Can a roommate prevent you from subletting?

I am transferring colleges this winter, and I would like to sublet out my room for the rest of the year. However, I have a roommate (sort of – I have to walk through her room to get to mine) and she does not want me to sublet my room. She is also not willing to pay part of my rent if I do not sublet. She threatened to take legal action if I did sublet my room. Can she do this? Or do I have the right to sublet?

Asked on December 1, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do you have a lease with her as your landlord or do you have a regular landlord?  what does the lease state?  Does it allow sublets of the apartment space?  Then you are permitted to sublet the space.  Unless you have an agreement to the contrary with your roommate (and even if you did I would not even begin to want to think how that could be enforced) then she has nothing to say about it.  Why don't you try another approach: ask her if there is anyone that she would want to ask to sublet your room to make her more comfortable.  But give her a time frame to come up with someone so that you are not stuck.  Good luck.


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