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Getting Landlord Approval for a Lease Assignment in New York

You have the right to assign your lease in New York, as long as your replacement is as financially qualified as you.

Many New York landlords, especially in NYC, will have their own processes for lease assignments—so don't spend too long drafting your own paperwork. Once you've found a potential candidate, check in with your landlord to learn more about the assignment process. Your landlord will probably ask for three things:

  1. A standard rental application for your proposed assignee
  2. A letter describing your situation
  3. A draft of an assignment agreement

Once you've submitted this paperwork, the law in New York only allows your landlord to refuse your request for specific reasons. If your landlord ignores you (or denies your request for no reason), then they must release you from your lease. They need to do this within 30 days of your request for the release, according to state law.

If, on the other hand, your landlord "reasonably" denies the assignment—that is, they have a viable business concern about the replacement tenant you've found—you're out of luck. Your assignee needs to meet (or exceed) the qualifications you met when you were approved for the apartment, including credit scores, eviction history, and anything else your landlord assessed during the approval process.

This means it's generally pretty easy to figure out if a landlord's rejection was reasonable: if your potential assignee's credit score or income is lower than yours, then their refusal is probably reasonable and you can't get released from your lease.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.