By Dov Treiman
Q. My fiancé and I are trying to sublet our furnished apartment for six months. Our lease does not expire until 2010, and we intend to return to the apartment after the six-month sublet. In seeking permission from the landlord, we were told that he would increase the subtenant’s rent by 10 percent for the whole six months. Is this allowable and is it legal?
A. Dov Treiman, a Manhattan landlord-tenant lawyer, said that the first consideration in determining whether a landlord is entitled to a rent increase during a sublet is whether the apartment is subject to rent stabilization. “For such apartments, each year the Rent Guidelines Board establishes what kind of increase the landlord would be entitled to during a sublet,” Mr. Treiman said. The current allowable increase is 10 percent.
He said that the prime tenant is responsible for the increase and is free to charge the subtenant the total payment, including the additional 10 percent. Moreover, if the apartment is furnished, the subtenant can be charged an additional 10 percent.
For unregulated tenancies, Mr. Treiman said, increases in rent during sublets are legal only if the lease allows for them.