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Halfway through last year, I subleased my apartment unit and moved to a new location. I received a security deposit equal to the monthly rate paid by my subtenant. My rental company has informed me that their security deposit return policy - as per New York State law - is to return the deposit (minus applicable cleaning or maintenance fees) within 30 days of the end of the lease.

My question is: am I, the sublessor, bound by the same legal statute, even though I am not the property's owner or active manager?

In other words: is it be legal to wait until I have received my security deposit from the landlord before I return my subtenant's deposit, assuming it all occurs within the 30 day period?

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As far as the law is concerned with respect to the sublease, you are in the same position as any other manager/renter/owner. You are bound by the statute, and you must return the security deposit (and/or itemized deductions) within 30 days of the end of the sublease.

The agreement between you and your landlord has no bearing on your agreement with your subtenant. You can wait to get your own deposit back if you want - but only if that doesn't cause you to go over the 30 day limit with your subtenant.

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