Q & A: Lender Says No to Co-op Sublet

By: Jay Romano

February 2nd, 2012

Q. I want to sublet my co-op apartment in Chelsea, and I know that paperwork must be submitted to the management company to get approval of my subtenant. The co-op board also requires a letter from the bank stating that it approves. But the bank said it would allow a sublet only if I was called up for active military service, died or had an extreme medical emergency. Because I bought the unit to be “owner-occupied,” it says it can restrict my ability to sublet. Is this right?

A. “The co-op corporation is correct in stating that it will not allow the sublet without the lender’s consent,” said Adam Leitman Bailey, a Manhattan real estate lawyer. But a “recognition agreement” between the lender and the co-op contains language to the effect that the lender’s approval shall not be “unreasonably withheld.” Mr. Bailey said the writer should check the “security agreement” that he signed with the lender at the closing to determine whether the lender may restrict subleasing.