The Basics

Subletting an apartment in which the original tenant finds a temporary replacement insinuates that the original tenant intends on returning. In a city like New York where housing is not only limited but quite expensive, subletting is common practice. Legally, in the Empire State, a sublet must be at least 30 days. Permission must be granted by the landlord; however, requests made with enough notice and reason may not be denied. The subletting process isn’t a quick or simple one, but it is usually within your rights if you are residing in a unit made up of more than 4 units and they are owned privately.

The Exceptions

If the housing is provided or financed/subsidized by a government entity such as Section 8, tenants do not have the right to sublet. Co-ops are not eligible to sublet legally. Rent stabilized tenants can sublet; however, rent controlled tenants can’t. By the same token, any tenant that is receiving financial help in the form of rent subsidies or income-based programs may not be allowed to sublet. Subletting against the law or without permission is considered unlawful so if unsure the best practice is to ask questions with subsidy providers and landlords.

Using Media

When finding your temporary replacement turning to coworkers, friends, and family may be your first step. In many cases, a wider demographic and geographic area must be reached to find a suitable tenant and that’s where the power of the internet comes into play. There are dozens of websites dedicating connecting subletter to sublettee, these more impersonal connections carry the risk of the new tenant not being a good candidate. After all, you may not have the luxury of time to evaluate their character and habits. There are ways, using these methods, to pinpoint the type of subleaser you’re looking for. It is wise to disclose the dates of the sublease, request proof they meet income requirements, and for any previous references.

Social media is becoming an increasingly powerful to connect to others to fulfill a need. In this circumstance Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be powerful channels to show your space using pictures and language explaining its location to find interested parties. Facetime, Skype, and Duo can be used to make your introductions more comfortable and you both can feel free to ask questions and share information. First impressions can be very useful in this situation since your personal belongings will often be left at the residence until you return.

Getting Approved

Once a suitable replacement has been vetted and agreed to sign the necessary sublease paperwork, it’s time for you to send it to your landlord. As with all time sensitive and legal circumstance, it is recommended communication regarding the matter be documented and sent by certified mail including a return request. In the appropriate length of time and failure to do so will constitute as acceptance to the new tenant and the terms.

Moving In

When preparing for you temporary replacement to move-in, you may have to do your own miniature version of a move-out. While you may not be inclined to remove your larger furniture pieces, it is smart to remove valuable items, meaningful pieces, and easily broken things. Also, anything that contains your personal identifying information such as documents with your social security number, birthday, or financial information should be removed or locked away. It is wise to lay down rules the subletter should abide by in your absence to reduce the probability of damage to the property which you would be responsible for at the end of your term.

The home should be in appropriate condition as far as cleanliness and functionality. Providing new towels and making storage available to the new tenant is in your and their best interest. Last but not lease insure they have the necessary contact information to request maintenance requests, ask questions, and they understand how to submit payment for their rent.