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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118255
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am in a situation where I had to leave my apartment, temporarily,

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I am in a situation where I had to leave my apartment, temporarily, in order to extricate myself from a toxic situation with an ex-girlfriend that lives in the same building. I am the sole lease-holder for my 3 bedroom apartment. I am currently renting out my room to a woman, Nina, through the end of August. One of my roommates, April, informed me about a month ago she would be moving out of the apartment at the end of September. I do not have a problem with this. My other roommate, Kayla, however, will not be moving out until the lease is up in November. None of the women are on a sublease contract. She also has the opportunity here to take over the lease if she chooses, but she will need to go through the application process and the rent will go up. Some of this information maybe irrelevant, but it may factor in somehow.

I spoke with my lease manager last week and explained that I may be relocating and wanted to know the implications of breaking my lease. Given that I am the sole leaseholder, if I were to break my lease at the end of September, Kayla would have to move out 2 months early. Additionally, in the course of this conversation, I mentioned that I have two roommates who are not on the lease, which is not looked well upon by the management company. Further, I recently signed a lease for my own place, so I will be on two leases for August through November. Again some of this information may be irrelevant, but last time I used your service it seemed the more info the better.

Kayla has been living with me for nearly a year. The other day, I went into my apartment, unannounced to Nina, Kayla, and April, to get some mail. I have been trying to speak with Kayla about the upcoming apartment logistics given the fact that I am responsible for finding people to occupy the apartment who will pay rent. She has been quite unresponsive and uncooperative. Since I was in the apartment, I figured I could briefly talk to Kayla when she woke up. This was early in the morning. I did not speak with her that morning, but she has become quite defensive about my being in the apartment without giving her notice. So a long story short may be that I am wondering what my legal rights are to my apartment, of which I am the sole leaseholder. Do I have to give notice that I am coming by legally? I guess I am concerned that Kayla could potentially take legal action. Also, I am concerned now that Kayla will not pay rent. What are my rights as far as making her leave? I am sure more questions will arise, but I hope this is enough information for you to advise.

Thank you,
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

If you are the sole leaseholder and do not have any subleases giving them exclusive rights to the apartment, you still have the right to enter the premises and also to move back into the premises if you choose to do so. Unless you have given Kayla and the others exclusive possession via the sublease, she cannot prevent you from entering the apartment. If Kayla does not pay her rent, you would give her a 3 day notice to evict for non-payment of rent and if she does not pay the rent in 3 days you would begin an eviction proceeding against her as she is a month to month tenant based on your oral sublease.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I should have mentioned that I live in New York City, which may have some different laws regarding this. After doing some quick, further research I found this converstion in an online forum:


Of note is the following NYC law:


§ 26-521 Unlawful eviction. a. It shall be unlawful for any person to
evict or attempt to evict an occupant of a dwelling unit who has
lawfully occupied the dwelling unit for thirty consecutive days or
longer or who has entered into a lease with respect to such dwelling
unit or has made a request for a lease for such dwelling unit pursuant
to the hotel stabilization provisions of the rent stabilization law
except to the extent permitted by law pursuant to a warrant of eviction
or other order of a court of competent jurisdiction or a governmental
vacate order by:

Could you interpret this a bit? Does this negate your previous answer?

Thank you for your response.

Actually, the above that you posted falls right in line with what I was telling you. If she does not pay her rent, you give her a 3 day notice to pay or leave. If she does not pay, then you have to go through the process of filing a suit for eviction with the housing court to evict her for non-payment of rent. If you simply want her out as a month to month tenant you can give her a 30 day notice to evict, as she is a subtenant not on the lease and thus a month to month tenant, and if she does not leave after the 30 days, you file suit to evict her in the landlord tenant court.

You do not need a reason for the 30 day eviction notice and to file suit to evict if she does not leave. You simply give her the notice that you are terminating the sublease in 30 days and if she fails to leave you will sue her for eviction.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks again! Just to be clear however, I don't have a sublease contract with her. It's a verbal thing. Does that count?

Thank you for your response. You do have a sublease contract with her, an oral one, which makes her a month to month tenant.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, so this oral contract also holds rights for her as well, correct? In this situation, what sorts of rights would she have that would counter any actions I may take to evict her? Also, I imagine housing court takes quite some time to push things like this through. There is only 4 months left on the lease. Is this time to take any action? Likewise, is it time for my landlord to take action against me?


Thank you.

Thank you for your response

Yes, the oral contract give her the right to lease the property and you the right to act as any other landlord. 1) If she pays no rent, she has no rights to refuse to pay rent and if she does you can sue to get her removed for the non-payment of rent. 2) If she pays rent and you simply want her out, she has no rights if you give her the 30 day notice of her termination of her month to month tenancy and if she does not leave you would have the right to sue her to remove her from the premises.

If you seek to evict her, generally it will take about 60-90 days by the time the court can hear the matter and thus, you could end up with only 1 month left on the lease and this is a personal choice you need to make on this matter as to whether or not you want to take the time to sue her to get her removed.

If your landlord chooses to take action against you for the illegal subleasing they can do so now, but with 4 months left they likely will not do so as long as rent is being paid because by the time this gets to court on the sublease the lease will likely be over or so close to being over it would cost them more money to sue than just let it go.
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