Is Your Tenant Allowed to Sublet to Someone Else?

It depends on your lease. Subletting is when your tenant rents your property to a subtenant in the middle of the lease. This usually occurs when the tenant will be away from your rental property for an extended period of time, but plans to come back to finish the lease term. A common example of subletting would be college students subletting their apartments because they go home during summer vacation. Legally speaking, when a subletting happens, your tenant becomes the landlord in that subletting arrangement. Your lease remains in effect with your tenant despite the subletting.

In most states, your tenant’s right to sublet your property is governed by the terms of the lease or rental agreement you signed with your tenant. Therefore, you should consider the idea of subletting and decide whether to leave the option of subletting to your tenant before offering your property for rent.

If your lease or rental agreement does not specifically mention subletting at all, then this ambiguity is usually construed in favor of your tenant, which means your tenant can sublet your rental to anyone without your permission.

If your lease or rental agreement contains a clause that allows subletting with a condition of obtaining your written consent, then your tenant will only be able to sublet after they receive prior written consent from you. You can request the subtenant to provide the same information and documents that you initially requested from your tenant and determine whether you want this new person to be your tenant. If you do not respond to your tenant’s request to sublet, your silence could be construed as providing consent to the subletting, depending on your city and state.

If your lease or rental agreement has a clause that explicitly prohibits subletting, then your tenant generally cannot sublet your property unless a State law or city ordinance specifically says otherwise.