Can my landlord refuse to let me sublet my room in a house without reason?

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Can my landlord refuse to let me sublet my room in a house without reason?

I live and Maryland and recently got a job which requires me to relocate. According to the Maryland law library, if a landlord gives you the option to sublet per their approval, that approval cannot be withheld for unreasonable reasons. ‘If the lease provides that the tenant must obtain the landlord’s consent in order to sublease, consent may not be unreasonably withheld. Reasonable objections to a prospective subtenant might include concern about his ability to pay the rent, or concern about his intention to use the premises for unsuitable purposes’

Asked on December 5, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Generally, "reasonableness" goes to the suitabilty of the proposed subletting tenant--issues such as his/her ability to pay--and not the reason the main tenant (you) wish to sublet; your reasons for subletting are wholly irrelevant. So as a general matter, you would be correct: the landlord cannot base his objections on the reason(s) you need to sublet, and doing so would not be reasonable. 
That said, you write that you are looking to sublet a room in a house--i.e. not a standalone unit. If you are renting a room in the landlord's house (i.e. living with the landord, in essence), the courts generally recognize that the the landlord has  a legitimate interest in choosing whom he or she shall live with, and will generally allow a landlord to refuse a sublet (or assignment) of a room in the landlord's house for essentially any reason.


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