Many times a New York area landlord will commence a proceeding to evict a tenant claiming that the tenant of record is illegally subletting the apartment to another person. In many of these instances, the tenant of record is not subletting his or her apartment at all, but is merely sharing the apartment with another tenant. Sometimes the tenant of record might be away from the apartment every so often related to business or stays over a friend’s apartment on occasion. In each of these instances no rules or laws have been broken but the landlord sees another person living at the apartment other than the tenant and assumes that the tenant is illegally subletting. A New York tenant attorney can help address this legal situation.
When a landlord brings such illegal sublet cases to a NYC court, the tenant has to demonstrate that he or she has not sublet the apartment but lives there. If there is another tenant living in the apartment as well, the tenant must show that that person is a roommate. Even assuming that the tenant has illegally sublet the apartment the tenant has a opportunity to rectify the problem by simply getting rid of the illegal subtenant.
All the above being said it should be understood that a rent-stabilized tenant in New York is allowed to sublet an apartment provided they follow certain procedures. Any lease clause that prohibits a rent stabilized tenant from subletting is unenforceable and may be disregarded.
The NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) offers guidance about Subletting or Assigning Leases.
If your New York landlord is attempting to evict you and is suing you in NYC Housing Court claiming that you are illegally subletting your apartment or if the landlord is refusing to allow you to sublet your apartment, a right you are entitled to under the laws of the State of New York, you should contact the Law Offices of Attorney Eric Feinberg for assistance.