What to do in a commercial sublet lease regarding early termination?

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What to do in a commercial sublet lease regarding early termination?

I am subletting and have sent the November payment. However I told the LL that I cannot pay anymore. When I signed the sublet there were 2 primary tenants but only 1 signed, is that legal? Also, I never received a copy of the primary lease although it says I was supposed to (and I have asked many times). Does the LL sue me, the primary, or both? Is the sublet not legal since both primaries haven’t signed?

Asked on November 4, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I hope that this is legal all the way around.  Maybe you did not get a copy of the primary lease (the lease between your landlord and the owner) because it is not permitted with the owner/landlord and under that lease agreement.  As for the legality of the lease because of the missing signature, that may not be fatal. Your state law would govern on that point.  If the sublet is legal then your landlord is the one that will sue you based upon the subtenancy.  Here is what you need to do when he does:  put in affirmative defenses based upon what you think is the illegality of the lease (Upon information and belief . . . ).   Since you have never received a copy of the primary lease how would you know?  Also, is there anything wrong with the premises?  If there a leak?  Does the bathroom work?  Are there pests?  These are all affirmative defense for abatement of rent and possibly termination of the lease.  Try a tenant's rights organization.  Good luck.  


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