You have been thinking about investing in a property and, once you finally did it – you hear that the person renting your place is actually subletting it as well.
Subletting is an issue that many landlords and property management companies deal with often. In some states, tenants have the right to sublet their houses as long as they have the landlord’s consent. But that is not always the case, so be careful.
As a landlord, you need to make it clear from the start that subletting is not allowed. This way, tenants will understand the consequences of going behind your back to sublet their houses. Read on to learn more about the key details of subleasing.
3 Tips For Property Investments and Subletting
1. Determine if a Tenant Has Sublet
Before you get upset about something that you can’t clearly prove, take the time to determine if your tenant is actually subletting.
You don’t want to approach them straight off and accuse them of something that’s not happening. Baseless and unproven accusations can harm your relationship with the tenant.
Take the time to investigate the tenant and determine the number of people living in the rental. Try to figure out the time they leave and return to the house.
Make sure your tenant informs you when they are going for a vacation or other extended trip. They should also tell you if they’ll be asking someone to feed their pets, watch the apartment or do other things while they’re away.
If you notice any suspicious activity, then you can proceed to ask your tenant about the other occupants of the apartment and the period of time they’ll be around. This will help you know if your tenant is illegally subletting.
2. Tenant Legal Status
In states, such as California, a tenant remains on the property until their tenancy is terminated by the court of law. However, a tenant can face eviction if they violate a legal category of the agreement and when their lease expires.
As a landlord, you need to understand the various legal rights and responsibilities of an apartment owner and a tenant in your state.
Your tenant is required to abide by the terms of the lease, and you’re also subject to your state law pertaining to tenant’s rights. Knowing these laws will help you avoid trouble should you evict a tenant on the grounds of subletting.
If the issue proceeds to a legal case, it might take up to a year for the case to begin. Plus, there’s is a thirty-day period after eviction for your tenant to leave. Taking these details into account will be quite helpful when dealing with a subletting issue.
In some cases, your tenant may not realize that they’re violating their lease agreement. So, when you notice a tenant has sublet, it’s important to meet them and let them know that they have breached the lease terms. Make sure you have shown them the section on your agreement that prohibits subletting and give them 30 days to rectify the issue.
3. Seek Legal Options
Usually, you’re supposed to give your tenant least three warnings or notices if you find them violating their lease terms. Or, if they haven’t fixed the issues within 30 days after the first warning, you can as well pursue legal action. Keep in mind that this situation creates legal issues that you’d rather avoid.
Before taking any legal action, it helps to talk to a lawyer or learn more about the laws in your state. Some people will willingly vacate your property once you inform them about their violations. In some cases, the subletter can be resistant to leave, and this is where legal support might come in handy.
However, when pursuing legal action, beware that several things might arise. In some states, if your lease terms don’t restrict subletting, then it might be seen as legal. In this case, legal action might not be a sufficient recourse to resolve the issue.
Protect Your Property
With these tips, you now know the best approach to handling the issue of subletting. Most importantly, you need to choose your tenants carefully and find out the reason for their relocation if possible. Also, make sure your lease agreement covers all the bases, including the potential consequences of subletting.
It’s also advisable to know your rights as a landlord and those of your tenants. This way, it will be easier for you to handle the issue of subletting. If you’re a property management company with lots of apartments, you can use a tool that monitors online listings and notifies you when your apartments are listed for subletting on sites, such as Airbnb.
Author: Stephanie Bates