3 things to look for in a New York subtenant

If you’re going to be temporarily traveling away from your home for a prolonged period of time, you have a legal right as a New York tenant to sublet your apartment.

Even if your landlord has some kind of policy against subletting included in your lease, that would never hold up in court. It is one of your rights as a tenant and it cannot be impeded.

That’s not to say a landlord is powerless in this scenario. Far from it.

A landlord has a legal right to deny your subletting request for a number of reasons. Most of them are on you as the primary tenant. If you goof up on the request and don’t include all of the needed information the landlord can and will say no. That’s why it’s best to consult an experienced real estate law firm like Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. before drafting any legal requests.

But your subtenant could also be the reasonwhy your request gets denied.

That’s why it’s so important to choose your subtenant wisely, lest the entire process get derailed.

Here are three things to look for when choosing your subtenant.

1. Employment

Your subtenant needs to be permanently employed and be able to prove that they have enough steady income to pay the monthly rent. An unemployed college student is not a strong choice for a subtenant.

It needs to be someone with a stable job that they’ve been at for some time. They need to not just be able to afford the rent, but they have to be able to afford it easily. A landlord typically wants to see someone who brings in at least twice the rent amount on a monthly basis.

2.  Credit Score

To rent any apartment within the New York City limits you need to at least have a fair credit score.

The range for fair credit is somewhere between 620 and 659. Anything less than that will get turned down. Running a credit score isn’t easy, and it’s never a good idea for someone to run their score too many times, because that can negatively impact it.

So, you likely won’t be able to check your subtenant’s score personally. That’s something your landlord will have to do. Make sure the subtenant is someone you can trust. If they tell you their credit score is 680 and it turns out to be 550, that’s going to set you back.

3. Criminal Background

Make sure to ask some uncomfortable questions of all potential subtenants. You need to know if they’ve ever been arrested or convicted of a felony. These are situations that can cause a sublet to be rejected by the landlord.

While there has been increasing amounts of chatter throughout the legal worldin recent years about making it easier for felons to find housing, it can still backfire if you try to sublet to someone with an extensive record.


It’s important to look for all of the right qualities in a subtenant to make for a bullet proof request. If you feel as though your landlord is illegally denying you, contact a real estate lawyer immediately.