Want to sublease or assign your apartment? Read this first.
Right to lease or assign. Real Property Law. Section 226-B
§ 226-b. Right to sublease or assign. 1. Unless a greater right to assign is conferred by the lease, a tenant renting a residence may not assign his lease without the written consent of the owner, which consent may be unconditionally withheld without cause provided that the owner shall release the tenant from the lease upon request of the tenant upon thirty days notice if the owner unreasonably withholds consent which release shall be the sole remedy of the tenant. If the owner reasonably withholds consent, there shall be no assignment and the tenant shall not be released from the lease.
2. (a) A tenant renting a residence pursuant to an existing lease in a dwelling having four or more residential units shall have the right to sublease his premises subject to the written consent of the landlord in advance of the subletting. Such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.
(b) The tenant shall inform the landlord of his intent to sublease by mailing a notice of such intent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such request shall be accompanied by the following information: (i) the term of the sublease, (ii) the name of the proposed sublessee, (iii) the business and permanent home address of the proposed sublessee, (iv) the tenant's reason for subletting, (v) the tenant's address for the term of the sublease, (vi) the written consent of any cotenant or guarantor of the lease, and (vii) a copy of the proposed sublease, to which a copy of the tenant's lease shall be attached if available, acknowledged by the tenant and proposed subtenant as being a true copy of such sublease.
(c) Within ten days after the mailing of such request, the landlord may ask the tenant for additional information as will enable the landlord to determine if rejection of such request shall be unreasonable. Any such request for additional information shall not be unduly burdensome. Within thirty days after the mailing of the request for consent, or of the additional information reasonably asked for by the landlord, whichever is later, the landlord shall send a notice to the tenant of his consent or, if he does not consent, his reasons therefor. Landlord's failure to send such a notice shall be deemed to be a consent to the proposed subletting. If the landlord consents, the premises may be sublet in accordance with the request, but the tenant thereunder, shall nevertheless remain liable for the performance of tenant's obligations under said lease. If the landlord reasonably withholds consent, there shall be no subletting and the tenant shall not be released from the lease. If the landlord unreasonably withholds consent, the tenant may sublet in accordance with the request and may recover the costs of the proceeding and attorneys fees if it is found that the owner acted in bad faith by withholding consent.
3. The provisions of this section shall apply to leases entered into or renewed before or after the effective date of this section, however they shall not apply to public housing and other units for which there are constitutional or statutory criteria covering admission thereto nor to a proprietary lease, viz.: a lease to, or held by, a tenant entitled thereto by reason of ownership of stock in a corporate owner of premises which operates the same on a cooperative basis.
4. With respect to units covered by the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four or the rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine the exercise of the rights granted by this section shall be subject to the applicable provisions of such laws. Nothing contained in this section two hundred twenty-six-b shall be deemed to affect the rights, if any, of any tenant subject to title Y of chapter 51 of the administrative code of the city of New York or the emergency housing rent control law.
5. Any sublet or assignment which does not comply with the provisions of this section shall constitute a substantial breach of lease or tenancy.
6. Any provision of a lease or rental agreement purporting to waive a provision of this section is null and void.
7. The provisions of this section except for items in paragraph (b) of subdivision two of this section not previously required, shall apply to all actions and proceedings pending on the effective date of this section.
8. Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prevent or limit the right of a tenant to sell improvements to a unit pursuant to article seven-C of the multiple dwelling law.