Unauthorized Subletting

Catherine's tenant is subleasing her property for the short term as a vacation site. Should she approach him about it or let it go? Dave tells Catherine he needs to stop this subleasing without her agreement.

QUESTION: Catherine in Charleston owns a rental property that makes enough money to pay the taxes and insurance. Her tenant is subleasing the property for the short term as a vacation site. Should she approach him about it or let it go? Dave tells Catherine he needs to stop this subleasing without her agreement.

ANSWER: He doesn’t have the right to sublet it in your lease if you have any kind of standard lease. Immediately, he stops the sublease. Call him today. All sites come down. He stops the sublease immediately. If he does it again, he’ll be evicted.

The new two-year lease doesn’t matter. He’s in violation of that too. We’ll just tear up what we did Friday if you want to tear it up, but there will be no subleasing. That’s what the lease states. You lose control of the property then. What happens is that he leases it to someone as a vacation rental, and they decide to come in there and break every window in the place and kick holes in the wall. They leave, and he’s got no money to fix it. Why did that happen to you? Because you lost control of your property. As a landlord, I would be very firm and very gentle but very blunt and very clear. “This is not going to happen. By the way, you knew it shouldn’t happen and so I’ve really got to question your integrity at this point. I’m not sure I want you to stay at all.” Let him address that.

He’s got enough street sense to know he’s screwing this up and signed a lease with you Friday knowing he’s lying to you. I think you send this boy on his way. I think you’re going to have continued problems. If he’ll lie to you about this, he’ll lie to you about something else. You’re going to find a kennel in there the next thing you know.

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