What Do I Do If My Tenant Sublets My Property Without Notifying Me?

Disobedient tenants will always be a nightmare to landlords especially when they’ve started subletting your property to strangers. Remember, you as a landlord have all the rights to say 'No' to this.
subletting from one person to another

Subletting is a nightmare for landlords especially when their tenant chooses not to inform them of it. If you don’t want your tenants to sublet, then this has to be made very clear at the beginning and included in the contract.

If this is done and your tenant still sublets, then at least you take legal action against them. If you haven’t, or only have your word as proof, then it’s going to be very difficult to enforce anything.

If your tenant has indeed sublet your property without permission, here’s how you can deal with it:

 

1. Verify that a sublease has actually occurred

Avoid jumping to conclusions when you find out that someone else is living at your property instead of the tenant.

It's entirely possible that the person is only there to house-sit while your tenant is out of town.

What you should do is interview both the tenant and the other person to find out if they are truly subletting the property. If they are, find out the terms and details of this agreement.

Your tenant is still responsible to uphold all the terms and conditions of the original contract to the property even if he is subletting.

The new tenant must abide by these rules. If you decide to allow this, then a new agreement should be drawn up. This means that the subletting tenant will now have two landlords.

 

2. Contact the original tenant

The new tenant will have a means to contact the original tenant even if you can’t. After all, they're paying rent.

Get the whereabouts or contact details of your tenant and notify them of the breach in contract and any action you will be taking against them, if necessary.

Usually, it's customary to provide them with a period of days – not more than 30 – to fix the problem they have created.


3. Legal action

In most cases, the subletting tenant is an innocent party so if they refuse to leave the premises, you can’t really fault them but depending on the laws of the state you are in, you may or may not have legal right to remove them.

However, you can take legal action against the original tenant for breach of contract.

A useful trick would be to add a clause in the original contract saying that updates and changes can be made to the existing lease agreement at the discretion of the landlord at any time.

If the tenant refuses to comply with you, send them a written notice of the changes that will occur within a time frame – usually 30 days – after which legal action will be taken.

This will give them time to fix the issue. If they refuse, you then have a reason to take them to court.

 

You may find other useful guidance below for more information. 

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What You Should Check Before Signing Your Tenancy Agreement

The Responsibilities Of A Tenant And A Landlord - The Dos And Don’ts

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The Responsibilities Of A Tenant And A Landlord - The Dos And Don’ts

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