In the case of a sublet, does the original tenant assume the rights ofa landlord in the event of the sub-tenants non-payment of rent?

My tenant paid the first month’s rent upon signing his sub-lease last month. Since then he has not paid rent for this month despite my -emails to him asking for the rent. I fear he will carry this over to next month (the lease ends on 30th). I can proceed with a non-payment process to try to force him to pay his rent, but I worry that as the official tenant of the apartment I won’t have any standing as a landlord in court if I file the appropriate paperwork.

Asked on August 29, 2011 New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have sub-letted out your rented unit, you stand in the shoes as though you are the actual owner of the property as in the landlord's position to you. In essence you are the landord with respect to your tenant under the sub-lease.

Y0u have standing to sue your sub-tenant as his or her landlord. You should immediately serve your sub-tenant with a three (3) day notice to pay or quit. If the sub-tenant does not pay you the rent owed or vacates the unit, you will need to file an unlawful detainer action against him or her, have it served upon the sub-tenant and proceed to court to evict the sub-tenant and for damages.

Good luck.

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