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Sublease Agreements

A residential sublease states the agreement between a tenant and a subtenant, the person who will take over the original lease for a set length of time for set periodic payments. The original tenant becomes the landlord, and the subtenant becomes the tenant.

Common reasons for an original tenant to sublease include:

  • Moving for a short period of time for temporary work
  • Traveling for a few months without having to pay rent
  • Adding a roommate to the rental lease agreement

States with Sublease Laws and Proceedures

Seventeen states have tenant-friendly laws regarding residential subleasing. They range from Alaska, where the subtenant must apply directly to the landlord, who must reply in writing within 14 days and provide a valid reason if rejecting the subtenant, to Virginia, where the landlord only has 10 days to accept or reject a request from the original tenant or have the request automatically approved.

Other states with residential subleasing laws are:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah

You can find more information about your state?s subleasing laws on its government website. Tenants who live in a state that do not have laws regarding subleasing should check the original residential lease agreement and talk to their landlord about subleasing options.

Using a Sublease Agreement

As an original tenant, if you wish to sublease a rental property or room under the same terms as the original lease agreement, a simple sublease may be appropriate. You also may want to do the following as part of the subleasing process:

  • Run a credit check on the potential subtenant.
  • Collect a security deposit from the subtenant; state law and the original rental lease agreement may dictate the maximum amount allowed and to whom it must be paid.
  • Take photos of the rental property prior to subtenant move-in.
  • Provide subtenant with a renter's inspection worksheet.

Whether you are the property owner in a subleasing situation or the tenant-turned-landlord, fully understanding the terms and conditions of the lease and sublease agreements, as well as the state law governing the practice, results in the best possible chance for a successful subleasing.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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