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Should I allow A Tenant to Sublease My Property?

Subleasing, commonly known as subletting is one of the most common issues that affect the housing sector. Subleasing means allowing the primary or original tenant, who signed a rental or lease agreement with the landlord to rent out partial or the whole property to another tenant. When it happens, the primary tenant remains answerable to the tenant, while the second tenant becomes answerable to the primary tenant.

If a renter asks to sublease the rental property, or a section of the rental property, then there are many factors to take into consideration.

The Subleasing Debate

Several states have laws that address subleasing and subletting. In most circumstances, all tenants should seek consent from the landlord before subletting or subleasing a part or whole of their rented premises. If the tenant goes against this law and subleases without permission, the landlord has the permission and authority to evict the subtenant.

Additionally, unless the lease states otherwise, the primary tenant automatically becomes the subtenant’s landlord. If something goes wrong or needs repair, the subtenant will have to contact the tenant first, who in turn contacts the landlord. What this implies is that the tenant retains the original responsibilities, as stated in the rental or lease agreement, regardless of whether they are staying in the premises.

Such complications discourage many property owners from subleasing. Bringing a subtenant in the equation can create huge problems if they disrespect the rental rules. The primary tenant is responsible for anything done by the subtenant. It works sometimes, and sometimes it fails.

There are pros and cons that the landlord should be fully aware of, whether it is the right thing to do, to allow a tenant to lease their property. Looking at both sides of the argument, the landlord should have sufficient information to make a decision.

Pros of Subleasing

Mass Appeal

One main advantage of allowing tenants to sublease is that it opens the property to a completely new pool of potential tenants or renters. These can include college students, job-related transplants, and frequent travellers. However, the landlord should truly determine if these are the right type of people to have in his or her premises.

Lower Vacancy Rates

Most renters, especially those who will be away for a short period due to job related or personal reasons mostly prefer staying in the same premises rather than ending the lease and having to enter into a new one, once they are back to the area. By allowing such tenants to sublease, the landlord will be able to lower the turnover rates and keep the premises occupied most of the time.

Property Protection

Vacant homes and other premises can be tempting targets for vandals and criminals. This can be particularly risky if there are tenants who go away for months or weeks continuously. Instead of ending the lease and having them to leave the property, allowing them to sublet gives a surety that someone will be at the premises at all times thus reducing chances of criminal activity.

Cons of Subleasing

Lack of Control

Depending with the structure of the agreement, the landlord may have minimal or less control over the nature of people being sublet by the tenant. This can leave the landlord in a precarious position. The landlord is at the mercy of the tenant. Since the tenant in this case is the landlord of the subtenant, the tenant has all the power to make all the decisions regarding the arrangement. This could leave the landlord in the dark over what is actually happening on their property.

Possible Double Eviction

If the landlord decides that subtenant or the tenant is going against the terms of the rental agreement, both will have to be evicted. That makes it more stressful and twice challenging. Although no one hopes that to happen, it is a possibility.

Difficulty dealing with legal issues

Similar to the challenging process of evicting subtenant, any legal issues that may arise are hard to rectify. Although the landlord is protected, it will be very difficult to take legal action against any wrongdoings perpetrated by the subtenant.


Allowing tenants to sublease property has its own benefits and setbacks. However, to be fully prepared, the best thing would be to start a new lease with the new tenant and allow the previous one out of the lease. This will put the landlord in control over the new tenant and anything happening on the premises.