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What to do if Your Tenant is Subletting

Frustrated Forest Property Manager with a LaptopAs a rental property owner, your livelihood depends on trusting your most valuable Forest rental property to a tenant you know and have surely screened. This is precisely why it can be a massive problem if your tenant is indeed subletting the rental house – definitely if they do so without your knowledge or permission. Setting the terms of your tenant’s stay in your rental home starts with very clear language in the lease. If you already have your subletting policy in writing and your tenant violates it, here are a few practical tips you’ll need to handle the situation like a pro.

Gather Evidence

If you assess your tenant might be subletting your property without permission, your first action should be to confirm your suspicions. It’s probable that the new “tenant” is not subletting but rather house-sitting or staying at the property for some other reasons. You can simply start by interviewing both your original tenant and the person in the house and documenting their responses, additionally when your conversation occurred and any other evidence you may have noticed.

You may similarly need to talk to the neighbors, or anyone else you think may have information in regard to the existing situation. If your tenant is subletting your rental through a platform like Airbnb, by way of illustration, you might in fact be able to search for your property on the app and put to use what you find as evidence of the lease violation.

Give Notice of Lease Violation

If your research does confirm that your tenant is subletting, and your lease specifically states that subletting is not allowed, you’ll need to notify your tenant that they have violated their lease. Add in any other violations your research may have caught, specifically if the person subletting is not upholding the lease terms.

Notwithstanding who is living in the rental and their agreement with your tenant, your tenant is still responsible for upholding their lease agreement. In nearly all cases, it is appropriate to give your tenant time (such as 30 days) to rectify the situation and get back again in compliance with their lease. You will then need to follow up closely once that time has gone by to see for yourself whether the subletting tenant is gone or not.

Take Legal Action, If Needed

Should your tenant refuse to comply with your request to kick out the person subletting the property, your subsequent move may be to begin the eviction process. Just bear in mind to sort through your state and local laws and follow all of the statutes and rules to the letter.

With a subletting tenant complicating the situation at hand, you need to know what your rights are, whether or not you can legally remove the subletting tenant, and what courses of action you’ll need to take to achieve that. Based on where you live, you may really have to evict both your tenant and the subletting tenant before you can effectively get back full rights and access to your rental property.

Eventually, your legal recourse will rest on both where your property is located and the language in your lease. If your lease does not have clear language stating your policy on subletting, that is something you can rectify easily. The best course of action is definitely stopping it before it happens when it comes to preventing subletting.


If you find yourself addressing and dealing with a subletting tenant, know that you don’t have to manage it all alone. The property management professionals at Real Property Management Cairn have the experience and legal knowledge to bring you through any lease violation instances, getting you back to business as usual as rapidly and as efficiently as possible. Learn more about what we can do for property owners like you by contacting us online or calling us at 434-215-3028.

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