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MDLawyer
MDLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6133
Experience:  10 years in legal practice. Over 5 years in advising clients on landlord/tenant issues, including on a pro bono basis.
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My son is subletting a room in an apartment in brooklyn, but

Customer Question

My son is subletting a room in an apartment in brooklyn, but it's not a documented sublet. The girl that leases the apartment is not allowed to sublet. She does not live there, but rents the studio apartment out to 5 students. They had an agreement that the rent included utilities, but now she is demanding that they pay additional money (to cover utilities) and if they don't, she says they have to leave by Dec. 1st. They are all concerned that because they don't have a written lease that she can just make them leave with no notice. That's not true is it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I look forward to assisting you this afternoon.

You are correct. Since the sublet is an illegal sublet, a court cannot enforce the contract since a court is not allowed to enforce an illegal contract. Also, if her landlord is notified of the illegal sublet, the landlord will have the right to evict both your son and the other tenants and also the person illegally subletting the apartment.

Please let me know if this has answered your question. If it has, please be so kind as to leave a positive rating as that is the only way that we experts get compensated for the time spent assisting you since we are not Just Answer employees. If, however you need additional assistance or need clarification, please let me know so that I can continue to assist you. Thank you in advance!

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Just to clarify, by the way, when you said they had an agreement, I'm assuming there was not a written agreement for that either since you stated that there was no written lease.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was not a written agreement, but I need more specific information related to NY landlord/tenant laws.
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

The landlord/tenant laws only apply to legal leases. If a sublet or lease is illegal, a court will not enforce the contract. This comes under contract law since a lease is a contract. If someone is renting a place illegally, a judge cannot and will not apply landlord/tenant laws. For example, if a landlord who is renting a place illegally tried to take their tenant to court for unpaid rent, a judge will not force the tenant to pay rent because the place was an illegal rental. Similarly, a court will not allow a tenant to stay in an illegal sublet.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Leigh,

Please let me know if I have answered your question. If I have, please be so kind as to leave a positive rating as that is the only way that we experts get credited for the time spent assisting you. Thank you in advance for allowing me to assist you and please feel free to let me know now or in the future should you have any additional legal questions.

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