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January 13, 2023

The New York Times article by Ronda Kaysen, “Is It Worth the Risk to Sublet an Apartment Illegally?,” discusses a possibility that many unit owners in co-ops and condos may have considered: can I get away with subletting my unit without my co-op or condo’s approval?[1]

As you may have guessed, the answer is no.[2] Kaysen approaches the issue via the dilemma of a tenant who wished to extend her sublease by continuing to live in a unit without the Co-op’s approval.[3] Unfortunately for the tenant, the unit owner would likely be brought into turmoil with the co-op board, pressuring the unit owner to force out the tenant.[4] Some of the methods a co-op or condo can reprimand a shareholder for subleasing their unit without board approval include:

  • Fines;
  • Suing the shareholder; and
  • Forcing the sale of the apartment.[5]

All of these tools a co-op or condo may have in their arsenal are likely very unappealing to you as a shareholder. We strongly urge that you abide by your co-op or condo’s rules to avoid such reprimand.

If you wish to view Kaysen’s full article, please find it here:



[1] Ronda Kaysen, Is it Worth the Risk to Sublet an Apartment Illegally?, The New York Times (Oct. 29, 2022), https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/29/realestate/illegal-apartment-sublet.html.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.