2. Write down the terms of the sublease agreement. Here, you'll need to specify the start and end date of the sublease and the terms of the original lease. You should also include a copy of the initial lease.
  3. Describe the property. It is important to list details about furniture on the property and the presence of any potential hazards. This section can be taken from the original lease.
  4. Provide information about the monthly rental payment and security deposit. You should include the monthly rental amount and the date the new tenant will be required to pay rent in this section.
  5. List the rules for the rental property. This should include the pet, smoking, and noise policy.
  6. Lead-based paint. As with an original lease agreement, landlords must disclose the presence of any lead-based paint on the property if the unit was built prior to 1978.
  7. Get the landlord's consent. You must obtain the landlord's explicit consent for the agreement, so you will need to include a section to that effect.
  8. Signatures. Lastly, you must have a section to obtain the signatures of all parties involved to make the document legally binding.

Special Laws

There are no restrictions regarding properties with fewer than four units in New York. However, the landlord is not allowed to oppose to a tenant subletting the apartment if the property contains five or more units.

They can only refuse a sublease arrangement if it was specifically indicated in the first lease agreement. A landlord may request to sign the contract, but they cannot prevent the renter from doing so. The original tenant should send a sublease application to the landlord through certified mail so that they have proof that it was received.

Sublessors

In addition to the terms and conditions of the original lease and New York sublease agreement, a sublessor must follow all rental laws concerning security deposits, the eviction process, and any other landlord-tenant concerns. The original tenant will also have a responsibility to:

  • Obtain consent from the landlord to lease the unit to a third party
  • Give the new tenant a 14-day written notice to pay the rent or vacate the property.
  • Return the deposit within 14 days after the New York sublease expires.
  • Offer written notification of your decision not to renew the sublet and/or original lease within 30 days.

Build Your Own

We understand that building your own New York sublease agreement may seem overwhelming. After all, there's so much information to include and laws to abide by. With our property management software and free forms, we have made it easy for you to sublet the property to a new tenant.

You can generate professional rental agreements in no time using DoorLoop's intuitive editor, whether you are an existing tenant or a landlord. Please take advantage of our free demo to experience our software for yourself!

Alternatively, you can download one of our free forms here:

What Is DoorLoop?

DoorLoop was created in response to a growing need for a platform to help manage rental businesses. You can use the software to run background checks, create professional leases, and track rental payments on one intuitive platform.

To see it at work for yourself, schedule a free demo.

eSignature

Lease signing is your biggest opportunity to lay the foundation for a pleasant tenant experience, and that relies on making the process as easy and efficient as possible.

With DoorLoop, you can get your subleases eSigned in a few seconds. You can also get to the eSignature step much more easily by creating reusable sublease templates that are autofilled with tenants' information.

DoorLoop also makes it so simple to find the best tenants in the first place by syndicating your lisitngs on popular websites Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Apartments.com, and more. You can also make sure you're bringing in the best tenants by screening your prospects in seconds through DoorLoop.

For more information about DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.

Final Thoughts

Subleasing can be a very advantageous experience if all parties adhere to the terms of the agreement and fulfill their duties. Suppose the sublessor thoroughly screens any potential sublessees and enters into an agreement with a trustworthy individual. In that case, subleasing can ultimately shield him or her from the effects of premature lease termination.

FAQs

Is there a limit on the amount that can be charged for a sublease security deposit in New York?

Yes. The amount a landlord can charge for leasing a property is equivalent to one month's rent.

Is it legal for the initial tenant to sublet a rental unit?

Yes, subletting is legal in New York, provided the landlord has provided consent and agreed to the terms of the agreement.

Do I have to include a copy of the original lease in a sublease agreement?

While this isn't legally required, it is generally recommended. You could choose to include the relevant terms from the initial agreement instead of adding a copy of the entire agreement.

Can a sublessee be evicted?

Yes, sublessees can be kicked out if they violate the conditions of the lease or don't pay their rent on time. If the sublessor or the landlord desires to evict the occupants, the same processes as were required for evicting the original tenants shall be followed.

Is a tenant allowed to sublet a rental unit without consent from the landlord?

You cannot sublet your rental unit in New York without your landlord's permission. The landlord must respond within 30 days of either receiving your first request or the landlord's request for additional information, whichever comes first.

Thereafter, the landlord then has 10 days to make the additional information request. Moreover, the landlord must have a "reasonable" justification for rejecting the sublet request. This usually involves a valid business concern or a suspicion that the sublease won't be short-term. You may contest the denial of your petition even if it is not accepted.

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David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!