In New York, the tenant’s contractual lease terms will detemine whether she is permitted to sublet or assign the property.   Many leases contain an express provision that allows a commercial tenant to sublease or assign her interest to another party with the landlord’s consent.  In other situations the landlord’s consent is not required.  Examine the lease closely to see whether the landlord’s approval must first be obtained before subleasing or assigning the property.

May A New York Landlord Unreasonably Withhold Their Consent to Sublease or Assign Commercial Property?

If the commercial lease states the landlord’s consent is required, the landlord has the absolute right to prohibit subleasing or assignments by the tenants.  The landlord can refuse to allow the sublease or assignment regardless of whether their actions are reasonable or unreasonable.

In response to this, many commercial leases specifically state that the landlord’s consent to sublease or assign the commercial property cannot be unreasonably withheld.  In this situation, the landlord may withhold their consent only if there is a reasonable commercial objection to the sublease or assignment.

What if the Lease Contains No Provision About Subleases or Assignments?

If there is no express provision regarding a landlord’s consent in a commercial lease, and the landlord chooses not to bargain with tenants to allow for sublease or assignment rights, then a tenant is prohibited from subletting or assigning during the lease term.

A New York real estate lawyer can provide you more information if there is a legal basis for your issue.