Monday, December 10, 2012

When Does a House-Sitter Become a Subletter

The N.Y. Times investigates if a two-week house guest should count as an illegal sublet:

Residential tenants are permitted to have guests and roommates under New York law, but leases typically prohibit “subleasing” without a landlord’s consent, said Jarred I. Kassenoff, a Manhattan real estate lawyer. The question becomes whether the duration of the occupancy by the “house-sitter” constitutes an “illegal sublet” rather than the stay of a guest or roommate.

“Given that the tenant only will be away for ‘up to’ two weeks,” Mr. Kassenoff said, “it is doubtful that the short-term nature of the arrangement would be sufficient to trigger an eviction.” But as the landlord is permitted to establish reasonable security protocols for the safety of the residents, there may have been a good-faith basis to the owner’s refusal to allow entry to the guest, who had not been preapproved. So the writer should try to get preapproval the next time he will have a house-sitter.

Steve Clowney

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