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Sublet NYC legal advice

New York, NY |


I rented a sublet in Roosevlet Island (NYC) for a month starting from July 1st. I paid the full rent in advance. It was a verbal agreement which can be proved using email exchanges and online money transactions.

Two days back I found a bedbug and complained to them. Now they want me to move out saying I brought the bedbug and they wont return my rent.

What can I do now ? Should I move out immediately or should I fight with them ? I am soo worried. Please help me. Thanks ..

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    Dear NYC Subtenant:

    You paid for July 2013, and there are few legal procedures available to the tenant to get you into a court case before the end of the sublease.

    But the larger and more looming issue is the Bed Bug, because there cannot be just one of the kind, unless the tenant is correct that the insect traveled into the apartment with you. A full blown infestation would not manifest just on your arrival at the apartment. So if the apartment had one insect, and no more are detected (See my Guides on Bed Bugs at my profile), then all concerned are fortunate.

    The other problem is that the subleasing is not likely allowed by the tenant's lease. So nothing was in real writing, although you could prove the tenant may be in breach of the lease based on the email and transfer of money. And if the apartment is now a Bed Bug haven the landlord needs to know and the tenant would have a difficult experience explaining your presence in the apartment.

    So if that is a one and done with the Bed Bug, then it is not likely the apartment is infested or that the tenant rented an apartment to you for one month with any knowledge of a Bed Bug problem.

    There is truly little that could be done to bring you into court so it is likely that you cannot be forced to move out during your one month stay. The very nature of your short duration tenancy does not allow for time for any formal termination notice. The tenant could go crazy and try to illegally evict you, but there is nothing that could be done in advance of doing a criminal act. If they do illegally evict you there is a process in the Civil Court for an order restoring you to possession. But then you are confronted with trying to prove the one month tenancy from the emails and money transfers.

    If you are not going to move then you do not need to have the rent returned. And if the tenant really wants you to move they should pay you to leave early. That would cost the tenant far less than committing an illegal eviction and being sued for triple damages by you.

    Read more about the illegal eviction in New York City at:

    Good luck.

    The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

  2. I agree with Mr. Smollens. perhaps you can sue for the rent paid in small claims court. In the meantime, get out of there.

    (1) I may be guessing. Do not act or rely upon this info; (2) We have not established an attorney-client relationship; and (3) If you insist I tell you something upon which you can actually rely: don't eat yellow snow.

  3. I agree with Mr. Smollens with an addition. You can also complain to department of buildings by calling 311 and a possible HP action.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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