Can I Sublet My Rented Home?

Sometimes your circumstances will change when you’re renting – be that moving in with a partner or a short term job relocation; you may be thinking how great it would be to rent out your flat and save a little (or a lot) of money by subletting. Unfortunately, subletting is a bit of a grey area in renting, and you have to make sure you aren’t breaking the law. Because it can get a bit complicated, we’ve made this handy guide to help you understand what you can and can’t do when it comes to subletting. 

What is subletting?

Speech bubble with lease agreement written inside

Subletting is when a tenant rents out all or part (including garages, basements and loft rooms) of their home to someone else. They become known as the subtenant. The subtenant has a tenancy for all or part of the property and has exclusive use. The subtenant pays rent to the tenant, who then uses this to pay the landlord. Sounds simple enough, but how do you know if you can sublet?

Is subletting legal?

In theory, subletting sounds like a tenants dream; this often isn’t the case in practice. Subletting is a bit of a grey area, but essentially it boils down to the tenancy agreement that the original tenant has. Some agreements do allow subletting, and some do not. It’s important to remember that subletting depends on the original tenancy agreement, meaning if it runs out, subletting would also run out. 

Can I sublet a room in a house I live in?

Once again, this fully depends on your tenancy agreement. If you are in any doubt, you must speak to your landlord, as any misunderstandings in this area can be costly. If you fill a spot in a flatshare, simply make sure that the tenancy agreement is up to date with your new flatmate’s details.

What does your tenancy agreement say about subletting?

Someone signing a tenancy agreement

It is key that you understand what your tenancy says about subletting. In most cases, a section is added to agreements that state that subletting is not allowed, but sometimes this is not clear. If you’re in any doubt, talk to your letting agent or landlord.

What action can a landlord take if they discover you’re subletting?

While it’s okay to sublet in certain circumstances, in general, you need to make 100% sure with your landlord. If you sublet your home unlawfully, your landlord may take legal action against you. Unlawful subletting includes not asking your landlord for permission when your agreement says you must or if you sublet your home despite your agreement stating that you should not. 

In this situation, you are likely to have broken your tenancy agreement, and therefore your landlord would have grounds to evict you. 

So, in short, you may or may not be able to sublet your apartment, but it is always best to double-check with your landlord. You may be free to sublet in some circumstances, but if you break your tenancy agreement, you may be left without an apartment at all! 

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