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What is a Sublease Agreement?
A sublease agreement is a legal document that allows a tenant to transfer ownership of their lease to another party. With the landlord’s consent, the tenant can appoint a subtenant to take over the lease of the same property. A sublease agreement retains all the same terms of the original lease contract and usually involves an additional fee for the transfer.
How Sublease Agreements Work
Sublease agreements legal definition is an agreement that allows a tenant or landlord to bring on a new party to the original rental agreement. These agreements are most commonly used when a roommate wishes to vacate their residential lease agreement before the other or if a tenant wants to have another party live in the home while they are away, such as on an extended vacation or attending school. Sublease agreements can also be used for commercial leases .
Here is an overview of how sublease agreements work:
Getting Landlord Permission
Before a tenant can facilitate a sublease agreement, they must obtain permission from their landlord and any other deed of trust to do so. Tenants should review the original rental lease agreement they signed to find out whether subletting is allowed within their contract and if so, what steps they should take to get permission from their landlord to being the process of creating a sublease agreement.
If a roommate is a party to the original rental agreement, they must also give their permission to sublet. Since they are legally bound to abide by the terms of the lease agreement, they must agree to the modification of the original terms in order to make the subletting legally binding. Roommates must also approve the person moving in, the amount of rent they pay, and any other terms of the subleasing agreement.
Forms of Subletting
After a tenant get the approval of their landlord and any roommates, subleasing can begin. Depending on the terms of the agreement, the sublease can look a little different.
Here are two examples of subleasing:
- Example One : The original tenant becomes a co-tenant with the new leasing party. In this scenario, the original tenant is joint and severally liable with the subletter, which means that in the event of any damages or lease violations, the original tenant could also be held liable, even if they aren’t directly responsible.
- Example Two : The original tenant becomes the landlord of the subletting tenant. In this scenario, the original tenant is responsible for fulfilling their lease agreement with the landlord, and subletter refers to the original tenant as the landlord. The originally tenant must abide by all state laws that govern what a landlord can and cannot do and can be held liable for their tenant’s actions by the original landlord.
Check out this article to learn more about how sublease agreements work.
What’s Included in Sublease Agreements
In order for a sublease agreement to be successful, it must be very detailed and all-inclusive of the expectations of the original renter and the landlord of the property. Ensuring that all of the information a subletter will need is included in the sublease agreement can also save legal battles in the future, since the sublease agreement is relied upon to determine what legal recourse original tenants, landlords, and subletters can pursue.
Here are some examples of what is included in sublease agreements:
- Cost of monthly rent
- Who is responsible for repair and maintenance
- Length of the agreement
- Required utilities and how they will be paid
- Liability information
- Guest policy
- Security deposit
- Lead-based paint disclosure
- Terms of the original residential or commercial lease agreement
- Smoking policy
- Landlord permission
- Signatures of all involved parties and dates
Commercial Sublease Agreements
Commercial sublease agreements are among the least protected agreements when it comes to legal recourse. In order to protect themselves, landlords should require the following information before approving a sublease agreement:
- Name and contact information of potential subletters
- Details about the business subletter runs
- Full financial details of the subletter
- Information about any alterations to the property that might be needed
- Whether a subtenant is willing to sign a commercial sublease agreement
Here is an article about commercial sublease agreements.
Risk for Sublease Agreements
Sublease agreements offer great flexibility for many tenants to residential and commercial lease agreements . However, they are not without risk. Any time a sublease agreement is signed, there is a possibility that something could go wrong that could affect one of all parties to the new agreement.
In the event that any rental payments go into default, there is a risk involved. In some agreements, the sublessee pays rent to the original tenant. If the original tenant fails to provide that money to the landlord, the subtenant could be evicted, even though they made their payments on time.
There is also an involved risk for original tenants regarding the behavior of their subletters. If any damages are caused to the rental or any terms of the lease are broken while the sublease agreement is in effect, the original tenant could still be held liable since they are responsible for the new tenant.
Landlords also assume some risk in subletting. If an original renter screens is permitted to screen proposed sublessees, landlords run the risk of the required qualifications not being up to par with what they expect. This is why it’s so important that landlords pay special attention when asked to approve a new sublease agreement.
If a tenant plans to return to the rental after the subleasing agreement, they must be sure that they can trust the sublessee around their belongings. If not, they risk having their belongings damaged, misplaced, or stolen upon their return.
Learn more about the risks involved in sublease agreements by checking out this webpage .
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How to Write a Sublease Agreement
Writing a sublease agreement is an important job. Being detail-oriented and making sure to include all of the necessary provisions of a sublease agreement helps protect all parties involved in the contract. Luckily, writing a sublease agreement does not have to be difficult.
Here is an easy, 6 step process that you can use to write a sublease agreement:
- Step 1: Consider using a template
- Step 2: Gather sublet requirements, such as amount of rent and length of commitment
- Step 3: Document all requirements within sublease agreement
- Step 4: Review sublease agreement with landlord and roommates for approval
- Step 5: Present sublease agreement to sublessee for discussion and agreement
- Step 6: All parties to contract sign and date sublease agreement
Using a pre-created template to guide you through the process of writing a sublease agreement is one of the easiest ways to
To get more information about how to write a sublease agreement, read this article .
Get Help with a Sublease Agreement
Do you want to create a sublease agreement for your rental and get professional help to do so? Real estate lawyers possess the expertise that you need to get the job done right. Post a project on ContractsCounsel today to get connected with lawyers who specialize in sublease agreements.
Meet some of our Sublease Agreement Lawyers
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