Subletting & Assigning
You are expected to stay in your rental unit for the full lease period. Sometimes plans change though. If you are not able to stay until the end, or you need to move out for a short period of time, you may want to consider subletting or assigning your lease.
Subletting is when you temporarily rent your rental unit to another tenant. You may move out while the subtenant is renting your rental unit. In this arrangement, you keep your original rental agreement with your landlord. The tenant you rent to is called a subtenant. It is a good idea to have the subtenant sign a written sublet agreement.
If the person you sublet to causes damage to the rental unit or does not pay the rent, you may be responsible for repairing the damage or paying the rent.
Assigning is when you have someone take over your lease. Once the new person has signed the lease, you are no longer responsible for the rental unit. If the new tenant causes damage to the rental unit or does not pay the rent, the landlord will hold only them responsible.
If you paid a security deposit to your landlord, you should charge the person taking over your lease the amount of the security deposit. For example, if you paid $500 to your landlord as a security deposit, you should charge the new tenant $500.
To sublet or assign, you must have the permission of your landlord. Your landlord must be reasonable in deciding whether to approve your request. If your landlord says no, they must have a good reason for not approving a subtenant or tenant. For example, if the potential subtenant or tenant has caused them problems in the past.
If your landlord denies your request to sublet or assign your lease you may be able file an application to challenge your landlord. You must file a Form 2 – Application for Enforcement of Statutory or Other Conditions of Rental Agreement.
A hearing will be scheduled after you file the Form 2. Your landlord must provide a reasonable explanation of why they did not approve your request. You can challenge this explanation if you do not agree with it.
Speak to the Rental Office if you signed an agreement that says you cannot sublet or assign. You may still be able to, depending on the type of agreement you have.
The right to sublet or assign does not apply to subsidized housing or non-profit housing organizations.
See Roommates for more information about when a head tenant lives in the rental unit and sublets rooms to other tenants.