Sublease Agreement FAQ

What is a Sublease Agreement?

A tenant who needs to relocate before the end of the term on their lease typically uses a Sublease Agreement to pass off the obligation of rent to another person. It is a legally binding contract between a tenant and their subtenant with the landlord’s consent. Legally, it creates a structuring where the former tenant then becomes the landlord (a.k.a. the ‘sublandlord’) to the subtenant. A Sublease Agreement does not explicitly invalidate the terms of the original lease, as the original tenant/sublandlord is still held liable for damages or lease violations caused by their subtenant. For this reason, it is always best to go over the original lease with the subtenant before entering the new lease agreement.


Who is involved in a Sublease Agreement?

The Landlord – The landlord is the person who owns or operates the residential property and is entered into the original lease with the original tenant. The landlord must ‘okay’ the subtenant and may have specific restrictions on subleasing.

The Sublandlord (original tenant) – The sublandlord is the person who entered into the original lease with the landlord and is now subleasing all or part of the property to a subtenant. This person still remains liable for any damages or lease violations caused by their subtenant.

The Subtenant – The subtenant is the new person entering into a lease with the sublandlord to temporarily rent all or part of the property.


What should be included in a Sublease Agreement?

The Sublease Agreement is a rental agreement between the sublandlord and the subtenant and should include:

  • The term of the sublease (how long the sublease will last), and any renewal or cancellation clauses
  • A clear and distinct description of the premises that will be sublet to the subtenant
  • What portion of the rent and utilities the subtenant is obligated to pay to the sublandlord (and subsequently, the landlord)
  • If a damage deposit is required and the terms of the deposit (i.e. when it will be repaid).
  • If renters’ insurance will be required to be paid by the subtenant
  • If alterations to the premises is permitted and to what extent
  • If a check-in inspection form is required before move in and after move out.


Why do I need a Sublease Agreement?

A Sublease Agreement clearly outlines all of the expectations for all parties involved, including how a deposit will be handled, what the monthly payments are and who should pay them, maintenance obligations, and liability for damages. This helps avoid any confrontations down the road if there are any disagreements about these aspects of the sublease.


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Revised: Dec. 6, 2016, 11:39 p.m.
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