Subletting can sometimes be a tempting solution when life changes unexpectedly during the timespan of your lease agreement. While this can be a useful solution when undertaken correctly, subletting can also be incredibly risky, especially when correct procedures are not followed.
According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, subletting might offer a solution to those who do not want to lose their lease because, for example, they might have a short-term overseas job opportunity or perhaps they find themselves unable to keep up with rental payments. “However, not all lease agreements will allow a tenant to sublet the property. Tenants need to check their rental agreement before considering this as an option,” he cautions.
He adds that subletting can be a risky undertaking because all responsibility ultimately remains with the primary tenant. “If the person you are subletting to skips a payment or damages the property, you will still be held liable for it. That is why it is so important to screen potential sub-letters thoroughly and to set up a comprehensive subletting agreement before going ahead with this arrangement,” he recommends.
There are several subletting arrangements, including:
Although subletting can be useful in certain instances, it can also be challenging to manage and could pose risks to both the landlord as well as the primary tenant – which is why many lease agreements do not allow sub-letting. “If you do want to explore whether subletting is right for you, I would recommend chatting to a local property professional first to make sure you fully understand all the associated risks and can be better equipped to set things up correctly from the start,” Goslett concludes.