Join 3,438 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Subletting in Brooklyn
January 10, 2005 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Can I legally sublet my apartment in Brooklyn for an entire year, or longer? Can I charge more than my current rent? [more specifics inside]

My apartment has some sort of rent control, but I don’t know the proper legal term: my landlord has some cap on what he can charge, but it is waaaay more than the current market value of the apartment. I would like to rent out the apartment for a year while I live overseas, and leave all my bookshelves, cabinets and kitchen appliances behind. For this semi-furnished apartment, I want to charge perhaps $150 more than what I currently pay. That would still be less than what the landlord is legally allowed to charge, which leads me to assume this would all be kosher. As long as my landlord agrees, is it all legal? Can I split the extra $150 with him to encourage his agreement?
posted by owenville to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
 
Unless the place is rent controled or stabilized (in which case special rules likely govern), what governs first is the lease: LOOK AT THE LEASE. But whatever the lease says, if you're on good terms with the LL, and the prospective tenant is attractive, you should discuss it with him.. In fact, you should discuss it with him irrespective of the lease because, if you like the place, the LL has no obligation not to raise your rent when you come back.

You *really* don't want to find yourself on Livingston St.--housing court.

Where in our fair borough? just curious....
posted by ParisParamus at 4:37 PM on January 10, 2005


Have you read your lease? That might be the final arbiter. This link might also be relevant. And on rent control.
posted by Loser at 4:43 PM on January 10, 2005


Where: 17th Street and 7th Ave, on the edge of Park Slope.

About the lease: I've been told before that leases can have all sorts of provisions that aren't necessarily enforceable, i.e., if the lease says one thing and housing laws say another, it's housing law that wins.

I believe it is stabilized, but the rent set by the stabilization is higher than market value. i.e., I pay $1,300, but the rent is stabilized at roughly $1,800. That's what makes me wonder about whether I can charge more than what I pay.
posted by owenville at 4:45 PM on January 10, 2005


I've been told before that leases can have all sorts of provisions that aren't necessarily enforceable, i.e., if the lease says one thing and housing laws say another, it's housing law that wins.

This may be true, but then you'll come back from overseas to a pissed-off landlord.
posted by kindall at 4:52 PM on January 10, 2005


If it's stabilized, you have a right to sublet for up to two years as long as you can show that you intend to return and that the apartment is still your primary residence; but the landlord has the right to know to whom in advance and can reject them "reasonably".

You can charge up to the stabilized rent - not just the rent you're paying - or 10% more if you're renting the apartment furnished; also, the landlord can demand an additional "sublet allowance". All this is set forth in §226-b of the Real Property Law and §2525.6 of the Rent Stabilization Code. (IANAL, just another stabilized tenant.)

Since you're paying the market rent, there's no particular reason for your landlord to try to evict you, so you probably don't have to sweeten the deal for him or be at all sneaky; you can charge $1,980 for up to two years. But it'd be smart to document carefully the fact that the landlord has approved the sublet. And for that matter to talk to a lawyer to make absolutely sure you're within your rights.
posted by nicwolff at 6:15 PM on January 10, 2005


« Older Can anyone recommend some good...   |  What is the best way to learn ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.