A Massachusetts sublease agreement is a contract between a tenant already renting a piece of property (the “sublessor”), and a new tenant the “sublessee”) who wants to rent part of all of the property.
A sublease in Massachusetts must first be approved by the landlord, and can only exist as long as the original lease is in effect. It can also last for a shorter period of time, depending on the rules outlined in the sublease agreement. The sublessor, whose name remains on the lease, is ultimately responsible for the premises if damaged or unpaid for by the sublessee.
To save time and ensure everything is filled out correctly, we recommend using our free Massachusetts sublease agreement builder or reading our steps on how to write a Massachusetts sublease agreement below.
Massachusetts landlords and property managers looking to rent an entire residential unit should use our Massachusetts Lease Agreement form.
How to Write a Massachusetts Sublease Agreement
- Property type — Describe the leased property, i.e., residential home or apartment, and write down the physical address of the property.
- Named tenant on the lease — Identify the tenant named in the lease (the sublessor) by their full name.
- Property or mailing address — Enter the address of the rented property, including unit or apartment numbers and any building number.
- Named subtenant on the sublease — Identify the new tenant (the sublessee) by including their full name on the sublease.
- Named landlord to original lease — Identify the landlord of the property that’s being subleased.
- Original lease copy — Attach a copy of the original lease to the sublease, so all parties understand their obligations under both the lease and sublease.
- Monthly rent — Enter the following rental details:
- monthly rent amount
- day of the month the rent payment is due
- name of the party receiving the rent payment
- the address where the rent payment is to be delivered
- Security deposit — Enter the security deposit amount that the landlord requires, and the portion that the sublessee is required to pay.
- Additional terms and conditions — List any additional terms and conditions the tenant and subtenant have agreed to that should be part of the sublease such as whether pets or smoking are permitted.
- Termination date — Enter the day the original lease terminates with no chance of holdover.
- Term — State the length of the sublease in years and months, including the start date and end date of the agreement.
- Signature line — After a declaration that both parties agree to be bound by the sublease agreement, provide a signature line and space for each party to sign as sublessor and sublessee, including printed names above or below their signatures.
- Landlord approval — Below the signature lines, provide a space for the printed name of the landlord or their agent, and a line for their signature as consent to the sublease.
Massachusetts Sublease Laws
You should check your original lease agreement to see if you’re allowed to sublet your apartment. It’s recommended that a tenant receive written permission from their landlord before subletting in Massachusetts. Once you’ve filled out a Massachusetts sublease agreement, you will be responsible for your subtenant and liable for any violations of the original lease.
A sublessor must honor the terms of the sublease agreement (as well as the original lease) and follow all Massachusetts laws regarding the eviction process, security deposits, and all other landlord-tenant matters.
Massachusetts Landlord-Tenant Laws: Part II of the General Laws of Massachusetts (Real and Personal Property and Domestic Relations)
In Massachusetts, a sublessor must:
- Give a subtenant fourteen days (14) written notice to pay rent or leave
- Return the security deposit within thirty days (30) of the end of the sublease
- Provide thirty days (30) written notice of your intent to not renew the sublease and/or original lease
Massachusetts Sublease FAQs
Is subletting illegal in Massachusetts?
No, subletting is not illegal in Massachusetts. However, if the original lease prohibits subletting, then a sublease agreement cannot be created and the property can’t be sublet.
Must a tenant get permission to sublet?
Yes, a tenant must get permission from their landlord to sublet according to most leases in Massachusetts. If the lease requires approval, you must get the landlord’s written permission.
To be safe, send a certified letter to the landlord with a copy of the sublease or the terms of the proposed sublease. Give the landlord 30 days to respond. If they don’t respond, you can assume the sublease is permitted. If refused, the landlord must give reasonable grounds for denying permission such as a poor credit or background check on the part of the sublessee.
How do I remove a subtenant?
In order to remove a subtenant (or “sublessee”), you must follow the same legal process that your landlord would have to follow if they were to evict you.
- If rent is past due, you must provide your subtenant with 14 days’ notice that they’ll be removed from the property unless they pay.
- If the subtenant has violated the lease and/or sublease agreement in any other way, you must give them 30 days’ notice to correct the problem or else they will be removed from the property.