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Sublease Agreement

A sublease agreement is a legal document that allows a tenant to sublet a property to someone else (subtenant). Also known as "subletting," a tenant must obtain the landlord's permission before renting to subtenants (unless permitted to do so in the original lease).
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Landlord’s Consent Form – Use to obtain the landlord’s permission to sublet.

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Standard Version

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College / University Version

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How to Sublet (7 steps)

1. Review the Original Lease

tenant reviewing original lease agreement

The original tenant should find and review the master lease, specifically to determine whether the lease allows subletting to someone else.

Landlord Consent Form – Gives permission for the tenant to sublet the space.

2. Set the Monthly Rent ($)

tenant calculating rent amount for sublease

Find out the market rent in the immediate area from other similar properties. This will give an idea of what to expect from a subtenant.

Find market rents on Zillow, Apartments.com, and Craigslist.

3. Market the Property

closeup of tenant using tablet to list property online

When subletting, it is best to connect within social groups to find a quality individual.

Where to List a Sublet (5)

  1. Craigslist – List under ‘housing > sublets / temporary’.
  2. Facebook Marketplace – List under ‘Property Rentals’.
  3. SpareRoom
  4. Roomster
  5. StreetEasy (NYC only)

4. Show the Property

tenant on phone with potential candidate for sublease

When accepting inquiries, prospective renters usually request a property showing. It is recommended to screen the prospective subtenant prior to move-in.

Questions to Ask Before a Showing

  1. When is their ideal move-in date?
  2. How many tenants/occupants?
  3. What is the ideal lease term?
  4. Are they currently employed?
  5. Do they have pets?

5. Screen the Subtenant

tenant conducting credit check of candidate on laptop

It is recommended that the tenant be screened using a rental application. This allows someone to screen a prospective subtenant by obtaining a credit report, verifying employment, and collecting a fee to reimburse the screening costs.

Tenant Screening Services (recommended)

6. Add Attachments (if any)

tenant and sublessee reviewing sublease agreement on tablet

Attachments may be required depending on the State where the property was located, when it was built, and the individual’s credit history.

Common Attachments (5)

  1. Lead-Based Paint Disclosure & EPA Pamphlet – Required if the property was built before January 1, 1978.
  2. Move-In Inspection Form – Required in some States to protect the tenant from being charged for existing property damage.
  3. Security Deposit Receipt – Required in some States to disclose where a security deposit is being held.
  4. Personal Guarantee – Required for subtenants with poor credit to allow someone else (co-signer) to be personally liable.
  5. Copy of Master Lease – The original lease between the landlord and tenant.

7. Sign the Agreement

sublessee signing on sublease agreement on tablet

After an agreement has been written, it should be signed by both parties. This can be completed either by electronic or wet signature.

Payment by Subtenant – The subtenant must pay the first month’s rent, security deposit, and any other upfront fees or pre-paid rent at lease signing.

Common Risks

  1. Non-Payment of Rent – If the subtenant fails to pay rent, the tenant remains obligated to pay the landlord’s rent.
  2. Lease Violations – Any violation of the master lease is the tenant’s responsibility. Therefore, the tenant must convey to the subtenant that all rules and obligations of the original lease be honored.
  3. Eviction – If the subtenant has to be evicted, it is the tenant’s responsibility (not the landlord).
  4. Damage to Property – Any damage caused by the subtenant is the responsibility of the tenant.
  5. Utilities – If unpaid, any utilities or services to the property will be the tenant’s responsibility (if not changed to the subtenant’s name).

Sample

Download: PDF, MS Word, ODT