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The original tenant(s) who signed the contract with the landlord or owner of the unit is generally held responsible to the original lease agreement with the landlord.

Why Sublet / Sublease your apartment?

People sublet their apartment or rented unit out for a number of reasons, including:

  • moving out of town and you have time left on your lease.
  • traveling for a period of time (studying abroad) and you want to maintain your apartment and have someone else pay the bills until you return.
  • renting out or sharing with a roommate to help with costs.

You are still responsible for the lease

Generally when you sublease your unit, you as the one who originally signed the lease is the one responsible for it. So think twice before becoming a landlord - because that is what you become - the landlord!

Read your lease

Most lease agreements have a sublet clause in there. Most will say that you must have permission from the landlord to sublet your apartment or rented unit. If the landlord gives permission, get it in writing. The landlord should get all the information from the person who is subletting. In selecting a sublessor, choose wisely, your best friend could be the worst tenant. It happens. Remember - you as the original tenant are still responsible for rent payments to the landlord even if he agrees to the sublet. Trying to get rent from a friend...sometimes not so easy.

Subletting Laws

  • Several states have laws protecting the tenant, sublet and landlord. Most don't.
  • Do not sublet you apartment or rented unit for longer than the term of your lease. For example: your lease expires in 3 months, do not sublet for 5 months.
  • If you are the one looking for a sublet, ask to see the signed lease agreement between the landlord and the tenant to whom you will be making payments. Verify with the landlord that you have permission to sublet.

*Reprinted with permission from University of Pennsylvania OCL/M. Farcas.