If you rent out the property, at some point you’re going to have to deal with a request to sublet. In this post, we’ll define subletting and review the best subletting practices for Florida landlords.
What is Subletting?
Subletting is when a new tenant completely replaces the current tenant, requiring a totally new lease agreement. The new tenant is then responsible for the lease and property, and the current tenant is not. This is compared to subleasing, which is when the current tenant leases out all or part of the property to a different tenant but is still responsible for the lease and rent payments themselves.
Best Subletting Practices
There are no specific laws in Florida regarding subletting the property, so it’s completely up to the landlord to decide their policy on subletting and relay that policy to tenants. Here are our top tips for landlords regarding tenants subletting the property.
Address it in the Lease
It really doesn’t matter what your policy on subletting is if it’s not written down and signed by both you and your tenant as part of their lease agreement. Whether you decide to allow or disallow subletting for your rental properties, it needs to be plainly spelled out in your lease agreement, including what will happen if the policy is violated. If it’s not written down, it’s just your word against a tenant’s, and that often doesn’t hold up in court.
Screen All Potential Tenants
If you do decide to allow your tenants to sublet, then you need to screen these subletters just as diligently as you do any tenant. Do not allow the current tenant to screen and choose someone to sublet to since this will almost undoubtedly lead to problems. Once you’ve chosen a suitable subletter, have them sign all the same documents as the current tenant before releasing the current tenant from their lease agreement.
Keep Complete Records
Keep complete, detailed, and accurate records of all your leases, tenants, and subletters for legal and tax purposes. This information should be maintained for at least 10 years and kept in a secure location to protect the tenant’s privacy.
Rental Property Management in Southwest Florida
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