Sublet contracts, also known as sublease agreements, are vital documents required when a tenant wants to sublease a property to another tenant. Before entering into a sublease contract, it is critical to understand your rights and responsibilities under the provision of the agreement.

What Is a Sublease Agreement?

A sublease agreement is a legal covenant entered into by a tenant and subtenant, with the approval of the property owner, stating the duties and obligations of the sublandlord and subtenant throughout the sublease term.

A sublease agreement allows an original tenant that is holding the lease to a property to transfer the lease to another tenant or subtenant who will use a part or all of the premises under the same provisions of the original lease. However, the original tenant is responsible for paying the rent and will be liable for any violation of the terms in the original lease agreement. A sublease can cover a whole building or a part of it such as a room within an apartment.

A sublease is also known as:

  • Sublet contract
  • Sublease Contract
  • Residential Sublease Agreement
  • Sublease Agreement for Residential Apartment
  • Room Rental Agreement
  • Sublet Agreement

Parties Involved in a Sublet Agreement

A sublet agreement involves these parties:

  • The property owner who formed the lease with the original tenant.
  • The sublandlord who is the original tenant who signed the original lease with the landlord, and now entering into a sublease agreement with another tenant known as a subtenant for the use of a part or the entire rental property.
  • The subtenant, who is forming a sublease agreement with the original tenant to lease part or all of the property temporarily.
  • The original tenant is also known as "sublessor" while the subtenant is also known as the "sublessee."

How a Sublease Agreement Works

A sublease agreement is used when a tenant needs to move out of the rental property before the end of their lease term. First, the tenant has to seek the landlord's consent. Once the landlord approves the sublet, the tenant has to find a new tenant to move in and pay their rent every month. The sublet agreement is drafted when all parties involved agree to the terms and conditions of the lease including the rent rate, lease term, and information about the property.

Essential Elements of a Sublet Agreement

A standard sublet agreement covers the elements below:

  • Premises: The description and address of the property.
  • Tenant: The full name and address of the original tenant.
  • Subtenant: Address and full name of the subtenant moving into the property.
  • Original lease: Provides details of the original lease such as the landlord's name and date.
  • Term: The duration of the lease.
  • Rent: The monthly payments the tenant will receive from the subtenant.

Some Common Provisions Found in a Sublease Agreement

A sublease agreement can also contain the following:

  • Landlord Approval: The tenant must get written approval from the landlord if there is such requirement in the original lease.
  • Security Deposit: The amount the subtenant will pay as security against damages.
  • Late Fees: Additional money the tenant will pay if rent is delayed.
  • Utilities: Will the subtenant pay for utilities or is it covered by the rent?
  • Furnishings: Will the premises be furnished?
  • Alterations: The subtenant is usually prohibited from making any improvements to the property.
  • Policies: Covers things such as pets, smoking, or subletting.

Obligations of the Tenant in a Sublease Agreement

While the tenant is subletting a part or all of the leased premises, he or she must continue to fulfill the provisions of the original lease agreement because it is still valid and legally binding on the tenant. The implication is that there are two separate leases to which the tenant is legally bound.

If the subtenant violates the sublet agreement such as damaging the property or not paying rent, the tenant is fully liable under the original lease agreement. The tenant must pay the landlord any outstanding payments and repair any damaged part of the property. Later, he or she can press charges in court to seek remedies against the subtenant for breach of the sublease agreement.

While the subtenant will pay rent, maintain the premises and adhere to other provisions of the sublet agreement, the tenant is responsible for upholding his/her rights and responsibilities under the original lease agreement including rent payment, repairs, and other obligations.

Types of Property to Sublet

If you can get the property owner's consent, you can sublease any residential rental property such as an apartment, condo, house, duplex, room, garage, townhouse, and basement suite.

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