Protect Your Property while Subletting

As a landlord, your priority is protecting your rental property. It is the reason you have leasing agreements and tenant screenings. But what do you do when a tenant who has always paid rent on time and kept his apartment in pristine condition wants to sublet?

Subletting is not a risk-free concept – nor is it easy, but sometimes it’s the best choice. For example, if that premier tenant is leaving for an extended work assignment, but neither wants to put his/her furnishings in storage or have to find another apartment when returning. (Subletting differs from assigning, in which the tenant permanently leaves the apartment and assigns the lease responsibility to another individual.)

Protection Comes in Writing

If you agree to sublet, clarify terms and document everything.

  1. Ask your current tenant to share, in writing, their reasons and documentation for approving the potential sublessee.
  2. Even though the sublessee has earned the tenant’s approval, have them fill out your standard application and conduct your usual procedure – including credit and criminal background checks.
  3. Create a sublease agreement, which establishes who pays the rent and, if not included in the rent, the utilities.
  4. Establish who is responsible for late fees, damages, etc. In most cases, the buck should stop with the original tenant.
  5. Get the current tenant’s contact information and establish in writing, that you will be notified of any changes that occur while they are gone.
  6. Ensure that both you and the current tenant are in compliance with your local and state laws.
  7. Take photos of the apartment on the day the current tenant is leaving – this will establish proof of the condition of the property, as well as the furnishings, should a question arise.

Whether or not you choose to sublet, managing property includes background checks. Let Data Screening make your job easier. We have been serving businesses since 1996.


Data Screening is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that has offered business-to-business employment and tenant screenings to human resource professionals and business owners, including staffing companies, for two decades. Among other organizations, they are members of the ASA (American Staffing Association), SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and the NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners).


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