Do you need a sublet guide for landlords? Find out if you should give your tenants permission to sublet and how to manage subtenants.
Let's begin this subletting guide with the basics first: If you are a property owner and you rent out your property to another person, you become a landlord and the other person becomes your main tenant.
If your main tenant re-rents part or whole of the property to a third person, then that third person becomes a subtenant (also known as a subletter or subleasee).
The arrangement between the main tenant and subtenant is known as a sublet (or sublease). In most cases, the main tenant will have to obtain the landlord's permission to sublet - Click here to see the individual sublet laws for every U.S. state.
In a sublet agreement, the subtenant will pay his or her rent to the main tenant (and not the landlord). The main tenant is also responsible for making sure that the subtenant does not violate any lease terms. Now here's the big catch: Once the landlord gives the tenant permission to sublet, the landlord will have little to no rights over the subtenant.
The original lease agreement between the landlord and main tenant still stands - The main tenant will continue paying rent to the landlord and is directly answerable to the landlord.
Let's begin this sublet guide by stating this: In general we don't recommend that landlords give their tenants consent to sublet. Having next to no rights over someone (the subtenant) who is going to stay on your property is a big deal breaker in most scenarios.
Without the main tenant's consent, the landlord cannot screen or choose the subtenant, cannot collect rent from the subtenant, cannot enforce lease terms on the subtenant and can't even evict the subtenant for nonpayment of rent or lease violations.
If you have a fixed term lease and the tenant is looking for someone to take over the lease, then you should consider an assignment of lease instead - That way you can retain your rights as a landlord over the new renter.
All that being said, there are certain exceptions and reasons to sublet your property. For example: You have an excellent tenant who needs to travel overseas for an extented period of time - In this case, you may want to allow him or her to sublet the property just to cover the rent payments temporarily.
If you do give your tenant permission to sublet, make sure that your main tenant screens all subtenants carefully - Click here to learn how to choose tenants for your rental property.
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