Featured News 2014 How to Sublet Your Apartment or House

How to Sublet Your Apartment or House

If you are going to be away for a few months, whether it's for studying abroad, taking a vacation, or going on a business trip, there are a couple steps you have to take before you start advertising for a subtenant, such as finding out if it is even legal to sublease your place. Then there are further issues you will have to address concerning a sublease agreement. But if you can find the right subtenant (or "sub-letter"), then you would not have to leave your place empty while you are away, and you could even help fund your trip with the extra income you take in from this venture. Keep reading to learn how you can pull this off!

Research Your Local Laws

The first step in determining whether or not it is even legal for you to sublet your apartment or house is to look at your state and city/county laws. Unfortunately, you cannot rent out your place in every region, and if you try to do so illegally, then you could find yourself paying steep fines. Some rules are technical too, only letting you sublet under specific circumstances. For instance, in New York City, you cannot sublet a single-family rental for less than a month if you yourself are not residing in that dwelling.

Get Your Landlord's Permission

Then there are the terms of your lease to consult. Most rental agreements or leases will have a portion that says you cannot sublet without the landlord's permission. Even if you do not have this in your lease or agreement, it is generally advisable to ask your landlord in writing anyway. A landlord who discovers that you went ahead and sublet the place, violating the terms of your lease, they could have a reason to evict you. If subletting is not addressed in your lease, you will still be on better terms with your landlord if you get their permission (similar measures are needed if you want to add a roommate to your lease). When you write to your landlord, you will need to have a subtenant in mind, so that you can show your landlord that he or she has good credit, good references, and other things that show they would be a good resident.

There are some state laws, such as in California and Florida, where landlords can only deny your request to sublet if they have valid reason for the denial. In one of these states then, a landlord would have good reason for denying your request if the proposed subtenant has a record of not paying rent or of causing property damage.

Find the Right Subtenant

Obviously, this step has to coincide with the point above. If your subtenant causes trouble, you are ultimately the one who is liable. Ideally, you can find the tenant you are looking for through relatives or friends. You could always ask for references, conduct interviews, and maybe do a little online research on the person as well.

Create a Sublease Agreement

You will need to put this down in writing. This should cover terms of rent and the security deposit of course, and you will want to also give your subtenant your own rental or lease agreement (they will have to abide by the same noise and pet policies as you do, for example). Your agreement with your landlord and any pertinent state laws will apply to your subtenant as well.

If you need advice for the often murky legal field that is real estate, you can find the help you need from a real estate lawyer on our directory today!

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