A sublease agreement is between an individual that has a lease with a landlord, the “sublessor”, and a person seeking to rent the same space from the sublessor, the “sublessee”. In most cases a sublease arrangement occurs when a sublessor has time left on their rental agreement with a landlord, and they would like to vacate earlier than the end date. Therefore, with the landlord’s consent, they may rent the space to someone else and play a middle-person while still paying rent to the landlord every month.
Landlord Consent Form – Most leases do not allow a tenant to sublet. Therefore, the tenant will be required to obtain the landlord’s permission (consent) in order to rent to the subtenant.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What is a Sublease?
A Sublease is a secondary contract to the original lease which allows a tenant to rent out the property to another tenant (sublessee) to take their place. In a sublease, the original tenant on the master lease bears the full responsibility for any damage, non-payment of rent, or any other liability on behalf of the sublessee.
A Sublease is also referred to as the following:
- Sub Lease
- Sublease Agreement
- Sublease Contract
The following are scenarios where a Sublease might occur when several months are left on the original tenant’s contract:
- Tenant is assigned or finds a new job in a different city.
- Tenant is unable to afford rent any longer.
- Student goes home for the summer and wants someone to rent their space while away.
How to Sublet an Apartment (How it Works)
If a lease is in place for a fixed term and the landlord is unwilling to allow a release then the only option is to find someone else that will take-over the space. Although, to find a new tenant to move-in to a precarious situation, it may require a discount in rent as well as other concessions from the original tenant.
Step 1 – Find the Original Lease
The original lease is needed to be found in order to view the tenant’s rights in regards to subletting the Premises. Most standard leases do not allow the tenant to sublease the property and therefore the tenant may be required to obtain a Landlord Consent Form in order to forgo what was originally agreed to and attach as an addendum.
Once consent has been given the tenant may begin marketing the property for lease.
Step 2 – Determine the Monthly Rent
This involves the tenant figuring out how much to charge the new tenant, or “sub-lessee”. The market rent can be determined by taking into consideration what others are paying in the area via , , and . After viewing like-properties the tenant may be able to get an idea of what to make for the asking price.
Step 3 – List the Property
In order to list the property, the best website depends on the area where the property is located, for example, in New York City the website may be useful, but in Wichita, Kansas it wouldn’t be a good resource.
Although, the most simple way to figure out the best website for your area is to type
apartments for rent in “Your Area”
into and view the top websites that appear.
Step 4 – Show the Property
While accepting the incoming calls on the property is it most important for the tenant will need to be as available as possible. Especially if the property has been priced below-market in order to get the property rented as quickly as possible.
In order to save time, make sure to vet the prospective sub-lessees over phone to make sure the following they:
- are looking to move-in immediately;
- are currently employed;
- can afford the monthly asking price (rent); and
- don’t have pets (if there’s a pet policy).
After pre-approving the individual(s) on the phone it is now time to create a time to show the property to see if it matches their needs.
Step 5 – Screen the Sub-Lessee
Before accepting a lease, it is best for the tenant to accept the credentials of the sub-lessee through a Rental Application, collect a fee (usually between $25 to $50), and see if they qualify. In order to best screen the applicant the following should be conducted:
Credit and Background Check – Use (TransUnion);
Income / Employment Verification – Obtain an Income Verification Form from their employer; and
Landlord Reference – Contact their most recent landlord to hear about their character and if they paid rent on-time.
Step 6 – Sign an Agreement
If sub-lessee qualifies then a sublease agreement should be executed. As notice to the original tenant, the sub-lessee will now be their responsibility meaning any late rent, property damage, or eviction will be their liability. Therefore, it’s important to have a security deposit received at the time of signing that is at least equivalent to 1-month’s rent (See All States’ Maximum Limits).
Expiration / End Date – Make sure the end date is not further than that of the original lease. If not, the sublease could be seen as non-binding between the parties.
Step 7 – Addendums and Disclosures
The following should be added to the sublease agreement:
Disclosures – Most States have required disclosures that inform any new tenant of things to look for in a new lease. Most likely the original tenant will have the same documents attached in their original lease with the landlord.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Only if the property was built before 1978.
Original Lease – A copy of the original or master lease between the original tenant and the landlord.