How To Sublet In NYC

The biggest cause of stress for most of us in New York isn’t traffic, it isn’t neighbors . . . it’s rent. 80% of millennials can’t afford NYC rent. Which makes sense since the average price of rent is 120% higher than the national average. No wonder, right? And if you ever wanted to take a trip or visit family then that NYC apartment can start to feel like a ball and chain. How are you supposed to enjoy your freedom if taking time off to see the rest of the world is impossible?

Enter the sublet.

Let’s take a look at what a sublet is, what it isn’t, and how you can do it in The Big Apple.

A Sublet Is Like A Temporary Leave Of Absence

You’re going to Europe for a month or two, but you are totally coming back. With so many people looking for a place to stay in New York City, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to let the apartment sit there all alone without someone to keep it company. And pay your lease while you’re away. Lots of people need a temporary place because they just got to the city and need time to find something more permanent.

A Sublet Is Not Forever

That’s the difference between a sublet and assigning a lease. If you intend to come back, you need a sublet. If you are trying to get out of your lease and you want someone to take it over completely, then you’re assigning it.

How To Pay Rent While You’re Not Around By Subletting

Okay. The City of Dreams sleeps on a big fluffy bed made out of paperwork, so make sure to check off all the little details. Here’s the basic overview of what to do:

  1. Gather the information you need. It’s gonna feel like a lot, but none of it should be too hard to get:
    1. Sublease length. How long are you going to be out of town?
    2. Name and address of the subletting tenant. Hopefully, you found them on, because then you can use the chat feature to get all that from them. If you don’t have it already.
    3. Why you’re doing this. Traveling musician? Visit family? Hula dancing?
    4. Written consent of anyone else who has the primary lease with you, such as a guarantor or cosigner. Because wouldn’t your roommate be surprised if you magically changed into another person without warning?
    5. A copy of your own lease, if you can.
  2. Send a written request with all that jazz to your landlord. Use certified mail, and make sure to ask for a return-receipt. Don’t skip steps. The Capital of the World loves to pounce on people who skip steps.
  3. Okay, now it’s your landlord’s turn. They might have more questions or need additional info. If they do, get it to them as soon as you can. Once you send off any extra stuff, the 30 day countdown begins.
  4. Your landlord’s got 30 days to say yay or nay. If they don’t get back to you at all, then that counts as yay.


Now, it’s New York, so it shouldn’t come as a big shock to find out there are exceptions and special circumstances. Check out the “Tenant’s Rights” document, courtesy of the Attorney General, for more information.


Have you ever done a sublet before? How’d it go? Post your comments below.