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LL not allowing/eterntaining assignment of leases

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LL not allowing/eterntaining assignment of leases

Postby jpcrecom » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:21 pm

My lease NYC lease is set to expire in October. However, I am looking to move to New Orleans after this lease, and a house has come on the market that my wife really wants, so I am exploring with my landlord if they would allow me to get out of my lease early ("sure, if you pay us 3 months penalty"), or assign the lease.

They gave me a categorical "no" when it came to assignment of lease. The lease documents I signed do not say that it is not allowed, and maybe it was just this one person at the landlord's office didn't know the entire policy, but she seemed pretty familiar with it (she said they allow subleases as long as they last no more than 6 months but they do not allow for lease assignments).

This is a non regulated building with 450 tenants in a high rise in the UWS. I am quite sure one company owns and manages the entire building.

I looked on this site: http://www.tenant.net/Tengroup/Metcounc/Mar96/sublet.html which made it seem like the landlord is not allowed to do so (though the link is from March '96, so the law may have changed).

According to that link (
Your landlord has the absolute right to deny your request to assign, and you have no right to appeal that decision. You then may not assign. However, in certain circumstances, you do acquire the right to cancel the remainder of the lease. In response to your assignment request, your landlord may either (1) not respond, (2) deny your request without giving a reason, (3) deny your request unreasonably ("I only rent to professionals"), or (4) deny your request reasonably ("Your proposed assignee only earns half of what you do and cannot afford the rent"). If your landlord responds as in (1), (2), or (3), you have the right to cancel the lease within 30 days from the date you gave them your assignment request. If your landlord under (4) denies the assignment "reasonably," you cannot cancel the lease. There is obviously plenty of room for interpretation of what is "reasonable."

Your written request should both give the landlord notice of your intent to move and propose assignment to a specific person with detailed information about the proposed assignee. Many landlords are happy to release tenants from their leases, because it gives them the opportunity to get a rent increase sooner. If your landlord tells you that you can break your lease, get it in writing.


I was hoping to at least get them on board with this before I went through the rigamarole of trying to find an appropriate person to assign the lease to.

But assuming I go ahead and find a person, the link above says I need to provide information about the prospective new tenant. What "detailed" information do I need to provide the landlord in my letter?

Would it be wise for me to send them a registered letter outlining my intention to assign the lease (say starting August 1) to an undetermined party as long as that person meets their existing credit / screening process and see what their process is, or do I need to find a specific person and provide a whole bunch of info to the management company?
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:38 pm

Here is Section 226-b of the NYS Real Property Law

§ 226-b. Right to sublease or assign. 1. Unless a greater right to assign is conferred by the lease, a tenant renting a residence may not assign his lease without the written consent of the owner, which consent may be unconditionally withheld without cause provided that the owner shall release the tenant from the lease upon request of the tenant upon thirty days notice if the owner unreasonably withholds consent which release shall be the sole remedy of the tenant. If the owner reasonably withholds consent, there shall be no assignment and the tenant shall not be released from the lease.

2. (a) A tenant renting a residence pursuant to an existing lease in a dwelling having four or more residential units shall have the right to sublease his premises subject to the written consent of the landlord in advance of the subletting. Such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.

(b) The tenant shall inform the landlord of his intent to sublease by mailing a notice of such intent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such request shall be accompanied by the following information: (i) the term of the sublease, (ii) the name of the proposed sublessee, (iii) the business and permanent home address of the proposed sublessee, (iv) the tenant's reason for subletting, (v) the tenant's address for the term of the sublease, (vi) the written consent of any cotenant or guarantor of the lease, and (vii) a copy of the proposed sublease, to which a copy of the tenant's lease shall be attached if available, acknowledged by the tenant and proposed subtenant as being a true copy of such sublease.

(c) Within ten days after the mailing of such request, the landlord may ask the tenant for additional information as will enable the landlord to determine if rejection of such request shall be unreasonable. Any such request for additional information shall not be unduly burdensome. Within thirty days after the mailing of the request for consent, or of the additional information reasonably asked for by the landlord, whichever is later, the landlord shall send a notice to the tenant of his consent or, if he does not consent, his reasons therefor. Landlord's failure to send such a notice shall be deemed to be a consent to the proposed subletting. If the landlord consents, the premises may be sublet in accordance with the request, but the tenant thereunder, shall nevertheless remain liable for the performance of tenant's obligations under said lease. If the landlord reasonably withholds consent, there shall be no subletting and the tenant shall not be released from the lease. If the landlord unreasonably withholds consent, the tenant may sublet in accordance with the request and may recover the costs of the proceeding and attorneys fees if it is found that the owner acted in bad faith by withholding consent.

3. The provisions of this section shall apply to leases entered into or renewed before or after the effective date of this section, however they shall not apply to public housing and other units for which there are constitutional or statutory criteria covering admission thereto nor to a proprietary lease, viz.: a lease to, or held by, a tenant entitled thereto by reason of ownership of stock in a corporate owner of premises which operates the same on a cooperative basis.

4. With respect to units covered by the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four or the rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine the exercise of the rights granted by this section shall be subject to the applicable provisions of such laws. Nothing contained in this section two hundred twenty-six-b shall be deemed to affect the rights, if any, of any tenant subject to title Y of chapter 51 of the administrative code of the city of New York or the emergency housing rent control law.

5. Any sublet or assignment which does not comply with the provisions of this section shall constitute a substantial breach of lease or tenancy.

6. Any provision of a lease or rental agreement purporting to waive a provision of this section is null and void.

7. The provisions of this section except for items in paragraph (b) of subdivision two of this section not previously required, shall apply to all actions and proceedings pending on the effective date of this section.

8. Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prevent or limit the right of a tenant to sell improvements to a unit pursuant to article seven-C of the multiple dwelling law.
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Postby jpcrecom » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:07 pm

Section 2b is the only section that identifies what "detailed" information is requested. However, that specifically applies to subleasing. Section 2c also seems to apply only to subleasing

I would be looking to assign the lease, not sublease, so I didn't know if there were different bits of information that are required.
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:59 pm

That's why you should read section 1.
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Postby jpcrecom » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:07 pm

I'm sorry, I'm missing it, apparently.

Section 1 says it's only possible to assign the lease if I get written consent from the landlord.

What I don't understand is what I'm supposed to write to them to request that approval. Do I need to have a new tenant identified? It appears that way from the other sections, but doesn't spell out what information I need to provide them. Sections 2b and 2c spell out information exclusive to subleases, and not assignments.
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