When is it too late to ask for consent to sublet?

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When is it too late to ask for consent to sublet?

Due to a conflict between my 2 roommates, 1 of them accepted a work transfer across the state and moved out a week after we signed a lease for the 3 of us for another year. We found a new roommate willing to either be assigned or to sublet for the duration of the lease (our lease says we can’t sublet without consent, but we know the landlord has allowed it in the past). My former roommate meant to call the landlord but never did. Now we are a few days in to the new lease and aren’t sure what to do. Since the lease has already started are there penalties if we notify him now?

Asked on August 4, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No penalties-- the old roommate is still on the hook for his or her share of the rent if you want to hold his or her feet to the fire. Otherwise, regardless of the commencement of the new lease, a lease contract may be modified at any times if the parties agree.   Modification can include a new contract or simply agreeing to a new contract.  Notwithstanding, unless there is a provision in the lease that consent must be given prior to the start of the new lease, it appears you could request consent anytime through the period of the lease.  

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

One needs to read the lease to see what it says.  The law differs from state to state on these issues.  But it sounds as if the landlord does not forbid sublet but only required consent.  I thin that you should not worry about the fact that you are four days in tot he lease and advise the landlord that one of the tenants has decided to move but has found a subletter.  You would like his consent to sublet.  See what he says.  I doubt that he would say no or that he could forbid it unless the tenant is someone that the law per se would allow the landlord to refuse as a tenant.  It is ok.  just ask now.  It is the right thing to do.  Good luck.


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