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Are you considering subletting or subleasing your space? First, check with your landlord about what they allow. Knowing the difference between a sublet and a sublease is crucial when choosing which option is best for you, your situation, and renters' insurance.

There are many reasons to sublet or sublease, but both parties must agree before a rental agreement on either option is drafted. If the situation arises, here is how you can make the distinction to help you make the right decision:

  • If you are moving, consider subletting. Getting a sublet is a good option if you have to vacate a property before the end of your lease, since you are not liable for anything after leaving.
  • Sublease your space. You may sublet your apartment to a roommate if you have enough space. The landlord may allow you to keep the original lease agreement and manage your new roommate's liability and rent.
  • Can't sublet? Consider subleasing instead. Sometimes landlords will not allow subletting and want you to keep the lease. This means you will have to rent out your space, get paid rent, and then pay your landlord according to your original rental lease agreement.

Let's discover everything you need to know to sublet or sublease your space.

How Does a Sublease Work?

For a sublease, the original tenant rents out the property or part of the property to another tenant, but the original tenant remains in the lease agreement. A sublessor is an original tenant, while the secondary tenant is the subtenant.

As long as the original tenant has their lease with the landlord, they can lease out all or part of the space to the new subtenant. The subtenant pays rent to the original tenant under these arrangements. Then the original tenant pays rent to the landlord.

Any damage to the property is also the responsibility of the original tenant. You can keep track of commitments and share damage costs as the sublessor by drafting a roommate agreement with the subtenant.

Landlords can refuse to sublease entirely in some states and municipalities. Some landlords, however, welcome subleases as an alternative to vacancies caused by life changes since they keep their rentals occupied.

Download a Sublease Agreement Template

How Does a Sublet Work?

In a sublet, the former tenant's lease is transferred to the new tenant in a sublet arrangement. The landlord has a separate lease agreement with the new tenant, and they will pay the landlord directly. The term 'subletting' also means re-letting.

A landlord's right to void the lease of an original tenant may be invoked when the property is re-let to a new tenant. The original tenant can move out and is not liable for paying rent or providing any repairs.

Differences Between a Sublet and a Sublease

This table contains a summary of some of the main differences between these two ways of leasing:

Sublet Sublease
The landlord is in direct contact with a new tenant. The original tenant (sublessor) leases out the property in whole or part to a new tenant (subtenant).
Property maintenance is the responsibility of the new tenant (sublet part) The original lessee remains responsible for the rental unit/property.
Sublet agreements may remain in place even if the landlord issues a lease termination letter to the original tenant When the original lease expires, the sublease will also end automatically.
New tenants and landlord draft a new rental agreement The original tenant signs a contract with the new tenant in a subleasing agreement
New tenants pay their rent or lease directly to the landlord Upon agreement, the original tenant collects rent and sends it to the landlord

Several factors may influence the decision to sublease a space. Despite your reason for the sublease, be sure to read the contracts to ensure your rights are protected carefully. Subleasing has several advantages, including:

  • Price: Almost always, sublease agreement rates are below market rates in a soft market.
  • Flexibility: Short-term leases are often available and may be a good option for finishing jobs that would otherwise be too expensive.
  • Furnishings and appliances: Occasionally, sub-landlords leave furniture and appliances behind when they move out. If the subtenant's needs match what is left behind, the upfront savings could be significant.
  • Location: Subleasing may allow access to a building that would otherwise be unaffordable for subtenants.
  • Leverage: Because of the sublessor's situation, sub-landlords might have leverage. Many times, any relief is welcome, putting the subtenant in control.

What are the Advantages of Being a Sublessor?

If your situation changes, you don't want to be stuck with a rental agreement. There are numerous circumstances that would make it a good idea for you to become a sublessor and have a subtenant pay your rent.

The last thing you want is to have problems with your landlord. When you cannot pay rent on time, becoming a sublessor might be your solution. You can avoid breaking any lease agreement or gaining a bad reputation by getting a subtenant to cover the difference. Being a sublessor can prevent many unpleasant headaches.

What are the Advantages of a Sublease for a Landlord?

We have talked about subleasing from the point of view of the tenant and subtenant, but let’s not forget the landlords’s point of view. Here are a few advantages to allowing your tenants to sublease their space.

  • If you don't allow sublease, a tenant who moves away mid-lease may breach their lease. However, allowing a sublease could prevent rental vacancies and lost revenue.
  • As part of a sublease, the original tenant is responsible for finding the subtenant if they move out. It saves the landlord time and hassles in finding a tenant.
  • If the sublessor signed the lease, they remain bound by it even if they move out of the rental, leaving the subtenant there. The sublessor may be held accountable if the sub-tenant stops paying rent, damages the property, or causes other issues at the property, depending on the subleasing agreement. As the landlord, this could result in less work for you.

It's a good idea to spell out how a sublease or sublet works within a sublease agreement to avoid confusion. As a result, you will keep the lines of communication open and will be able to reach out to your tenant if their circumstances change, giving you the ability to work together on finding a solution.

Consult with your real estate lawyer and insurance company to determine if subletting or subleasing will affect your legal liability, lease terms, insurance coverage, or costs.

Helpful Resources: Subletting FAQ - NYC Rent Guidelines Board

Subbleting a Property - U.S. News

Are you considering subletting or subleasing your space? First, check with your landlord about what they allow. Knowing the difference between a sublet and a sublease is crucial when choosing which option is best for you, your situation, and renters' insurance.

There are many reasons to sublet or sublease, but both parties must agree before a rental agreement on either option is drafted. If the situation arises, here is how you can make the distinction to help you make the right decision:

  • If you are moving, consider subletting. Getting a sublet is a good option if you have to vacate a property before the end of your lease, since you are not liable for anything after leaving.
  • Sublease your space. You may sublet your apartment to a roommate if you have enough space. The landlord may allow you to keep the original lease agreement and manage your new roommate's liability and rent.
  • Can't sublet? Consider subleasing instead. Sometimes landlords will not allow subletting and want you to keep the lease. This means you will have to rent out your space, get paid rent, and then pay your landlord according to your original rental lease agreement.

Let's discover everything you need to know to sublet or sublease your space.

How Does a Sublease Work?

For a sublease, the original tenant rents out the property or part of the property to another tenant, but the original tenant remains in the lease agreement. A sublessor is an original tenant, while the secondary tenant is the subtenant.

As long as the original tenant has their lease with the landlord, they can lease out all or part of the space to the new subtenant. The subtenant pays rent to the original tenant under these arrangements. Then the original tenant pays rent to the landlord.

Any damage to the property is also the responsibility of the original tenant. You can keep track of commitments and share damage costs as the sublessor by drafting a roommate agreement with the subtenant.

Landlords can refuse to sublease entirely in some states and municipalities. Some landlords, however, welcome subleases as an alternative to vacancies caused by life changes since they keep their rentals occupied.

Download a Sublease Agreement Template

How Does a Sublet Work?

In a sublet, the former tenant's lease is transferred to the new tenant in a sublet arrangement. The landlord has a separate lease agreement with the new tenant, and they will pay the landlord directly. The term 'subletting' also means re-letting.

A landlord's right to void the lease of an original tenant may be invoked when the property is re-let to a new tenant. The original tenant can move out and is not liable for paying rent or providing any repairs.

Differences Between a Sublet and a Sublease

This table contains a summary of some of the main differences between these two ways of leasing:

Sublet Sublease
The landlord is in direct contact with a new tenant. The original tenant (sublessor) leases out the property in whole or part to a new tenant (subtenant).
Property maintenance is the responsibility of the new tenant (sublet part) The original lessee remains responsible for the rental unit/property.
Sublet agreements may remain in place even if the landlord issues a lease termination letter to the original tenant When the original lease expires, the sublease will also end automatically.
New tenants and landlord draft a new rental agreement The original tenant signs a contract with the new tenant in a subleasing agreement
New tenants pay their rent or lease directly to the landlord Upon agreement, the original tenant collects rent and sends it to the landlord

Several factors may influence the decision to sublease a space. Despite your reason for the sublease, be sure to read the contracts to ensure your rights are protected carefully. Subleasing has several advantages, including:

  • Price: Almost always, sublease agreement rates are below market rates in a soft market.
  • Flexibility: Short-term leases are often available and may be a good option for finishing jobs that would otherwise be too expensive.
  • Furnishings and appliances: Occasionally, sub-landlords leave furniture and appliances behind when they move out. If the subtenant's needs match what is left behind, the upfront savings could be significant.
  • Location: Subleasing may allow access to a building that would otherwise be unaffordable for subtenants.
  • Leverage: Because of the sublessor's situation, sub-landlords might have leverage. Many times, any relief is welcome, putting the subtenant in control.

What are the Advantages of Being a Sublessor?

If your situation changes, you don't want to be stuck with a rental agreement. There are numerous circumstances that would make it a good idea for you to become a sublessor and have a subtenant pay your rent.

The last thing you want is to have problems with your landlord. When you cannot pay rent on time, becoming a sublessor might be your solution. You can avoid breaking any lease agreement or gaining a bad reputation by getting a subtenant to cover the difference. Being a sublessor can prevent many unpleasant headaches.

What are the Advantages of a Sublease for a Landlord?

We have talked about subleasing from the point of view of the tenant and subtenant, but let’s not forget the landlords’s point of view. Here are a few advantages to allowing your tenants to sublease their space.

  • If you don't allow sublease, a tenant who moves away mid-lease may breach their lease. However, allowing a sublease could prevent rental vacancies and lost revenue.
  • As part of a sublease, the original tenant is responsible for finding the subtenant if they move out. It saves the landlord time and hassles in finding a tenant.
  • If the sublessor signed the lease, they remain bound by it even if they move out of the rental, leaving the subtenant there. The sublessor may be held accountable if the sub-tenant stops paying rent, damages the property, or causes other issues at the property, depending on the subleasing agreement. As the landlord, this could result in less work for you.

It's a good idea to spell out how a sublease or sublet works within a sublease agreement to avoid confusion. As a result, you will keep the lines of communication open and will be able to reach out to your tenant if their circumstances change, giving you the ability to work together on finding a solution.

Consult with your real estate lawyer and insurance company to determine if subletting or subleasing will affect your legal liability, lease terms, insurance coverage, or costs.

Helpful Resources: Subletting FAQ - NYC Rent Guidelines Board

Subbleting a Property - U.S. News