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Thinking about subletting? Keep a few things in mind

In many rental markets, subletting is a practice that benefits both landlords and tenants, for example, by ensuring that rent gets paid on time. It can also carry many advantages for the subtenants, helping them to establish themselves in New York before needing to commit to a long-term lease or by helping them find a place quickly.

However, if you are considering subletting the place you rent, keep a few things in mind to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Get the landlord's permission

Chances are that the law allows you to sublet, but you do have to receive your landlord's permission first before a subtenant moves in. Your landlord may decide that your proposed tenant has a problematic credit history, income or criminal background, or another issue, and reject your request. However, the landlord cannot turn down a tenant for any old reason, so you are well within your rights to pursue a request if the rejection reason seems invalid.

To increase your chances of approval, include information about the sublet agreement, how long it will last, the reasons for it, necessary background on the subtenant, and send the documents via certified mail. 

2. Avoid subletting if it is not legal

It could be that you are simply not allowed to sublet, for example, if you live in some Section 8 housing, condos or rent-controlled apartments. If you know it is illegal to sublet, and you let someone move in, anyway, you open yourself up to potentially losing your apartment. A big reason that the law forbids subletting in such scenarios is that it should not be an opportunity for tenants to make profits on the places they rent in this incredibly competitive market.

If there is confusion or disagreement over whether you can sublet, consult with an attorney.

3. Draw up the necessary paperwork

Subletting should be an agreement just as formal as the one between you and your landlord. That means getting you, the landlord and the subtenant to sign the necessary documents. Steer clear of oral agreements where there is a lot of room for misunderstanding.

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