Q. Can a person renting in a rent-regulated apartment in Brooklyn sublet the apartment or otherwise get out of the lease?
A. A rent-regulated tenant usually has no automatic right to sublet or “get out of a lease”, said David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan lawyer who represents tenants. A rent-controlled tenant generally has no lease and as such has no right to sublet. A rent-stabilized tenant has the right to sublet pursuant to the state’s Real Property Law, but must have a good reason to be away from the apartment and intend to return after the sublet. The tenant must also get the consent of the landlord, which cannot be unreasonably withheld. Mr. Kaminsky says such a tenant also has the right to transfer his tenancy and be released from the lease if the landlord unreasonably refuses to consent. This may be the “get out of the lease” situation the letter writer is referring to. Mr. Kaminsky says subleasing done secretly is dangerous and not recommended, because it could result in an eviction proceeding.The New York Times Q & A orignally published in The New York Times on March 25, 2012.