Many individuals and businesses who rent a home/apartment or a location at one point have come across the opportunity or have at least contemplated the idea of renting/leasing a room/office in the leased premises to either make some extra money or reduce their overhead costs. However, while a smart idea at the time, such an action may find you getting sued by your landlord or, worse, losing your leased premises altogether. Why?
Here is why. When you started your lease, chances are you signed a lease agreement. At the time you may not have thought much about it (most likely because you did not think you would sublease) but in that lease you signed there were clauses regarding subletting and/or assigning (assigning is basically you deciding for someone to take over the remaining portion of your lease) of the leased premises.
Those clauses generally have language stating that subletting (and assigning) cannot occur without the landlord’s consent (usually in writing). Of course, failure to obtain the landlord’s consent (written or otherwise) means you would be in breach of the lease agreement. Once in breach of the agreement, the landlord can decide what to do. The landlord can accept the sublease, short term lease, or assignment; sue for damages caused by the sublease or assignment (such damage caused by the sublessee or assignee to the leased premises); and/or sue for eviction for the removal of both sublessee/assignee and you! This, of course, is not what you may have envisioned when you thought about subleasing to someone.
Now, this does not mean subleasing or short term leasing is out of the question. It simply means before you embark on subleasing or offering a short term lease, make sure the landlord is aware of your action and approves. If the landlord approves of you subleasing or seeking a short-term tenant for a small space, make sure the landlord also approves of the subtenant you plan to issue a lease. And regardless of what the lease says, you should make sure the landlord’s consent to both the subleasing and short term leasing is in writing.
If you are not sure whether you can sublease or enter into a short term lease with someone else regarding your lease, give us a call. We can discuss your options and develop an action plan to ensure you are on the right side of the law and the lease.