You might have heard the term subletting but wasn’t sure exactly what it meant. Even though subletting is quite common among landlords, many people still might not know what it is, how it works, and what one needs to know before entering into a sublease agreement.
What is Subletting?
Subletting is a kind of rental agreement in which a tenant decides to rent out a space to another person. The tenant may rent out a room or the whole property.
Subletting can save you money in rental expenses when you are not using your residence. For example, if you have to leave your primary residence for an extended period, you still have to pay the rent. But subletting allows you to apartment for rent nyc for that period to someone else while charging them the rent. In such a case, you wouldn’t have to pay rent out of your pocket.
One common scenario is when a tenant has to leave the apartment before the lease term ends. In such a case, the landlord is legally entitled to get the rent for the lease term. So, you can ask the landlord to allow you to sublet the apartment and you can, in turn, pay the rent with that money.
Or, if your roommate wants to leave the apartment before the end of term, you may sublet the room for the remaining lease term. In a sublet, the original tenant has to give exclusive access to at least one apartment area to the sub-tenant.
How Does Subletting Work?
Subletting differs from traditional renting in that the sub-tenant does not sign a lease with the landlord, nor do they pay rent to the landlord. Instead, they sign a lease with the original tenant and pay rent to him or her directly. It is then the actual tenant’s responsibility to pay the rent to the landlord on time.
Once you decide to sublet your apartment, do the following things:
- Inform your landlord and get written permission to sublet your apartment;
- Advertise to find a reliable and credible tenant for your sublease;
- Run a background check and screen out tenants based on references, criminal records, employment, income, and employment verification letters;
- Once you select a tenant, sign a sublease that includes all lease terms including length of sublease term, utility payments, fees, lease provisions, and total rent that will be due each month.
Tips for Landlords
Subletting is not always damaging; instead, it may benefit you and your current tenant. Subletting helps the tenant deal with their changed circumstances. So, if you decide to allow your tenant to sublet their apartment, take the following steps so you can protect your investment:
- When renting out apartments, ensure that you are clear on the terms of the tenancy agreement and what it suggests about subletting. If there is no such clause in the lease, you may add one to be on the safe side;
- Don’t approve of just anyone subletting the apartment. Spend some time vetting potential subtenants so you end up with reliable, trustworthy tenants;
- Cultivate a good relationship with your tenants so they feel comfortable approaching you if their living circumstances change; and
- Don’t miss your regular apartment inspections.
Tips for Tenants
Subletting has many advantages for tenants as they can leave the apartment for any period without having to worry about their rent. However, it can be hazardous since the tenant will be responsible for any damage to the property. So, use the following tips to make sure you have a pleasant subletting experience:
- First, you need to ask yourself if you are comfortable with subletting because it’s not merely a passive arrangement. You might have to deal with problematic behavior from your sub-tenant like missed rent payments, property damage, or broken lease terms.
- Since you will be principally responsible for the subtenant’s action, you need to understand the eviction process in case you must remove your sub-tenant early.
- It is always recommended to sublet to someone you can trust or already know. Prioritize those references you know personally. It would be a lot better if they are your colleague, a friend, church fellow, schoolmate, or someone you personally know on social media.
- When entering into an agreement with a sub-tenant, write a formal application to the landlord that contains a formal request and detailed particulars of the sub-tenant, like their name, current address, contact details, monthly rent, and the lease duration.
Tips for a Sub-Tenant
If you are leasing an apartment from an original tenant, you will become the sub-tenant. Your biggest concern should be to find a legitimate and reliable tenant. For that purpose, take the following steps:
- Search for available sublets on real estate websites;
- Review the current lease between the landlord and original tenant to understand the lease terms and to ensure subletting is allowed;
- Negotiate as much as you can to create a fair arrangement;
- Take photographs of the existing condition of the apartment; and
- Sign a formal and legal agreement with the sub-lessor.
The Bottom Line
It is the landlord’s right to grant or decline a tenant’s request to sublet. However, such requests are less likely to fail if there is already a clause in the lease that allows subletting. Therefore, it is highly recommended to discuss subletting up front and add a related clause in the original lease.
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