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Can your tenant rent the space to someone else?

| Feb 19, 2021 | Real Estate Law |

You have a home that you rent out to residential tenants. For the past year or so, you’ve had a single tenant living in the home. When you stop by one day, though, there’s a family of four living in the house.

As it turns out, your tenant got a job offer in another town. They decided to leave, but they were still on the lease, so they just rented the apartment out to the family. While that makes sense financially, on their end, you’re concerned because this is still a property that you own. Is this arrangement legal?

Subleasing clauses

It really depends on the lease. This situation is known as subleasing the property. There is no law against it. You and the tenant agree on the terms when the tenant signs the lease. If it says that there can be no subleasing, then your tenant has violated the contract and it becomes a legal issue. If the lease says nothing, your tenant hasn’t violated the law.

Experts note that you want to be as clear as you can when writing these clauses. Leave no room for interpretation. Do not be vague. Spell out in no uncertain terms whether or not subleasing is allowed. If it is, go into detail about the regulations for doing so — how to pick someone to sublease, how to pay the rent, etc.

Resolving a dispute

If you and your tenant do end up in a dispute — which may also involve those who are subleasing the space, though they never intended it — it is important to know exactly what legal options you have.