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FAQ: Can I sublet my apartment?

Authored By: Georgia Legal Services Program® LSC Funded

FAQ: Can I sublet my apartment?

I need to move, but the landlord will not let me terminate my lease early. Can I sublet my apartment to someone else for the remaining six months of the lease?  

You need to read your lease carefully and see if it contains language which prohibits you from leasing your apartment to another. Often the lease will require the landlord's permission prior to subletting. When someone other than the original tenant occupies the premises, they are called a subtenant. A subtenant has the right to use and occupy the rental property but that right comes from the original tenant and not directly from the landlord. The subtenant may pay rent directly to the landlord but the original tenant remains liable to the landlord for the rent and any damages caused by the subtenant. The landlord can elect to treat the subtenant as his tenant for the unexpired term or the lease. The landlord's election must be an express recognition of the subtenant or be implied from affirmative acts and conduct. The landlord's acceptance of rent from the subtenant does not alone establish that the landlord elected to treat the subtenant as his tenant so as to release the original tenant from liability under the lease.

Last Review and Update: Jul 25, 2011