Am I a subtenant if my name has been on the lease for 10 years?

UPDATED: Mar 23, 2012

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Am I a subtenant if my name has been on the lease for 10 years?

When I moved into my partner’s apartment 10 years ago my name was added to the lease by the original landlord. A few years later he sold the property. The new landlord has issued several lease renewals over the proceeding years which we both signed and which were customarily accepted. Now my partner wants to move out and wants her security deposit. The landlord now tells me that I am a subtenant and when my ex moves out she will have to generate a new lease agreement at a higher rate than we’re paying now. Can this be right?

Asked on March 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It does not sound right.  But one would need to read the latest lease in order to determine your rights and obligations thereunder as well as your status.  So here is what I would do: continue to pay the rent as you have under the terms of the lease as it stands now.  Take the lease to ana ttorney to review.  Once your status is determined then have the attorney generate a letter to the landlord on your position.  Good luck.

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