Table of Contents
- Download a Free Sublease Agreement
- The Basics: What is a Sublease Agreement?
- When Do I Need One?
- The Consequences of Not Using One
- Steps to Take Before You Sublet
1. Download a Free Sublease Agreement
2. The Basics: What is a Sublease Agreement?
A Sublease Agreement is a lease or rental agreement between the original tenant who is currently leasing the premises and the new tenant, or subtenant, who will be moving in to all or a part of the premises. The subtenant will be subject to the same terms and conditions of the original lease, however the tenant remains solely responsible for the payment of rent and breach of the terms and condition of the original lease agreement.
A simple 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
Here are some other common provisions found in this agreement:
- Landlord Approval: if the original lease requires, the tenant must get written approval
- 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 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
A Sublease Agreement may also be called:
- Sublease Contract
- Sublet Contract
- Residential Sublease Agreement
- Sublease Agreement for Residential Apartment
- Room Rental Agreement
- Sublet Agreement
The Original Lease Agreement
Although, the tenant gives up all or a part of the leased property, the original lease agreement remains in full force and effect. Therefore, the tenant retains all of his or her obligations under that agreement. Essentially, two agreements pertaining the property are simultaneously in effect, and two separate sets of obligations are created.
In the event the subtenant fails to pay rent or otherwise perform his or her obligations under the Sublease Agreement, the tenant is NOT excused from paying rent or performing his or her obligations under the original lease agreement. The tenant will remain liable to the landlord, including for any damages caused by the subtenant. If the subtenant does fail to pay rent or causes damages to the property, the tenant will have to first pay the landlord and separately seek remedies for breach of the Sublease Agreement.
In exchange for the subtenant’s agreement to pay rent, maintain the premises, and adhere to the terms of the agreement, the tenant is obligated to maintain the original lease for the duration of the agreed upon term. This includes paying rent, requesting repairs, and any other duties required of the tenant.
Tip: Subletting can be costly. Especially because you retain liability for the actions of your subtenants. Be sure to perform your due diligence and properly vet any potential subtenants.
Sublease Agreement PDF Sample
The sample sublease agreement below details an agreement between the tenant, ‘Joan J Green’, and the subtenant, ‘Kathy S Blake.’ 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. When Do You Need One?
After receiving a job offer from your dream job in a different city, you are ecstatic, except for one thing. You don’t know what you’re going to do about the lease you just signed on an apartment in your current city. Or maybe you have a summer internship in a different city, but don’t want to sign a full year lease on an apartment. Or maybe you have an extra room in the house you’re renting and want to make some extra money. Whatever the situation, a Sublease Agreement can put into writing the agreement between you and another party regarding the property being sublet.
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 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 service|
An inspection checklist is a document that you can include with your Sublease Agreement to further protect both you and your subtenant. The checklist helps to keep track of the condition of the property when the subtenant moves in to determine if any damages or unreasonable wear and tear occurred during the subtenant’s term. You should have your subtenant complete the checklist within a certain number of days after moving in, being careful to mark the condition of all rooms, appliance, fixtures, and furnishings.
4. The Consequences of Not Using One
Although you may think subletting a room in your apartment to your best friend doesn’t need to be in writing, issues and misunderstanding regarding you and your best friend’s rights and duties may arise. Oral agreements hold too much uncertainty, and friendships have been known to break over less than who is responsible for replacing the carpet.
Below is a chart of some nuisances and suffering that can be prevented with a written agreement:
|Lost rent money||Lost housing|
|Responsible for property damage and destruction||Uninhabitable or unsuitable premises|
|Unpaid utility bills||Utilities not provided|
|Unexpected costs for maintenance and repairs||Unable to get maintenance and repairs done|
|Expected sublease term to be longer||Kicked out of sublease early|
|Expensive legal fees||Expensive legal fees|
5. Steps to Take Before You Sublet
Before you create your own Subleasing Agreement, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Check your lease agreement: The original lease agreement is the guiding document on whether your can enter into a Sublease Agreement. If your lease includes a provision regarding subletting, then there is no issue, but if it doesn’t, sometimes that can be confusing. In most cases, where a lease agreement does not mention whether or not you can sublet, you are usually allowed to after obtaining the consent and approval of your landlord. Also consult your state or local laws on your rights as a tenant to sublet if you are unsure of your rights.
- Get your landlord’s permission: Most leases require the landlord’s approval before subletting. Even if your lease agreement or local laws allow you to sublet, the best practice is to get your landlord’s permission before subletting to establish transparency and inform the landlord who will be living in his or her property. You should note that when asking your landlord for permission, they are not allowed to “unreasonably withhold” consent, e.g. denying a subtenant who meets their standard leasing requirements and criteria.
- Screen your sublessee: You should properly screen your subtenant by running a credit check, verifying their income, getting landlord recommendation letters, and running a background check. You want to make sure your subtenant is responsible and reliable. After all, you still remain liable to your landlord under your original lease.