Illegal Subletting

Posted by Steamy Kurrin 
Re: Illegal Subletting
June 15, 2012 12:28PM
I am currently subleasing an apartment with another gentleman. The lease holder does not live in the apartment. She got married and moved away. I am in the midst of my second month there and feel there is something fishy going on. Myself and the other housemate signed a hand written lease to occupy the apartment. However the lease holder has made comments like "don't call management if something needs repair" and even told me to "only use the upstairs door to enter the apartment" which I refused because that is ridiculous. The superintendent even looks at me funny and it's awkward. I feel like the apartment is being illegally subleased. The lease holder told me that someone called management to inquire about the apartment because they saw her move her belongings out and she said she told management that she still lives there which is not true. She even left her 11 week old child on a bed on the sixth floor unattended so she could watch me and my friends move my things. I'm sick and tired an have begun looking for a new place to live. However, is there anyway I can get my deposit back which is $250? I have paid the deposit and rent for two months via account transfer since we have the same bank. Also, how can I find out how much she is paying the management company for rent? When I asked her she didn't give me a direct answer. Thank you for your help.
Re: Illegal Subletting
June 15, 2012 04:37PM
I can't give you legal advice, but it sure sounds like an illegal sublet. But before you rat out the tenant, consider what the consequences will be for you both. She will likely lose the apartment. However, since it sounds as if she's already moved out, her only loss would probably be her own deposit. You will lose your deposit and be out on the street.

Honestly, I would do nothing. You don't want to purposely cause trouble for this person, do you? It's tough enough to find affordable housing here, and it sounds like you have a bargain, even if it is under the table. I would also get in touch with the tenant and tell her the super has given you suspicious looks.
Re: Illegal Subletting
July 24, 2012 12:32PM
I have been illegally subletting a place for the past 6 months. My 3 roommates are on the lease, and I am the only "tenant" not on it. I guess that makes me a subtenant (illegal). I found it on craigslist and moved in knowing that I would not be on the lease, and that the landlord wouldn't know that I would be staying there. I knew going in that I would risk possible eviction if the landlord found out, but he lives in Seattle so I wasn't too worried.

Now the lease my roommates are on is coming to a close, and the leasing agency is showing the house to prospective tenants. Each time I have to make it look like my room is uninhabitable, which is annoying, but not a big problem.

My questions is, If I am caught by the landlord or leasing agent, am I subject to any possible legal ramifications from being a subtenant illegally, even if I don't have a sublease with my other 3 roommates. My name is not signed on anything, but we do have emails that prove I was aware I was subletting illegally. I knew eviction was always possible, but as far as being sued, or any other legal consequences, I thought I would be in the clear having not signed a sublease, and being that it was my roommates that broke their lease, I was just the beneficiary of their choices. My roommates think that since I am a "party" to their breach of the lease, that I am just as liable as they are. Is that the case? or are they the liable ones, and not me at all?
Re: Illegal Subletting
August 26, 2012 12:40PM
Red, and others, you obviously don't know what you're talking about. (I know these posts are old, so this response might not even be helpful anymore.) Even if you entered into a sublet illegally, you still have tenant rights. Afterall, you are not the one illegally subletting out the apartment, the prime tenant is. He has a set of rules and regulations, which he agreed to when he signed his lease, and he did not follow them properly.

Oracle, yes you do have legal rights, even in this situation!

BTW, I was in an illegal sublet....when they found out, the landlord and his lawyer came up to the apt and tried to threaten and intimidate me, and proceeded to call the cops. I knew my rights and told him to leave. I too called the police. They came to my apt and told the landlord and his lawyer to leave me alone and stay away from my apt. They also told me if he tried to do anything else (change locks, etc.) to call them.

Not only might you be able to get the lease assigned to you, but the prime tenant is responsible for damages in the amount of 3x the overcharge. See the following fact sheet from the Division of Housing and Community Renewal website:


You can find a lot info at the NYSHCR website about tenant rights, in additon you can get forms and instructions for how to start your claim.

The housing court downtown (111 Centre St) has a great help center for landlord-tenant cases. In addition to the clerks which can help you file paperwork, some days they have volunteer lawyers there to provide further help.

Candygirl, I hope you get/got your apartment and the money owed to you!!

And to the others who like to spit out opinions as facts, learn the difference!
Re: Illegal Subletting
August 28, 2012 11:33PM
I was living in a friends apt last year as their roomate. I was not on he lease and the mgt company informed him they would not renew (it's rent stabilized) and were seeking possesion since it was not his primary residence. He stopped paying rent and has ignored all summons and lives out of state. I offered the mgt to pay his rent if I could take over the lease and they refused and told me I had no rights as I wasn't a family member and I was not on the lease. They were not interested in me becoming a tenant etc. So I vacated the apt. Now I am namedas a subtenant in their pursuit of back rent. Should I get a lawyer? I never paid the mgt company rent before. Do they have grounds to s ue me?
Re: Illegal Subletting
October 02, 2012 08:36AM
My tenant of nine years moved out owing $5000 rent and left us a surprise. In his goodbye note he said he had rented to 3 student guests without our knowledge and that they refused to leave. We spoke with them and they agreed to vacate. Then came the kicker--a 4th tenant--not mentioned by my legal tenat who claims to have lived there for 6 months and who told us he's staying--that we should get a lawyer and go to land lord tenant court.
We don't know what to do? Any suggestions?
Re: Illegal Subletting
November 21, 2012 04:41AM
I am currently subleasing a bedroom with the landlords knowledge and approval, however there is no legal document binding me to the either the landlord or the person I'm subleasing from. I have been paying rent regularly into an account number that has been given to me. I have just learned that same account does not go directly to the landlord. In the landlord's perspective I have not paid rent, even though I have been sending money to an account. Am I legally bounded in anyway to pay the landlord the additional rent? Is there any argument that requires me to pay the landlord directly even though he was not the person I made an agreement with?
Re: Illegal Subletting
November 21, 2012 05:31AM
Hi supportive community

My situation: I have subletted a bedroom from a girl on basically no legally binding contract, more of a bona fide (good faith) agreement. Unfortunately, the other housemates are constantly throwing parties that may last until 9 am. Thus being extremely disruptive, and made the house in a way uninhabitable. I am currently trying to move out as quickly as possible.

Question: Am I legally bounded to continue to pay rent while I am searching for a new place? I do not believe that I should have to continue to pay rent in a place that is uninhabitable in terms of peace.
Re: Illegal Subletting
January 31, 2015 01:19AM
hello i sublet a room to a person that doesn't appear in my lease my lease specify that I can't sublet without the landlord consent . When the guy came he signed a rules paper .he agreed inform us ahead of time if he wants to move or give us back the room if we wanted for any reason because we didn't know that subleting is illegal and we need the room for my baby therapies .he was always complaining that the room was small for him but he never make something to found another place to live .then my son was diagnosed with autism and my husband almost finished college and we asked the room back and the gay denied . He only has lived here 4 months and my husband gave receipts him on each rent he paid and in the last receipt he signed and agreed that on this feb 31 should leave and now he doesn't want to leave he steals my grocery stuff. my prepared meals. my baby food. He doesn't help with house chores. He has become a duty man . He leaves duty dishes in the kitchen sink . He does wherever he wants he shout us .he say he can take us to court for eviction . We have videos when he was stealing we called the police . But they said they couldn't arrested or eviction him . Now the time he suposed to leave is due and my husband Will go to explain this situation to the landlord with all the papers we have to prove this matter.
I would like to know if the landlord eviction us to all of us or can eviction only him. ?
Or what we should expect .
can anyone here give legal advice of what are my chances or probabilities.
Thanks. smiling smiley
Re: Illegal Subletting
January 31, 2015 08:25AM
Hi so sorry to hear that's very stressful,
Where in the city do you live?
I'm not a lawyer and cant give legal advice but feel free to call me on Monday.

Licensed as Gregory Kennedy Moore

1456 First Avenue, New York, NY 10021
C: 718-737-3990 | O: 212-774-3800 | F: 917-262-7096
Re: Illegal Subletting
March 20, 2015 07:25PM
Should that occur,just tell Management your friends are just visiting. But don't worry about it since your going to leave anyway.
Re: Illegal Subletting
June 23, 2015 04:40PM
I live in a cooperative with my grandmother (shareholder).
Over the last few months my boyfriend has been coming over and sleeping over quite often.
Now I have a letter from the coops lawyers stating that they are following up on a complaint that my grandmother and I are harboring a subtenant (coop rules are against subletting of any kind).
This thing is, he's not a subtenant; he doesn't pay for room and board at all!
What the hell?

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