Your questions answered about subletting an apartment, short-term leasing, Airbnb and more in New York City.
Subletting is a common practice in New York, where leaseholders rent out their space to other renters for a period of time. There are many reasons a renter may need to sublet. Perhaps they are leaving the City for a few months for work or personal reasons. Instead of breaking their lease, they can sublet their space to someone else to cover the costs of rent. If you’re a renter in NYC, here are 5 things you need to know about subletting your apartment.
1. Subletting for less than 30 days is illegal.
In New York City, renters cannot sublet their space for less than 30 days. So if you’re going on vacation for a couple of weeks, renting out your space is not permitted. Buildings need to be zoned to accommodate short-term rentals. For example, dormitories or hotels are permitted to lease short-term. Most residential buildings in NYC don’t have the appropriate permissions to accommodate short-term renters.
2. You can use Airbnb and other platforms to sublet.
But what about Airbnb? Airbnb and other short-term renting platforms are having a hard time in New York City, since stricter laws came into effect. All spaces listed on Airbnb for short-term renting (less than 30 days), need to apply for short-term renting permits from the city. But if you want to host for periods longer than 30 days, you can still use Airbnb without this city permit.
3. You need to notify your landlord if you want to sublet your apartment.
All renters are entitled to sublet their apartment. Under the law a landlord cannot unreasonably withhold the right to sublet. However, the landlord can refuse to sublet with good reason. If you want to sublet your space, you must inform your landlord and give them a 30-day notice. You will also have to submit documentation about your subtenant. They likely will have to meet certain income and credit requirements to qualify. Your landlord has the right to ask for additional info within that 30 day or period, or deny the request (with good reason). If they don’t say anything, you can assume an approval after the 30 day window has passed.
4. You CAN sublet your rent-stabilized apartment – but there are restrictions.
Rent-stabilized apartments are also eligible for sublet with a few restrictions. You can only sublet the apartment for 2 years at a time. You cannot indefinitely sublet your space. If the apartment is unfurnished, the maximum you can charge the subtenant is the same rent you pay. If you leave the space furnished, you can charge a 10% premium on the rent. Not sure if your apartment is stabilized? Check out our comments here.
5. Sign an agreement with your subtenant.
Subleasing your space at the end of the day is a contract. Both parties should set clear expectations on price, security deposit, timeline and other rules. Once you get approval from your landlord to sublet, get your subtenant to sign a sublease agreement. Here is a free template to get you started.
Have you ever subleased your space? How was the experience? Was your landlord flexible? Be sure to share an anonymous review on openigloo, and help the next renter that considers your building and landlord.