Briefly, tenant does not live in the apartment, but there are 3 other people living there on a sublease. We have received a notice to cure from landlord. Landlord maintains that we are illegally occupying the premises because tenant did not ask the written consent of the landlord (indeed there is such a clause on the lease). However, when Tenant renewed the lease in January (rent-stabilized lease), he sent to the landlord the list of the three other occupants.
My question is, can we say that landlord was in constructive notice of the occupants (implying consent)? Why would the landlord file the notice now? We feel the landlord is acting in retaliation because we retained part of the rent in earlier this year because the landlord did not expediently fix a leak. Any suggestions on how to defend?