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Can I Sublet a Rent-Stabilized Apartment?

In most cities and states, you are allowed to sublet a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment—just don't expect to earn a profit.

In most places, you can sublet an apartment even if it's rent-stabilized or rent-controlled—as long as you get the green light from your landlord. However, the amount of rent you can charge a subtenant is probably regulated by your state or city laws. Many cities, like New York, Oakland, and Berkeley, specifically restrict you from charging a subtenant for more than you actually pay in rent:

  • In New York City you're prohibited from asking for more rent than you pay if you live in a rent-stabilized unit. The only exceptions are that you can charge an extra 10% for furnished units and your landlord can increase the master rent by 10% during the period of the sublease.
  • Master tenants in Berkeley and San Francisco are never allowed to charge subtenants more rent than they have to pay to the landlord.

    In general, you should assume it is okay to sublet a unit with rent controls as long as you have gone through the standard approval process and aren't attempting to make a profit. Expect to get the same amount of rent from your subtenant that you pay to your landlord—although you may be able to tack on an additional five to 15% for furniture, utilities, or other expenses.

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