How to Avoid an Illegal Subletting Situation

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If you’re considering subletting your apartment, it’s essential that you know what constitutes an illegal subletting situation if you want to avoid a court summons, legal fees or even jail time. Remember you are still responsible for seeing that rent, utilities and other bills for the apartment are paid–not your tenant.

Step 1: Reread Your Rental Agreement

Your legal right to sublet your apartment may be outlined in your rental agreement. If the agreement says that any subletting is illegal, there is nothing you can do and you should not sublet the apartment. If the agreement allows for subletting, review what the contract allows and proceed to the next step. If the agreement does not mention subletting, proceed to step two.

Step 2: Make an Appointment with Your Landlord

Whether or not your rental agreement discusses subletting, you should make an appointment with your landlord to discuss the situation. If your landlord approves, ask for a contract, especially if subletting is not outlined in the rental agreement. This document will protect you from legal action because it verifies you got approval from your landlord before you proceeded, therefore you were not engaging in anything illegal.

Step 3: Choose Tenants Wisely and Stick to the Rental Agreement

You will still be bound by everything outlined in your rental agreement, including making sure payments are received on time and avoiding damages. Choose your tenant wisely to avoid an illegal subletting situation. Require that no more people than are legally allowed to live in the apartment move in and monitor the situation. Ask your tenant to pay you directly so you can then pay the apartment bills and keep on top of the situation.

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