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Understanding how a sublease works

A sublease refers to a specific process a tenant may use to relinquish rights to a property they have rented but may not impact their obligations. Subleasing generally refers to when a tenant named on the lease rents a room, a portion of the rented property or all of the rented property to another party. It is important to note that the new tenant, the subtenant, is responsible for rent payments and complying with the lease terms but the original tenant remains ultimately responsible for the lease.

This can be important for the principal tenant, or original tenant, to keep in mind when subletting because if the tenant they have sublet to fails to pay rent, they may still be liable to the landlord for payment of the rent and the landlord can still pursue them for unpaid rent. In addition, the original tenant may be liable for damages the subtenant causes to the property. Both the original tenant and landlord may have eviction rights against the subtenant.

Lease agreements commonly state whether or not subleasing is permitted and may require that the original tenant may only sublet with prior written consent and permission from the landlord for a sublease. If they fail to obtain required permission, subleasing without permission may be considered a violation of the lease and breach of the contract.

Landlord tenant disputes can be challenging to navigate and can cause a significant amount of stress for tenants which is why it is important for them to be familiar with their rights and how the subleasing process works. By understanding how the process works, tenants are in a better position to protect themselves and negotiate situations that inevitably arise while renting.

Source:, "What is the Difference Between Subleasing and Reletting?" Accessed June 1, 2017

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