Illegal Subletting

Posted by Steamy Kurrin 
Illegal Subletting
July 26, 2004 02:01PM

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I'm assuming the majority of sublets listed on Websites (Craig's List etc.) are in fact illegal, meaning there was no approval from the landlord or management company. What are the odds of being discovered in an illegal sublet arrangement in NYC for a short 2 month period when it's the end of the lease period? And if discovered, what are the ramifications for the sublessee? Just wondering if the odds are greatly increased when a management company is showing the apt. to secure a full-time tenant and beyond that, if I should even be worried about being caught.


Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2012 11:04PM by askanewyorker.
Re: Illegal Subletting
July 26, 2004 02:20PM
Odds: low.
Ramifications: you get thrown out.
Re: Illegal Subletting
July 11, 2008 10:23PM
I have had an apt in Manhattan for the past 15 years and for the past 3 years I have had my cousin living there with me as I travel for a living. I also have a house in Florida where I occasionally stay when I am working in Florida. I mentioned this to my landlord back then and he seemed to have no problem but the other day I came home to see a note taped to my door telling me that I have to show up in court. I am afraid to think what could happen. Eviction, jail??? I don't rightly know. Could you please inform me? Thank you
Re: Illegal Subletting
July 11, 2008 10:32PM
Matthew, read your lease! If you're renting a stabilized apt., you must prove that it is your primary residence, that is, you must bring tax records showing that address, as well as your utility bills. I believe you must also show your voter registration at that address. But all this information is contained in the lease you signed, so that is your best source of information.

You can't be jailed, but you can easily lose your apt. if it's stabilized.

Good luck!
Re: Illegal Subletting
July 11, 2008 10:43PM
thank you for your response
Re: Illegal Subletting
July 11, 2008 10:49PM
In response to my email above, It is a stablized apt. My cousin has been there living with me as a roommate. Does this matter if she is not on the lease? I've been reading about this and if they are your roommate, it really shouldn't matter. Is that right? I'm trying to get all the answers before I have to show up in court next week. I really don't want to lose the apt. thanks for your response
Re: Illegal Subletting
July 11, 2008 11:45PM
As long as it is YOUR primary residence it doesn't matter who ELSE's residence it is. All they care about is who's on the lease.

They will try to use the address in Florida to 'prove' that you do not live in the NYC apartment. Prepare to bring proof you have spent more time in the NYC apartment than in Florida.
Re: Illegal Subletting
July 12, 2008 03:45PM
I've been through Landlord-Tenant Court, and I urge you to go with a lawyer! In fact, you should at the very least consult with a lawyer before your court appearance. Make sure you've got the proper proof that the stabilized apt. is your primary residence. You don't want to show up in court unprepared.

And let us know how you make out.
Re: Illegal Subletting
October 11, 2008 09:46AM
I am in a situation where I have been subletting illegally - the guy on the lease has been charging me a thousand dollars over the rent. This lease was coming up in October and the carrot was always that he would try and help me take over the lease. October has just passed and he has been granted another year on the lease. This is not his primary residence. He is living in london. He is still asking for me to pay the extra thousand a month and has threatened to 'evict' me. I am infuriated for want of a better word. I have no rights and while I should never have entered into this verbal agreement (I am new to NYC) I feel totally bullied and victimized by the tenant. I have said to him that I want to make the sublease legal and pay the 10% on top of the rent -he said he wants me out at the end of the month.
Do I have any recourse at all?
May I threaten him by saying I shall inform the landlord?
The checks that I have deposited into his account all have rent written on them. I would love to stay in the apartment - I just don't want this guy to keep profiting from me in such an extreme manner. What are the moral ethical and legal responsibilities of both parties. Thanks so much.
Re: Illegal Subletting
October 11, 2008 11:51AM
As far as I know, you have no legal rights; after all, you're not called a illegal subletter for nothing.

But you do have leverage. Because since he hasn't told the landlord, the landlord could throw this guy out and he could lose his little golden goose.

If you feel you have nothing to lose, threaten to tell the landlord - and then tell the landlord. Tell the landlord you'd also like to take over the lease and give some evidence of what a good, reliable tenant you've been.

Best case scenario, you get your apartment. Worst case, at least the jerk gets screwed too.
Re: Illegal Subletting
October 11, 2008 02:39PM
I agree with Red.

Wish you had set up a back-up plan earlier since it is almost middle of October.

You know what your choices are:
1.) continue to pay the extortion of extra $1000/month
2.) turn him in and hope you get to keep the apartment

If it was me, I'd turn him in even if it meant extra hassle.

stay in NJ to visit NYC --> []
Re: Illegal Subletting
October 11, 2008 04:51PM
I would advise just getting out, and not threatening the guy. How can you be sure he won't come back, change the locks, and throw you and your stuff out? You do not have any legal rights. Why would you risk retribution? Go find another place, pdq.

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