Can a landlord refuse to sublease a 2 bedroom apartment to a an unmarried couple and 2 children?

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Can a landlord refuse to sublease a 2 bedroom apartment to a an unmarried couple and 2 children?

Unmarried couple sublease for summer. Boyfriend signs lease as co-signer while girlfriend was out of state. Original tenets knew both would occupy the rental. Shortly after girlfriend’s arrival, management notifies them that they need to come to the office to discuss the rental. After several unsuccessful attempts by the couple to go to the office during normal hours, they receive a letter (3 days after the initial correspondence) that they have must leave. Reason for eviction is that due to the girlfriend’s children management states that occupancy limits have been exceeded.

Asked on June 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Absolutely this can occur. The tenant cannot sublease to anyone if iti s a violation of the original lease and the landlord does not approve. In fact, in most states and most contracts, subletting is disallowed. Check the rental agreement and see if occupancy has been exceeded. If it has not been, indicate you have a signed agreement and make them evict you (keeping in mind this will undoubtedly impact the original tenant and you). Keep in mind this may come back in background checks if you move forward with forcing an eviction.  At the end of the day, if the landlord was not aware of three other people living at the property, the sublet could be considered null and void.


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