A Washington sublease agreement is a contract between an original tenant (or “sublessor”) that wants to rent out their property, such as a room or an entire apartment/home, and a new tenant (or “sublessee”). This document allows the sublessee to rent the property, without the original tenant having to break the original lease.
It’s important to note that with a sublease agreement, the original tenant is still responsible to uphold the terms of the original lease. Regardless of whether the sublessor or the sublessee is the one who pays rent to the landlord, it’s the duty of the sublessor to ensure it’s paid on time. If the sublessee breaches any terms of sublease or damages the property, it’s the sublessor who is liable. Additionally, a sublease agreement cannot rewrite or override the terms of the original lease.
To save time and ensure everything is filled out correctly, we recommend using our free Washington sublease agreement builder or reading our steps on how to write a Washington sublease agreement below.
How to Write a Washington Sublease Agreement
- Date the sublease agreement — Write the date of the sublease agreement.
- List the current tenant(s) — Name all people listed as tenants in the original lease.
- List the subtenant(s) — Write the name(s) of all those who are subleasing the property.
- Record the address of the subleased property — Write the address of the property, including the apartment number if relevant or the number of bedrooms being sublet.
- Record the date term of the sublease — State when the sublease will start and end, formatted in mm/dd/yyyy.
- List terms of the original lease and attach a copy — List the dates of the original lease, formatted in mm/dd/yyyy, and attach a copy of the lease.
- Record the rent — State the rent due for the total sublease term, and the rent amount per month. If relevant, list any utilities or fees the sublessee would be responsible for each month and note if there is a security deposit the sublessee must pay.
- Include additional information about the property and sublease conditions — If there are any restrictions the sublessee must abide by, such as no smoking or no pets, list them. Also, if there are any areas that the sublessee may or may not have access to, such as storage units or parking spaces, then state them here.
- Sign the sublease agreement — Both the sublessor and the sublessee must sign and date the agreement along with their printed names. The landlord should also record their consent.
Washington 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 Washington. Once you’ve filled out the Washington 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 Washington laws regarding the eviction process, security deposits, and all other landlord-tenant matters.
Washington Landlord-Tenant Laws: Chapter 59.18 of the Revised Code of Washington (Residential Landlord-Tenant Act)
In Washington, a sublessor must:
- Give a subtenant fourteen days (14) written notice to pay rent or leave
- Return the security deposit within twenty-one days (21) of the end of the sublease
- Provide twenty days (20) written notice of your intent to not renew the sublease and/or original lease
Washington Sublease FAQs
Is subletting illegal in Washington?
No, subletting isn’t illegal in Washington. The Washington Residential Landlord-Tenant Act does not prohibit sublease agreements, it defers to the original lease. If your original lease prohibits it, you cannot sublet.
Can a tenant sublet without permission?
This is also governed by the original lease, but generally, you must have the permission of your landlord. It’s to ask your landlord’s permission to avoid any problems.
You should send your landlord a request by certified mail detailing your proposed sublease. Your landlord has 30 days to then respond, either approving or rejecting your sublet request. If you don’t hear from your landlord, it’s presumed consent. Your landlord can only reject the request for reasonable, legitimate reasons (such as suspected financial instability of the sublessee, incompatibility of tenants, suspected illegality, etc.)
How to end a sublease agreement?
In Washington, there are three grounds to evict a sublessee:
1) they are not paying rent;
2) they have breached terms of the sublease agreement;
3) they’re engaging in criminal behavior or are a legal “nuisance.”
For non-payment of rent, you must give them 3 days notice to pay or quit, for a breach of the lease you must give 10 days notice to remedy or quit. You subsequently should follow the same eviction process as a landlord would have to.