NYS law allows you to sublet for up to 2yrs for work or school. This means you will not be living within commuting distance of the NYC area.
During that time you are expected to maintain the loft as your primary residence (official docs/IDs/utility bills in your name/etc) and have the intention to return to live in the loft at the end of that time.
You must send a written letter (via USPS with Certificate of Mail) to your landlord several months in advance with the name of the subtenant, the exact dates of the sublet, their contact info, people who can vouch for them (employers, previous landlords, etc) and how the landlord can continue to receive rent payments from you. You may also consider including a signed NY sublease rental agreement, there are forms you can find online.
This letter is not a request for permission (as it is your right to sublet) but a professional statement, however if your landlord replies within 30days denying the sublet, with reasonable cause, you may not be allowed the sublet. A landlord may reply with a reasonable request for more info like a credit check, photo id’s and bank statements, etc.
The landlord has 30 days to approve or not from the receipt of the letter. If there’s no response then this means they agree. If they say no they must say why and how it can be remedied.
Never sublet without approval (in writing from the landlord or without receiving a reply) and never have the subtenant pay the landlord directly. Adding ten percent to the rent is allowable if the tenant is using your furniture and household items. And, if the subtenant fails to pay rent that’s the over tenant’s problem.
Because it is important to maintain a credible primary occupancy we discourage protected occupants against subletting too often. It should not be for more than two years and it is recommended you return for at least that long before trying again. For this reason we also discourage tenants with pending coverage applications from subletting.
This is a very brief synopsis of your rights and the process. We encourage you to do more research and talk to your lawyer. Learn more about subletting in NYC from the NYC.gov Rent Guidelines board and at the NYC Metropolitan Council of Housing (the oldest tenant advocacy group in NYC), or join the NYCLT google group to speak with a community of your peers.