My NYC landlord has agreed to let me out of my lease agreement if I forfeit my security deposit of $3,225.00. In the rental agreement I have six free weeks of rent on an 18 month lease. So the net effective rent per month is $2,956.25 ($53,212 / 18 months). The lease ends in June of 2020.

I want to get out of the lease but I am not sure whether I should sublet the property or break the lease. Is it a better idea to just break the lease or should I go for the sublet to maintain the lower net effective rent? I'd run the risk of not being able to sublet the property (by May 31st). But if I was able to sublet the property then I'd be able to cover the rental payments (subject to getting the full amount of rent per month) and I'd also get the security deposit back, less deductions from the security deposit.

Should I cut my losses and just get out by forfeiting the security deposit? Or should I try and sublet the property?

  • 5
    Just FYI there might be a third way; the landlord may let you out of your contract without penalty if you can find him another tenant. Most of the reason he wants your deposit is (or should be...) to cover the time that the flat will be unlet and his lost rent. I have done this in the past and every landlord I know of has been amenable.
    – MD-Tech
    Apr 25, 2019 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


In general, you landlord will require you to obtain his ("reasonable") consent for you to sublet. These may require stipulations that the proposed tenant is as good a tenant as you, and that you remain on the hook if the sub-tenant doesn't pay the rent.

If you find a potential sub-tenant, you can ask for his permission for you to (1) sublet to them, (2) assign your lease to them, or (3) have them sign a new lease with the landlord.

If the landlord refuses any of these, and does not provide a valid legal reason why he does not allow the sub-let, you can sub-let anyway and if it goes to court, the judge can review the situation to see if the objections were legally reasonable. If not, then they would rule in your favor, though obviously you and your landlord and your and their lawyers would enjoy the trip to housing court.

NYC Landlords (should) know this, but obviously are trying to get as much cash as they can out of the situation - NYC apartments are not cheap.

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