Can I stay in an apartment as a subtenant if the primary tenant/sublandlord gets evicted?

I began renting a room 7 days ago. My landlord is the tenant on the lease and I am subletting from him with no formal signed agreement. He might be evicted this month due to non-payment of rent. His other subtenant may also be evicted, since she has not paid rent in 18 months and is in fact the reason he has not been able to make full payments. He’s going for the one shot deal and thinks he can return after a month or two. I have paid him a security deposit which is now acting as first month’s rent, since he did not inform me of the situation when I moved in.

Asked on July 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the primary tenant get evicted then most likely so will you.  Your right of possession depends on his right of possession.  Once he looses his right, then unfortunately, so do you.  Many lease agreement prohibit subletting... so it's possible that he never had the contractual right to sublet to you.  If you really want to stay in this apartment, you need to get permission from the original landlord that has the final say-so and negotiate a written lease agreement with him.  This way, your right to possession is specific to you and not dependent on someone else.


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