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Can I Overcharge a Subtenant?

Unless your city or state explicitly prohibits it, you can charge a subtenant more than their proportional share of the rent that is owed to the landlord.

If you live in unregulated housing then you're probably allowed to charge a subtenant or a roommate more rent than you pay to the landlord or an amount of rent that's higher than their proportional share of the actual rent.

Common scenarios for charging more rent are:

  • You left furniture or appliances in the rental that make the rental worth more
  • You are including the cost of internet or electricity in the cost of the rent
  • Market rates have increased since you signed your lease, and there is demand for your room or apartment at a higher price.

The major exception is if you live in a rent-stabilized housing. In this case, you almost definitely cannot overcharge your subtenant - at least not as much as you want. For example, rent stabilized tenants in New York City are given the express permission to charge 10% over the monthly rent if they rent the unit furnished and the landlord is allowed to charge an additional 10% to you, which you can then pass off to your subtenant. In San Francisco, you are never allowed to charge more rent than the amount you are paying to the landlord.

Choose your state from the dropdown above to see if there are rules for your jurisdiction.

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