A subletter in an East Village co-op is a chronic violator of house rules. She’s loud, she leaves the front door open, and she has screaming fights with her better half. What can be done to get rid of her? And who needs to do it – the shareholder who sublet the apartment, or the co-op board?
“It was the shareholder who installed this individual, and the shareholder is responsible,” Erez Glambosky, a partner in the law firm Rivkin Radler, tells the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times. “Ultimately the shareholder is the one who has to take action.”
The subletter has whatever legal rights she agreed to in the sublease she signed with the shareholder, who is her landlord. He is the one who must enforce the terms of their agreement. The co-op never signed any contract with the subletter, so it has no relationship with her. But the board does have a relationship with the shareholder, and it could potentially evict him for problems his subletter creates.
The board could give the shareholder written notice to correct any violations or face eviction. In turn, the shareholder could either negotiate a departure with his subletter or give her written notice to comply with building rules. If the problems continue, he would then take her to housing court, where a judge could order her eviction, although it’s more likely that the judge would encourage a settlement. (The courts tend to avoid evicting tenants over noise and other disturbances.)
If her sublease is nearing the end of its term, or has already ended, the shareholder should give the subletter written notice to vacate the apartment in 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on how long she’s lived in the apartment, according to recent changes to state rent laws.
In some co-ops, the board has the power to approve sublet applications, then it reserves the right to renew or cancel all sublets on an annual basis. If the board votes not to renew, it’s still the responsibility of the shareholder the get the subletter to vacate.
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