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Q&A: Juggling Two Leases

By: Jay Romano

July 11th, 2013

Q: Is it possible to have two rental leases at the same time? Can I have a rental lease on the place I plan to move to while still having the lease on my current residence?

A: The law does not limit the number of leases a person can have at the same time, said Dov Treiman, a Manhattan real estate lawyer. “As long as a tenant pays all the rent, there is no limit on how many rentals he can have.” But for rent-regulated apartments, Mr. Treiman said, a landlord is under no obligation to renew the leases of tenants no longer using them as a primary residence. He added that in a regulated apartment, prolonging a lease without the original landlord’s consent, to gain time to move into a new apartment, could be risky. For example, if the length of time is significant, and the tenant has to sublet the first apartment to help pay both rents, the subletting is almost always a ground for canceling the lease. And while that might not appear to matter because the writer already has a new apartment, he could end up on an “undesirable tenants” list, which many landlords have access to.


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