What to do about unethical/Illegal behavior by a landlord/broker?

My landlord is using a real-estate broker to find a new tenant for my apartment, while I am trying to find new tenants to sublet my apartment to on my own. He has rejected 3 applicants I have sent him for the apartment, and time is running out for us to have the apartment re-rented before we leave. Is it legal/ethical of him and the broker to deny applicants I send him because he wants the broker (who is also his sister) to make money finding a new tenant? He has stated that he is requiring all new applicants sign for 1 year, rather than the remaining months on my lease.

Asked on August 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It certainly does not sound as if it is on the up and up but if it borders on unethical or illegal is difficult to determine.  Now, does your lease state that you have the option to sublet?  With or without consent of the landlord?  If you have the option and the landlord is being unreasonable as to your prospective applicants then I would discuss actually having them let you out of the lease (especially since they want a 1 year lease signed; that is not a "sublet" under the law) and otherwise seeking legal help here.  Some one needs to read the lease and let you know your options.  Good luck.

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