If I’m a subtenant and my sublease does not specify whether or not I can move out before the sublease ends, what are my rights if I leave early?

Would I have to pay rent for the months that I won’t have stayed? Also, it’s a 2 bedroom apartment but one of the bedrooms are locked. The written sublease does not specify any details about the locked room but the tenant told me he wants that room locked. This is pretty unusual for me and I am wondering if I can get a locksmith to unlock the room and use it for myself and not be prosecuted for doing so as my written sublease does not tell me not to unlock that bedroom.

Asked on July 15, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) If you have a written lease, if you leave early, you would still owe rent for the remaining months of the lease, even if you are no longer there or are no longer using the space. You can only safely leave after the lease's term is up.

2) If you rented the premises knowing that one room was locked, then you have no right to use or access that room; having rented it with knowledge that that room was not available to you, you agreed to rent the premises less that room.

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