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?

UPDATED: Aug 29, 2011

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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 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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