Subletting or sub-leasing a rental unit / property is a very common question. As the leading rental brokerage in South Florida we often encounter this question. The issue of subletting arises in many instances. For example we often see roommates enter into a lease where they are jointly responsible for the lease obligations and in the course of the lease one roommate needs to move out for either a career move, economic reasons or perhaps the roommates simply didn’t get along. Another situation, although unfortunate often occurs; that is a divorce or separation. Sometimes a tenant simply bites a bit more than they can chew or they find themselves making less income than anticipated. In any of these situations a logical solution would be to either move out and sub-lease the unit or take on a new roommate and sublet part of the unit.
This process can be very tricky. A tenant or tenants must keep in mind that they may not have the right to sublet all or part of the unit. Keep in mind that the original lease will determine this right or lack of right to do this. If a standard Florida Association of Realtor and Bar Association lease was used then this issue would be addressed in paragraph XVI. If the box is not checked the tenant may NOT sublet the unit. If the box is checked then they may. Now if the box is not checked then the tenant may still appeal to the landlord to allow them to sublet the unit, in this case the landlord will still want to approve the tenant, and keep in mind that they do not have to release any of the original signers on the lease or their responsibilities under the lease agreement. Regardless of the arrangement which is made I strongly recommend getting the agreement in writing as an addendum to the lease. Also, do not forget to address the issue of any pre-paid rents or deposits; will they be transferred to the new tenant or will an additional deposit be requires.
An excellent source for landlord tenant law is the Florida Landlord Tenant Act.
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