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What is a sublease?

A sublease is an agreement between a tenant to an existing lease (the sublessor) and another person (the sublessee) which states that the sublessee will take over the tenant’s lease for a certain period of time. In a sublease arrangement, the sublessor becomes the landlord of the sublessee.  Ohio Landlord/Tenant law applies in these circumstances and the sublessor continues to be responsible both to the landlord, as a party to the original lease agreement, and the sublessee, as a party to the sublease agreement.


Do I automatically have a legal right to sublet?

  • Read your lease carefully to see what it says with respect to sublease agreements.
  • Landlords are permitted to prohibit subleasing or to require that you get their written permission to do so.
  • If you are in a situation where you want to sublease your rental property, it is best to discuss this situation with your landlord first.  If your landlord does agree to permit subleasing, you should get this agreement in writing and include in that writing the details of your agreement.


What happens if the sublessee does not pay rent or damages the rental property?

If the sublessee does not pay rent or damages the rental property, the landlord will look to the original tenant (or sublessor) to fulfill the obligations under the lease. Because you continue to be responsible for the obligations under the lease agreement, it is important that the terms of a sublease agreement are clear between the parties and put in writing in the form of a written sublease agreement.   See  our Subleasing Packet.


Should I have a written sublease agreement?

Yes, whether you are the sublessor or the sublessee, we encourage you to have a written sublease agreement.  Please see our Subleasing Packet for more detailed information about sublease agreements and a sample sublease agreement.

Please schedule an appointment to meet with an attorney if you have specific legal questions or would like assistance in drafting a sublease agreement for your use.


This information does not constitute legal advice, nor is it intended as a substitute for legal advice.