Here are some common reasons for subleasing:
- Starting a new job
- Moving in with a partner
- Early graduation or study abroad
- Summer or holiday travel
When a tenant subleases their unit, they don't get out of their lease. So if the subtenant doesn't pay the rent, or breaks a rule in the lease, the tenant could be sued for money or be evicted by the landlord.
How to sublease
To sublease your unit, you must first find a subtenant. Once you have found someone, you should both discuss what the agreement will be. Then write it all down and sign it. This is called a sublease agreement. It does not have to be long, but it should lay out what the agreement is between them. For example, it should include how long the lease will be, how much rent will be, and who will be responsible for utilities. This way, if there is a disagreement later, it will be clear what the agreement was.
Do I have to get my landlord's permission to sublease my unit?
It is a good idea to ask your landlord about subletting your unit before you sign an agreement. Your landlord may be willing to help you, or may even be willing to let you out of your lease early, instead of doing a sublet.
In Illinois, there is no law requiring landlords to allow sublets. But your lease may address it, so you should read that first. Also, local laws may require your landlord to allow sublets. In Chicago, landlords must allow reasonable subleases and may not charge a fee, unless the building is owner-occupied and has 6 units or less.In Urbana, a landlord must allow reasonable subleases, and may not charge a fee beyond what it actually costs them to have the sublease.In Oak Park, a landlord of a building with 4 or more units must allow subleases, and can only charge a fee if it's listed in the lease.In DeKalb, a landlord must accept subleases, and may not charge a fee unless it's listed in the lease.
Does the subtenant pay a security deposit?
This is up to you and the subtenant. The longer the sublease, and the higher the rent, the more likely it is that a security deposit will be a good idea.
Either way, you should do a walk through before the sublease begins and after it ends. Write down a list of all of the items in the unit, including windows, appliances, baseboards, etc. Then walk through the unit with the subtenant and agree on what the condition of them is, and note down any issues. Then, at the end of the sublease, do this again. If there are any issues that were not listed in the original walk through, it will be clear that the subtenant caused them.
Updated: January 2018