As a homeowner, subletting can be the root of a severe headache, especially if your tenants sublet your property without your knowledge or approval. If you are against the act of subletting, ensure that you’ve established this fact from the get-go.
To avoid ambiguity, make sure that you get this in writing. Having an official agreement between yourself and your tenants enables you to take legal action if they still sublet your property. Listed below are three important actions you should perform if your tenant has sublet your property without permission:
1. Confirm that a sublease has occurred
First thing first, never jump to a conclusion. Instead, you should always remember to verify the situation, and it’s best if you can do so first-hand.
After all, it’s absolutely feasible that the individual is merely house-sitting while your tenant is away. Another possible situation is that the individual is the tenant’s relative or friend that is simply staying for a few days.
To find out if the tenant is actually subletting the property, you should question both the tenant and the other individual. If they are indeed subletting the property, learn more about the agreement’s terms and conditions.
Your original tenant is still responsible for adhering to all of the terms and conditions of the initial contract for the property, even if they sublet the unit to someone else. As such, these rules must be adhered to by the new tenant.
If you choose to allow this, you should draught a new agreement. As a result, the subletting renter will now have two landlords to deal with.
2. Engage the original tenant
Be sure to contact the original tenant and talk about this crucial matter with them. In the event that the tenant cuts all contacts with you, ask the new tenant to contact them on your behalf. The new tenant should be able to do so since they’re paying rent to the original tenant.
Next, obtain your tenant’s location or contact information and inform them of the violation of the contract, as well as any action you intend to take against them if required. It’s common practice to give them a certain number of days (usually no more than 30 days) to explain the situation and remedy the problem they’ve caused.
3. Take legal action
In most circumstances, the subletting tenant is an innocent party, so you can’t really blame them if they refuse to leave your property. Having said that, depending on the rules of the state in which you live, you may or may not have the legal right to evict them.
You can, however, file a lawsuit against the original tenant for breach of contract. A clever tactic is to include a phrase in the original contract stating that the owner has the right to make updates and changes to the existing lease agreement at any time.
If the original tenant refuses to cooperate, issue them written notice of the alterations that will take place within a certain amount of time (typically 30 days), after which legal action will be initiated.
This will allow the tenant sufficient time to address the problem. If they decline, you’ll have grounds to file a lawsuit against them.
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