How Should You Handle Tenants Who Sublet Property Without Your Consent?

Law Blog

As house prices in Australia continue to rise and push up the cost of renting property, incidences of tenants subletting property have been on the rise. Subletting occurs when the legal tenant transfers all or part of the rights to occupy a rental property to another person. Often subletting of a property is done without the consent of the property owner. As a landlord, it is your duty to ensure that your tenants do not sublet your property since there is no legal agreement of property occupancy between you and the third party.

Here are some actionable steps that you can take to handle such cases of secret subletting without your consent.

Confirm the existence of a sublease

The first step you should take is to ensure that your tenant has actually sublet the property to another party. Sometimes, the tenant could be having a friend or relative staying over, and this can often be confused as a sublease agreement. You can verify this by visiting the premises and interviewing the original tenant and the new tenant. If the original tenant has moved, you should contact them as well. During the interview, find out the following information and have it documented.

  • The personal details of the new tenant.
  • The date of commencement of the sublease agreement between your tenant and the third party.
  • The terms under which the original tenant sublet the property.

This information will come in handy in the event that you decide to file a lawsuit against the original tenant for breach of contract.

Notify the tenant of the breach

The next step is to formally notify your original tenant of the breach of contract. To do this, there must be a clause in the rental property agreement prohibiting the tenant from subletting the property without your consent.  In the letter, you should give the tenant a specific period to vacate the premises together with the subtenant. This period should be clearly stated in the rental agreement under the breach of contract clause.

Pursue your legal options

If the tenant fails to adhere to the notice, and as such refuses to vacate the property within the specified period, you are allowed to file a lawsuit against them. Before doing so, you should ascertain that your property is in good condition. You should present any evidence of extensive damages caused by the tenant or subtenant to your property for compensation.

If you feel that you are not in a position to handle a lawsuit by yourself, you can hire a lawyer to represent your interests in court. Doing so can help you recover control over your property and save you the pressure associated with court proceedings.


14 September 2016

Unknown laws you might not know

I love all of those quirky laws that are still on the law book. It's a little hobby of mine to track down some of those laws and try and work out if there was a story behind how they got on the books. I've been doing it for 14 years and have accumulated a lot of material that I have researched. I thought it would be fun to start a blog with some of these stories to share with other people who like to know a little more about law and about history. I hope you enjoy my site.