New York Sublease Agreement

The New York sublease agreement is a legal contract that allows a tenant (“sublessor”) to rent (“sublease”) rental property to a new tenant (“sublessee”). With the landlord’s permission, the sublessee makes regular payments to relieve some or all of the original tenant’s obligations under their original lease.

The sublease agreement does not override the initial lease in any way, the sublease agreement will still require the initial tenant to pay the landlord, but they will be responsible for collecting the rental fee when it is due. If the utilities are still in the original tenant’s name, the same will have to be done to ensure that they are paid in a timely fashion as well.

This is an option that some tenants choose when they need to move to another location. Instead of breaking the lease and forfeiting the security deposit, a sublease agreement can be an option that can be used that will not legally break the terms that were agreed upon. Before a tenant decides to go this route, it is important to make sure that it is something that the property manager allows.

The landlord or the management of the property may require the sublessee to fill out an application or put in an additional security deposit, but if that is required, it should be located in the initial lease agreement between the landlord and the initial tenant. If there are any restrictions that the new tenant will need to know about that are in the original lease, they will need to be in this agreement as well.

Responsibilities of the Sublessor Under A Sublease Agreement

As previously stated, this type of agreement does not break the original lease or change the terms of it; it will simply add a third party into the agreement. The original tenant is going to remain responsible for the terms and the conditions that were originally agreed upon. This means that if the sublessee who is renting the unit from the original tenant fails to pay the rent that is due on time, the original tenant will be responsible for making sure that the landlord gets the rent that is due as well as any late payments that may be added on to the amount.

The original tenant is also going to be responsible for the actions of the third party that is subleasing the unit. This means that any breaking of the terms of the lease will fall onto the original tenant’s shoulders, so to avoid unnecessary issues with the rental process, make sure to do background and credit checks before accepting a tenant for a sublease agreement.  Many landlords in the New York area will allow a tenant to lease out the unit in a sublease agreement, and they may also allow the third party to take over the terms of the lease for the unit when the lease expires.

How to Write a Sublease Agreement

When a sublease agreement needs to be written up, there are a few sections that will be required in the document. These sections that must be covered include:

The Names of the Parties

With a new sublease agreement, the first thing that will need to be listed at the top of the document is the names of the parties who will be entering into the agreement. The original tenant’s information will go under a section that is for the sublessor, and the new tenant will put all of their information under the section that is designated for the sublessee. In both of these sections, the full name of the individuals will be required as well as the current address of both of the parties and a phone number where they can be reached.  Sometimes, an email address is also required in this section as an alternative way to contact the parties.

In this section, you may also want to lay out the landlord’s information so that the new tenant knows where to turn in checks and where to call if they need something. However, this part does not need to be present, especially if the sublessor plans on collecting the rent to give to the landlord.

Terms of the Sublease Agreement

This section will lay out the terms of the sublease agreement, which will include the date that the tenant is going to take over the unit and the date that the lease with the landlord ends. A copy of the original lease should be included with the new agreement so that the new tenant can look over any details that may be essential to them.

A Description of the Property

This is a section of the agreement that will state the full address of the unit that is being subleased. It should be described in the same manner that it was on the original lease. If any furniture is remaining in the unit, it should be stated here as well so that the sublessor can get them back.

Rental Payment Information

This is a section that will say how much the rental payment is each month and how often it must be paid. Whether the sublessee is to give the rent to the original tenant or the landlord must be stated here, and the date that the rent must be paid by. Also, having a late fee clause in this section can be beneficial so that the new tenant knows that they are responsible for paying it if they are late with rent.

When it comes to the utilities that will be used in the unit, it will need to be stated whether the sublessor or the sublessee will be responsible for paying them.

The Amount Required for a Security Deposit

If the landlord does not require an additional security deposit for the unit to be subleased, then the sublessor can request one be given to them to hold in case any damage happens to the property while the new tenant is living there. This money will be held by the original tenant, and it must be used for repairs or given back to the sublessee within a 60-day period of moving from the premise. This amount is not a set price in New York, but it cannot be more than the equivalent of a single month’s rent.

Rules for the Unit and the Property

As with any rental unit that is being leased out, a subleased unit will have the same rules to follow. Of course, this information will be in the master lease that is provided, but it is only going to be beneficial to provide certain information to the new tenant so that they have to read it and see it in writing before signing the sublease agreement. This can include:

  • Pet Policy – Whether or not the property allows pets to live in the unit that is being subleased should be placed in this section of the agreement. Some properties may allow one or two cats, while others try to keep the property a pet-free environment.
  • Smoking Policy – Smoking is not often allowed in common areas, especially because the nicotine can cause odor and stains to occur in the unit. If smoking is not allowed in the unit at all, make sure that this is known.
  • Noise Policy – Some properties in New York have quiet time in the area after a certain time. This is designed to make sure that there are not a lot of loud parties and disturbances late a night.

Lead Paint Disclosure

Any building that was built prior to 1978 should be checked for lead-based paint. This can be a hazard to the tenant’s health, so if it was a disclosure that was included in the original lease, it should be included in the sublease agreement as well. The same is true of property that is located in an area where mold and mildew could be an issue.

Sometimes the landlord states that the unit can be subleased out to an approved third party in the original lease. They may provide consent for a sublease agreement in the lease, but they can also request that the original tenant creates the sublease and presents it to the landlord to sign before another tenant can move into the unit. If there is a procedure that must be followed to get consent, it should be spelled out in this section.

Signatures and Date

The final section of the sublease agreement that must be included in the document is the signature section. Both the sublessor and the sublessee must sign and date the document. There should also be a section where the two parties can print their names as well. Also, place a box in this section that will indicate that a copy of the original lease is included with the sublease agreement.

Subletting Laws in New York

There are no specific laws when it comes to buildings with only a few units, but if the building or the property that the landlord is renting has more than four units, the landlord is not permitted to object to the tenant subletting the unit. The only way that they can refuse a sublease agreement is if it was stated in the original rental agreement. They can ask to give their consent for the agreement, but they cannot refuse the tenant form creating one. It is best for the tenant to send a request to sublet the unit via certified mail so that the tenant has verification that the landlord received the document.

What to Include in a New York Sublease Agreement

  • The names of the individuals who are agreeing to the terms of the agreement.
  • The location of the property that’s in the sublease agreement. 
  • The terms of the agreement that the new tenant will need to follow.
  • A copy of the original lease.
  • The amount of rent that is due each month and how it should be paid. 
  • The utilities that will need to be paid and whether they will stay in the original tenant’s name or need to be switched over.
  • The signature of both parties and the landlord’s consent.
  • The date of the signing.