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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 is based on how well you screen a tenant for your Jacksonville rental property. The goal is to find people you can entrust your property to. Hence, it’s not a surprise when it gets problematic to deal with tenants who sublet the house without your knowledge or permission. Setting the terms of your tenant’s stay in your rental home starts with clear language in the lease. If you have already clearly presented the subletting policy but still your tenant violates it, here are some tips to handling that situation.

Gather Evidence

If you have reason to believe that your tenant might be subletting your property without permission, your first step should be to confirm your suspicions. The new tenant could simply be house-sitting the property (for whatever reason) and not necessarily subletting. What you can do is start interviewing both the original and “new” tenant so that you can document their responses and gather evidence to eventually come to a conclusion once the investigation is over.

You might want to ask for information from your neighbors, too. They can provide more details to paint a better view of the situation. If your tenant is using an app like Airbnb to sublet your property, you can simply go on the app and look for your property. If you do find it there, that can be evidence of the lease violation.

Give Notice of Lease Violation

If your research leads you to confirm that your tenant is indeed subletting, even when the lease specifically states against it, then you have to notify your tenant that they violated the lease. All other violations uncovered by your research should be included, especially when the tenant subletting is not upholding the lease terms.

Remember that no matter who is living in the rental, and regardless of what agreement they have with your tenant, it is still your tenant that is responsible for upholding the lease agreement. When in circumstances like this, a tenant may be given some time to correct the situation in order to reach compliance with their lease. After the allotted time, you might have to make a follow-up to make sure the subletting tenant is gone.

Take Legal Action, If Needed

If your tenant does not comply with the terms to remove the subletting person from the property, you may start to think about the eviction process. Remember to keep yourself updated with your state and local laws so that you can follow all the statutes and rules to the dot.

In dealing with tenants who are subletting, it’s best for you to know what your rights are; so that you are able to remove the subletting tenant legally, and in a way that reinforces the full force of the law. Though it depends on where you are located, it could be possible that you have to evict the tenant and the subletting tenant before you can take back full rights and access to your rental property.

Your legal recourse will all boil down to the location of your property and the language in your lease. If your lease has unclear articulation on the policy of subletting, you should rectify that immediately. The best course of action is stopping it before it happens when it comes to preventing subletting.


If you’re in a situation where you have to confront a subletting tenant, you can always seek help. The property management professionals at Real Property Management Champion have the experience and legal knowledge to guide you through any lease violation situation, getting you back to business as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Learn more about what we can do for property owners like you by contacting us online or calling us at 910-782-4488.

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