The Bottom Line: There is no explicit law regarding subletting, but Alabama courts have held that landlords may not unreasonably refuse subletting.
Check your lease. If your lease does not mention or prohibit subletting then you are in the clear and free to do so. But, most likely, your lease contains a clause which requires you to obtain your landlord’s approval prior to subletting.
Mail a Letter. You should send a letter to your landlord via certified mail, return-receipt requested, and save a copy of the document for your own records. Certified mail is the only proof of delivery that most courts will accept and thus is the best way to protect yourself. The letter should clearly outline the terms of the agreement and include the following information:
- The term (starting and end dates) of the sublet or the date of the proposed assignment (30 days from when you sent the letter)
- The name of the proposed subtenant or assignee
- The permanent home address of the proposed subtenant or assignee
- Your reason for subletting or leaving permanently
- Your new address during the sublease if applicable
- The written consent of any co‑tenant
- A copy of the proposed sublease
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Wait for approval. Within thirty days of mailing the initial notice your landlord must respond to your inquiry. If the landlord doesn’t respond then their consent is assumed and you are free to sublet.
If your landlord rejects your request, know that he can only refuse proposed subtenants based on legitimate factors. He cannot reject an sublessee based on personal taste, sensibility, or convenience.
Legal grounds for refusal may include:
- The financial responsibility of the proposed assignee or subtenant.
- Whether the new tenant’s use requires alteration of the premises.
- The legality of the proposed use.
- The nature of the occupancy.
- The compatibility of the tenant’s use with the uses of the other tenants.
Contact a Tenants Rights Lawyer. The Maynard Cooper and Gale Law Firm will be happy to advise you on legal action and ensure that your rights are protected!
Stay Responsible. Remember just because you aren’t living in the place anymore, doesn’t mean that you aren’t held accountable to the terms of your lease. It is still up to you to make sure that the rent is paid on time and that none of the lease terms are broken.