A sublease is a lease by the lessee of an estate to a third person, conveying all or part of the estate for a shorter term than that for which the lessee holds originally. A sublease is a new contract between the lessee and the sublessee. The original lessee turns into a sublessor in this new contract. There is no privity of contract under the sublease between the owner of the property and the sublessee. The original lessee still has the responsibility to fulfill the lease obligations. The property owner could forbid a tenant to sublease the estate. However, some jurisdictions allow tenants to sublease in certain conditions despite the landlord’s prohibition. For example, in New York City, a tenant who lives in a building with four or more units may sublease regardless of any prohibition on the lease agreement.
Benefits for the Sublessor:
- Flexibility: Subleasing allows the original tenant to maintain their lease while temporarily living elsewhere, which can be beneficial in situations such as studying abroad, taking a temporary job in a different city, or dealing with a personal situation that requires a temporary move.
- Financial Relief: If a tenant needs to move out before their lease is up and they can’t break their lease without a penalty, subleasing can help offset the cost of rent they would otherwise have to pay.
- Preserving the Lease: If a tenant has a favorable lease (such as below-market rent or a good location) that they want to return to in the future, subleasing allows them to keep their lease while not living in the unit.
Benefits for the Sublessee:
- Short-Term Housing: Subleases often offer a shorter commitment than a typical lease, making them an attractive option for people who only need housing for a few months.
- Cost: Subleases can sometimes be cheaper than a traditional lease, as the original tenant might be willing to sublet the apartment for less than the full amount of rent in order to find a sublessee more quickly.
- Furnished Spaces: Many subleases come with a furnished apartment, making it easier for those who don’t want to invest in furniture for a temporary living situation.