Sublease Agreement

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A Sublease Agreement can be used to sublet an apartment, an entire house, or even just a room within a rental property. Think of it as a “lease within a lease.”

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A Sublease Agreement is a contract between the current tenant (sublessor) of an existing lease and a new tenant (referred to as a subtenant or sublessee).

In a sublease, the subtenant is subject to the terms and conditions of the original lease. Additionally, the original tenant remains solely responsible for damages, payment of rent, and any breach of the initial lease agreement.

A Sublease Agreement is also known as a:

  • Sublease Contract
  • Sublease Form
  • Sublease Rental Agreement

How to Write a Sublease Agreement

You’ll need to include the following sections when drafting a simple sublease agreement:

  • Premises: address and description of the residence that is being leased
  • Tenant: full name and address of the original tenant
  • Subtenant: full name and address of the subtenant who is taking over the lease
  • Term: when the sublease will begin and end
  • Original Lease: details of the original lease, including the date and landlord
  • Rent: amount of money payable by the subtenant to the tenant each month

For a more in-depth look, this step-by-step guide will help you create a sublease agreement and start subletting your property.

  1. Describe the Premises

Your first step when creating your sublease agreement is to describe the property and include the address. It’s important to clarify exactly what the subtenant will be renting, be it a single room or the entire rental unit.

highlighted image of the address of the premises section of a sublease agreement

  1. Name the Tenant and Subtenant

The names of both the original tenant and new subtenant need to be included in the sublease agreement.

highlighted image of the tenant and subtenant names section of a sublease agreement

  1. Outline the Term of the Sublease

Decide how long you would like to sublet the property to your subtenant. This is known as the “term” of the sublease.

A subtenant doesn’t necessarily need to sublet the rental property for the same length of time as the original tenant’s lease. For instance, it could be month-to-month, or for a set term.

highlighted image of the term length of a sublease agreement

  1. Explain the Details of the Original Lease

Your new subtenant must be made aware of any provisions included in the original lease agreement. For example, if pets are allowed on the premises or whether smoking is prohibited in the rental unit. A general statement explaining that the sublease and subtenants are obligated to comply with the original lease is also sufficient.

highlighted image of the obligations of both parties section in a sublease agreement

  1. Determine the Rent Amount

Here, you’ll define exactly how much money the subtenant owes each month. This amount will be paid by the subtenant to the original tenant unless otherwise stated.

In the event the subtenant fails to pay rent or causes damage to the property, the original tenant is liable to pay the landlord. If a sublease agreement is broken by the subtenant in any way, the original tenant is solely responsible for remedying the situation.

highlighted image of the rent amount section of a sublease agreement

Other common provisions found in a sublease contract include:

  • Landlord Approval: if the original lease requires, the tenant must get written approval
  • Sublease Security Deposit: how much the subtenant must pay as security against damage
  • Late Fees: how much extra the subtenant must pay if rent is not paid on time
  • Utilities: whether utilities are included or whether the subtenant must pay for utilities
  • Furnishings: whether or not the premises will be furnished
  • Alterations: usually the subtenant is not allowed to make any alterations to the premises
  • Policies: whether things such as smoking, pets, or subletting are allowed

Sublease Agreement FAQ

What is subletting?

Understanding what subletting is will allow you to make a more informed decision before you agree to create a sublease agreement.

In short, subletting is simply the act of renting out a currently leased property to a secondary tenant. A sublet is the actual property being subleased.

How do you sublease an apartment?

If you’re curious exactly how to sublease an apartment or house, we explore the five steps for subletting as either a subtenant or an original tenant. But, since you’re here, subletting an apartment is as simple as:

  1. Reviewing the original lease
  2. Notifying the landlord of your intent to sublet
  3. Posting the sublet online
    • The following websites are popular resources for finding reliable subtenants:
      • AirBnb
      • Craiglist
      • Short Term Housing
      • Sublet
  4. Showing the property to potential subtenants
  5. Signing a sublease agreement

How much can I charge a subtenant for rent or a security deposit?

Maximum rent and security deposit amounts are limited by the same state laws and regulations as standard leases. Check the Landlord-Tenant laws of your state to be sure the rental costs on your sublease agreement are legally valid.

Is subletting illegal?

In short, no, subletting is not illegal. If you obtain necessary permission from your landlord and abide by the subletting laws of your state and municipal government, it is legal to sublease an apartment, house, room, or any other property that you’re currently renting.

Some state and local laws allow you to sublet a property you’re renting, even if it’s explicitly forbidden in your lease. However, in other states, a landlord is able to evict or even sue the sublessor and subtenant if they didn’t receive permission to sublet. Always check the laws in your area.

What type of property can I sublet?

From renting a room in a house to subletting an unused basement, any type of property that is currently being leased can be sublet. This includes a/an:

  • Apartment
  • House
  • Room
  • Condo
  • Townhouse
  • Duplex
  • Basement
  • Mobile home
  • Garage

Do I need a written sublease agreement?

Whether you’re a sublessor or a subtenant, always request a written sublease agreement. Verbal contracts do not hold up in court as well as a physical, signed contract. Protect yourself and create a written sublease agreement.

What’s the difference between a roommate and a subtenant?

The main difference between a roommate and a subtenant comes down to the type of rental agreement they’ve signed:

Roommate — A roommate is another individual that lives in the same rental property and is typically a signed party of a lease agreement. People who share a rental this way may enter into a roommate agreement in order to clarify their responsibilities.

Subtenant — A subtenant is an individual that is a signed party of a sublease agreement, and who leases property from a tenant rather than a landlord.

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