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Q & A: Insurance Coverage for Unofficial Sublet

By Jay Romano

Q: I am unofficially subletting an apartment in Brooklyn. I pay the person whose name is on the lease, who lives in another state. We have not written up any official sublease, and I am guessing the management company doesn’t know I am here and wouldn’t approve of the arrangement. Will renter’s insurance cover me in this apartment?

A: “The writer will not be covered under the tenant’s renter’s insurance unless added to the tenant’s policy as an additional renter on the policy,” said an attorney at Adam Leitman Bailey P.C., a Manhattan real estate lawyer.

If the writer is added to the policy, and there is a covered loss during the tenancy, the carrier will issue one check made out to both tenant and subtenant. Since this could lead to a dispute, sublessors should obtain an independent renter’s insurance policy. ALB P.C. added that a subtenant does not have to have his name on a written lease to be able to buy coverage.


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