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Local Subletting Laws

A legal sublet generally means that the landlord has consented to it. In some jurisdictions you do not need to get landlord consent if your lease does not require it.

Across jurisdictions, many lease agreements include a standard term for sublets saying that you can sublet as long as you get approval from your landlord. Many states and cities have laws that codify this lease term. A legal sublet, therefore, is one that's been approved by your landlord.

Most of the geographic differences have to do with how difficult it is for you to get your landlord's approval and how much you need to rely on that formal approval. In some states if your lease doesn't include this term then you're allowed to sublet without getting anyone's approval. In others, you can move forward even if they ignore you, and they aren't allowed to refuse you without reasoning that would hold up in court as reasonable .

Common Questions about Subletting Laws:

Can you legally sublet if you ask for permission and your landlord ignores you?

In New York and Chicago tenants have the absolute right to sublet even if they are refused or ignored by their landlord when they ask for consent.

Alternatively, states like Texas have laws prohibiting subletting without landlord consent even if your lease does specifically allow it, and Arkansas state law says that you can go to prison for subletting without approval.

Can a landlord refuse your request to sublet?

In most of the United States, a landlord cannot refuse your request to sublet without a good reason. She or he must be able to make the case that the proposed subtenant warranted a "commercially reasonable objection."

Next Steps

Select your state from the dropdown above find out which laws affect you.

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