You may have heard of it, but aren’t sure what it is… How does subletting work? and what to do if the tenant sublets the property without notification?
In general terms, sublets happen when your initial tenant, rents out the property to another individual. Can a tenant sublet a property?
If the landlord is aware of the sublets, that wouldn’t be a problem. Usually, it occurs when the landlord knows the amount of rent he wants and leaves it to one tenant to sort out how to go about the payment. If they are renting out the other rooms, the tenant will inform the landlord out of courtesy.
However, what happens if a tenant sublets without notifying their landlord? What can the landlord do to safeguard his rights?
Is The Property Being Subleased?
This is important to make sure that the new guest to the property is not just visiting or house-sitting while the tenant is away. It is normal for tenants to have over guests occasionally for special occasions or public holidays.
If, however, the guest has been there for a month and you see there is new furniture in the other rooms. There could be a chance that they do not know the agreement between the first tenant. So don’t be too harsh on the new guest and iron out the issue with your first tenant.
Call Up Your Original Tenant
Once you are sure they are subletting the property, it would be best to talk to the first tenant. The arrangements between the two may be going against your tenancy agreement. There is a possibility that the landlord had charged the rent based on solely one tenant and not two.
Try to meet halfway and discuss the best option for all parties. Jumping to conclusions and asking them to leave can be avoided provided there is a new tenancy agreement with both included. If the tenant is not keen to pay any extra charges, let them know that a sublease is not allowed, and the new tenant will need to leave.
Tenancy Agreement Details
Make sure before going all out and explaining to your original tenant about subleasing, bring a copy of the tenancy agreement. Why tenancy agreements are put in place is to protect landlords and tenants from messy situations like these. If everything is in black and white, it makes it easier to make a point.
Give them about 30 days to sort out the issue, and give them choices as well. If the new tenant does want to stay on, consider offering them a new rental price. Make sure to update the tenancy agreement if anything changes after the discussion.
Sometimes when nothing works and the subletting tenant refuses to leave. The last option is to take legal action. Before evicting the subletting tenant, make sure you are within your legal rights to do so.
If your lease agreement does not specifically prohibit subletting, resolving the issue may be harder. For situations like this, get advice from a lawyer on the best way to go about it. It could require you to update the tenancy agreement for the original tenant to re-sign on new terms, which will take about 30 days for it to take effect. Which is ample time for the tenant to think of other rental options.
Once you do get a solution, make sure to update your tenancy agreement in the future regarding subleasing.
This will save you from future complicated rental situations with new tenants.
Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
Since subleasing is a known issue in the real estate market, always make sure to be detailed about your terms. Be upfront with your tenants about having sublets and if they do want to do it, what are the added costs.
On the bright side, sublets may get you added income if they agree to pay a fee or pay for added maintenance or utility bills for the property.
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