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What Landlords Need to Know About Subleasing

Subleasing is a sticky subject with many landlords. It can feel like a risk. You go through all the work of vetting a tenant, only for some third party to get involved.

But residential landlords on Long Island can’t deny tenants the right to sublet. At least, not if you have more than four units. That doesn’t mean you have to make it easy. But you can’t ban it outright.

With that in mind, here’s what you should know.

Evictions can be more difficult, and so can every other legal issue.

Evictions are arduous and difficult as it is. When you’ve got a subletter living in the apartment it becomes even harder.

Because first you have to get the subletter out. Then you have to get the original tenant out.

Other landlord-tenant disputes can become sticky for the same reason. With three parties instead of two, assigning fault and responsibility becomes harder.

See also: 5 Protections a Landlord Wants in Any Long Island Lease.

You can demand the right to vet the subtenant.

You can add lease terms which state the tenant has to give you written notice before subleasing. You can also add lease terms giving you the right to vet the subletter the same way you vetted the tenant.

You can put other reasonable provisions into your lease as well. This is one of the things the Law Offices of Sami Perez helps people with all the time.

See also: What Are Your Rights if a Tenant Trashes Your Long Island Rental Property?

You have the right to negotiate.

Your tenant wants to turn your apartment into an Airbnb? Saying “no” shouldn’t be your knee-jerk response.

Instead, think about what you could get out of the deal. Would the tenant agree to paying a little more rent? Would the tenant agree to take on some repairs?

Some landlords even work with tenants to make Airbnb income both for the tenant and for the landlord.

Get legal help to set the terms. Protecting yourself takes more than a handshake. But you can set reasonable terms, and you should.

See also: 5 Overlooked Clauses of a NY Residential Lease.

There are other options.

Most people who sublet aren’t trying to get into the property management business. Some do it for income.

Others want to break their lease so they can take a job three states over.

In these cases, you can reassign the lease. The tenant might not want to be in the middle of you and your rent anyway.

Often, the tenant only wants to avoid broken lease fees.
Reassigning the lease means you let the old tenant out of the lease. Then you create a new lease with the new tenant. It’s a nice, low-risk, win-win solution for all involved.

Remaining flexible and reasonable can be to your advantage.

Being flexible about subleasing can lower your vacancy rates.

It can also make your apartment more marketable. People are more mobile than ever. You’ll put people’s minds at ease when they know they have a fuss-free way to break a lease.

If your tenant is building income with the sublease there are still advantages. For example, your tenant might come to care about the state of the apartment as much as you do.

There are worse things that could happen.

See also: These Six Tips Can Lead to a Good Landlord/Tenant Relationship.

As long as you take a few simple precautionary steps, subleases don’t have to turn into nightmares. Contact the Law Offices of Sami Perez today to manage your risks while gaining the benefits.