Table of Contents
- Sublease Agreement Template (Free Word & PDF Download)
- What is a Sublease?
- How to Sublease an Apartment
- When to Use a Sublease Agreement
- What to Include in a Sublease Contract
- Subleasing Laws: Is Subletting Illegal?
1. Sublease Agreement Template (Free Word & PDF Download)
2. What is a Sublease?
A sublease is a supplementary contract to an existing lease agreement that allows a tenant to rent out all or part of a property they are currently leasing to a new tenant, often referred to as a subtenant. In a sublease agreement, the subtenant is subject to the terms and conditions of the original lease. However, the original tenant remains solely responsible for damages, payment of rent, or any breach of the original lease agreement.
For your reference, a Sublease Agreement may also be called:
- Sublease Contract
- Sublease Form
- Sublease Rental Agreement
- Sublease Apartment Agreement
- Subtenant Agreement
- Room Rental Agreement
- Sublet Lease
- Sublet Agreement
Sublease vs Lease
A lease agreement is a legally-binding document between a landlord and tenant that describes the stipulations of renting a property.
A sublease contract binds a third party, the sublessee, to the conditions of the original lease agreement for either a set period or the remainder of the lease.
So, how does subleasing work?
Although a sublease agreement is a secondary contract, the original lease agreement remains in full force and effect to its end date. Therefore, the original tenant retains all of his or her obligations under the primary lease agreement. In sum, two agreements pertaining to one property are simultaneously in effect, and two separate sets of obligations are created.
In the event the subtenant fails to pay rent or causes damage to the property, the tenant is liable to pay the landlord, and separately seek remedies for breach of the sublease rental agreement.
Sample Sublease Agreement PDF
The standard sublease agreement below details an arrangement between the sublessor, ‘Joan J Green’, and the subtenant, ‘Kathy S Blake.’ In the sublease contract, Joan J Green agrees to lease to Kathy S Blake, and Kathy S Blake agrees to temporarily abide by the terms set forth in the document.Sublease Agreement
3. How to Sublease an Apartment
If for some reason you’re unable to stay for the duration of your lease and your landlord is unwilling to end the contract early or relet, your best bet is to sublet your apartment.
In this scenario, a sublease agreement is a win-win solution. You’ll be able to honor the terms of your lease, ensure the landlord doesn’t miss out on any rent money, and help someone find a home.
However, before you’re ready to put an add on AirBnb, you’ll need to learn how to sublet an apartment legally in order to mitigate the potential risks involved with subleasing.
Here are some steps to take as you prepare to sublease your apartment:
- Review Your Original Lease Agreement: Some lease agreements include a clause permitting you to sublease the property, often known as an assignment and subletting clause. However, if your lease agreement doesn’t mention whether or not you can sublet, you’ll need to obtain permission from your landlord. In addition, you should review your local and state subleasing laws.
- Get your Landlord’s Permission: Most leases require the landlord to approve of a sublet agreement – failing to do so can put you at legal risk. Even if your lease agreement or local laws allow you to sublet, the best practice is to review the sublease agreement with your landlord. If you’re legally allowed to sublet, your landlord is not allowed to “unreasonably withhold” consent, e.g. denying a subtenant who meets their standard leasing requirements and criteria.
- Find a Subtenant: Not sure how to find someone to sublease your apartment? Try listing your place on a sublet website. People are always looking to find a sublet, simply create an attractive posting on one of the following sites:
- Screen your sublessee: Properly vet your subtenant by running a credit check, verifying their income, getting landlord recommendation letters, and running a background check. After all, you still remain liable to your landlord for rent, damages, and other conditions under your original lease.
Ready to get started? Create your free sublease agreement now!
4. When to Use a Sublease Agreement
A sublease contract creates a legally binding agreement between a sublessor attempting to leave a contract early and a subtenant looking to secure a short-term housing option.
Below are some common relationships where a Sublease Agreement is used:
|A college student with a year long lease going home for the summer||A college student with a summer internship in another city|
|A manager who has found a new job in a different city after just signing a new lease||A freelancer who just moved to a new city and isn’t sure how long he or she will stay|
|A tenant looking to make some extra money by renting a second bedroom in their house||A study abroad student looking for accommodation for a short period|
|A military service member who has just been deployed after signing a lease on an apartment||A family member looking to take over the lease until their loved one returns from military service|
5. What to Include in a Sublease Contract
A simple sublease agreement will identify the following basic elements:
- Premises: address and description of the residence that is being leased
- Tenant: full name and address of the original tenant
- Subtenant: full name and address of the subtenant who is taking over the lease
- Original Lease: details of the original lease, including the date and landlord
- Term: when the sublease will begin and end
- Rent: amount of money payable by the subtenant to the tenant each month
Other common provisions found in a sublease form include:
- Landlord Approval: if the original lease requires, the tenant must get written approval
- Sublease Security Deposit: how much the subtenant must pay as security against damage
- Late Fees: how much extra the subtenant must pay if rent is not paid on time
- Utilities: whether utilities are included or whether the subtenant must pay for utilities
- Furnishings: whether or not the premises will be furnished
- Alterations: usually the subtenant is not allowed to make any alterations to the premises
- Policies: whether things such as smoking, pets, or subletting are allowed
6. Subleasing Laws: Is Subletting Illegal?
In short, no, subletting is not illegal. If you obtain necessary permission from your landlord and abide by the subletting laws of your state and municipal government, it is legal to sublease an apartment, house, room, or other property you’re renting.
Once you’ve got written permission from your landlord, the next step is to consult the laws governing a tenant’s right to sublet where you live. Many states and municipalities have different subletting laws, so it’s important to understand your rights and obligations where you live.
As a sublessor, regional tenant laws may work in your favor. Some local laws allow you to sublet a property you’re renting, even if it’s explicitly forbidden in your lease. For example, if you live in an apartment building in New York City that has more than four units, you’re legally able to sublease your apartment regardless of what your lease says.
Conversely, in the state of Texas, if a tenant enters a sublease agreement without their landlord’s permission, the landlord is able to evict the sublessor, and even sue both the original tenant and subtenant for any damages as a result of the sublet agreement.
Concerned about creating a lease agreement that covers all the bases? Our lease agreement builder can help you create a thorough legally-binding document in minutes.