Free New York Sublease Agreement Template (PDF – Word)

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A “sublease” in New York is an agreement between the original tenant (called the “sublessor”) and someone else (the “sublessee”) that allows the latter to use some or all of an apartment or commercial space under an existing lease agreement.

The sublessee typically assumes some or all of the original tenant’s responsibilities (paying rent and maintaining the premises, for example). However, the sublessor remains obligated to the property owner/landlord through the original lease agreement. The agreement remains effective until the original lease is terminated, expires, or the sublessor regains possession of the premises. Subleases are often implemented when the tenant wants to share the costs of renting or wants to move out temporarily or without terminating the original lease.

New York State regulates sublease agreements. Often, a tenant cannot sublet without consent from the landlord. Additionally, a sublease agreement or its provisions cannot revoke or override the provisions of the original lease agreement in New York. Consequently, the sublease agreement will ordinarily be similar to the original lease agreement with or without a few modifications. Through the agreement, the original tenant should fulfill their obligations as the new “landlord” while assuming the liability of the subtenant. Most property owners will have to screen the sublessee and review their application before permitting to sublease.

This article will discuss the fundamental components of a sublease agreement and the applicable laws of a legally valid sublease existing in New York.    

What to Include in a Sublease Agreement?

It is also necessary to review and analyze the original lease agreement before executing the sublease agreement in New York to ensure it does not conflict with any terms stipulated in the original lease.

The following section discusses the most common provisions in the New York’s sublease agreement:

The names of the parties

The parties involved in a sublease agreement should be identified and listed in the agreement. The names should be categorized as sublessor, sublessee, and landlord. The personal identification information of the original tenant is written under the sublessor, while that of the incoming tenant is documented under the sublessee section. The identification details to be provided include full legal names, current addresses, and contact details such as a phone number or email. The address and contact details are used whenever each party wants to communicate with the other.

Additionally, the name and contact information of the property owner (landlord) can be provided in the agreement. Landlord’s details are optional, but if the landlord is to receive the sublessee’s rent, it would be essential to include this information in the agreement. It also lets the sublessee know how to reach the property owner if any issues arise. 

Terms of the sublease agreement

Before entering into a sublease agreement, the parties should discuss and agree on all agreement terms. The agreement should include the move-in date and lease expiry date (if applicable). Additionally, it should indicate the rent to be paid by each party. Finally, payment schedules, due dates, and a copy of the original lease must be attached as an exhibit for the sublessee to review.

Description of the property

A comprehensive description of the premises should be included in the sublease agreement in New York. This will include the approximate size and number of rooms, location, and other details pertinent to the premises. The description should be exactly as outlined in the original lease agreement.

Rent payment information

It is essential to discuss the rent payment schedule and period. The sublessor should agree with the sublessee on how much rent should be paid each month (monthly versus weekly or biweekly payment). They must also agree on the rent due date and whether rent shall be paid to the sublessor to give to the landlord or the landlord directly. 

If applicable, the lease agreement should declare that fees are charged for late payments. Additionally, the document should declare how utility costs will be paid every month and who is responsible for these payments.

Security deposit amount

A security deposit might be required by a landlord or sublessor while subleasing an apartment or office space by a tenant. It is provided to the landlord to reimburse for any possible damage caused to the premises during subleasing. The amount should be declared in this section if it is to be charged. It should also be clear who is to receive the security deposit. 

Additionally, the sublessor can charge a security deposit even if the landlord doesn’t impose one for the sublease. However, if a sublessor secures a security deposit from the sublessee, it should not exceed one month’s rent, even if there are no statutes in New York regulating this. It is important to state whether the sublessor will hold the deposit or if an independent third party will hold it. The security deposit should be refunded sixty days after the sublessee moves out.

Rules for the unit and property

Understanding the rules, regulations, and restrictions specific to a particular property is essential. Sublessors should use this section to set forth the responsibilities of the sublessee and any special obligations they must fulfill.

Examples of such regulations include:

Smoking policy

The sublessee should be aware of any restrictions on the premises regarding the smoking of tobacco and marijuana. Smoking in common areas is often prohibited, and most New York sublease agreements will govern the sublessee to use smoking zones or not smoke at all within the premises.

Pet policy

New York’s sublease agreements can contain provisions that prohibit or limit pets and certain types of animals on the premises. Therefore, if a pet deposit is required, it should be stated.

Noise policy

A special mention should also be made of any restrictions regarding noise during certain hours of the day or in particular rooms. This is to prevent loud parties, which would cause disturbance to other tenants.

Lead paint disclosure

Lead paint disclosure is mandatory for all buildings constructed before 1978. State laws require all tenants to be aware of lead paint hazards throughout their building. The presence of lead paint hazards in a building can pose health risks to children and other tenants. The disclosure should be made directly to the sublessor rather than to other occupants. If the rental unit is mold or mildew prone, associated disclosures should be added.

The sublease agreement of New York can have a section outlining the landlord’s consent to sublet. Consent should be expressed, not implied, to avoid confusion and disputes. The landlord is expected to sign this section as a sign of approval. This section can also outline the proper procedure for subleasing.

Signature and date

Lastly, the sublease agreement should contain the signatures of the sublessor and sublessee, their names, and the date of signing. Signatures attest that both parties have read and agreed to the agreement’s contents. A closing statement should be provided stating that a copy of the original lease agreement has been attached.

In New York, there are no particular statutes governing subleases for buildings with four or fewer rental units. However, if there are more than four units in the building, the landlord cannot prohibit subleasing unless it was explicitly communicated in the original lease. So, if the original lease does not prohibit or allow subletting, then the landlord cannot prohibit the tenant from subletting. Still, they can ask to give their consent before the sublease agreement in New York is executed. In such a case, the request for consent should be sent through certified mail by the sublessor.

New York Sublease Laws

If the landlord approves subleasing through written consent, the sublessor is responsible for preparing the sublease agreement under New York sublease laws and the original lease. These laws are stipulated under the Real Property Law of the New York Consolidated Laws and Constitution.

Several legal requirements to consider when executing a sublease are;

  • Upon non-payment, sublessees can only be evicted through a 14-day written notice directing them to pay rent or vacate the premises.
  • Sublessors must refund the security deposit 14 days after the sublease expires.
  • If the sublease or original lease is to be renewed, the sublessee should be notified through a written notice of 30 days.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is subletting illegal in New York?

    No. Subletting is a common and legal practice in New York; however, subletting in buildings with four or fewer rental units is prohibited. Consequently, tenants are legally allowed to sublease in buildings with more than four rental units even if the original lease prohibits it.

    Can a tenant sublet without taking permission from the landlord?

    If a sublease agreement does not have the landlord’s consent, it may be challenging to implement the sublease. Therefore, sublessors must seek the landlord’s written consent before executing a sublease. The landlord is then awarded ten days to request additional information they need before approving the sublease. Then, 30 days after the sublessor’s request or request for additional information, depending on which is later, the landlord is required to provide an answer. If the original lease does not expressly prohibit subleasing, sublessors can challenge any disapproval by the landlord. 

    How to end a sublease agreement?

    Subleases can formally be terminated through the legal process of eviction in New York or through the procedure stipulated in the original lease agreement. Essentially, the same process the landlord would use to evict the sublessor.

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