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Sublease Nightmare... Please help - Landlord Forum thread 356004

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Sublease Nightmare... Please help by Stephanie (CO) on February 2, 2018 @15:42

I am going straight to the point so pleaae forgive the lack of lengthy explanation.

As the LL, I gave my tenant permission to sublease and held him completely responsible for the entire rent (with permission to sublease through his own lease agreement with those subleasing).

The tenant left in the middle of the night, changed his contact info, with 2 months lefts on his lease. He stole rent and deposit from one of his subleasees but left both of them to fend for themselves.

1. As the LL I do not have any contract or lease agreement with these two subleasees. Are they now viewed as trespassers or am I legally bound to uphold their lease agreement with our tenant?

2. The lawyer I spoke to said there are no laws pertaining to this situation and since our temants lease is void now (due to him vacating with all his belongings) ,there is no more lease for the subleasees. However, when I called the Sheriffs department for a removal, they insisted we had to go through the evictions process.
Why is there an evictions process if there is NO lease? Furthermore, why is the lawyer and the Sheriffs department not on the same page?

3. I have no concrete laws from anyone showing me how to proceed in this situation. Any help would be so appreciated.

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Re: Sublease Nightmare... Please help by Joe on February 2, 2018 @16:49 [ Reply ]
Same issue would apply if squatter moved in without your knowledge. You need to go to court to have them evicted.
Never let T sublease.
Re: Sublease Nightmare... Please help by Garry (Iowa) on February 2, 2018 @17:55 [ Reply ]
I like Joe's 2nd answer the best. You may have some good tenants there if you get some more info from them. But if you are looking for someone to blame for this situation, blame it on YOURSELF. You're the one who gave up your LL responsibilities to a tenant. NEVER do that again. And the sheriff was right. You will have to go thru your state's eviction process, (if you really want them out),because the people who are still there, have established tenancy thru the lease your former T had with them. They are not squatters. You said yourself, that at least one of them had a deposit, and paid some rent to your former T, who stole it all.

What you need to do now, is read your state's LL/T laws, and their eviction laws, and follow them from now on. But first, see if the current people there, wish to remain there, if they do, take apps from them, and decide if you want to keep them, and they pay the rent directly to you. If they need a 3rd roommate, YOU need to be the one to advertise and find one, not them. Otherwise, go to court, evict them, and start over again. And yes, you probably did/do have a lease. It's either the one you had with your former T, that was a pass-thru to the current people living there, OR, if any lease expires, and people are still living there, it usually reverts to an automatic M2M lease, and goes by whatever the state's laws are regarding terms of a lease. Again, you must read your LL/T laws to find out.
Re: Sublease Nightmare... Please help by MrDan on February 3, 2018 @13:59 [ Reply ]
This is simple if you understand the principle behind the issues.

Your tenant who has left, still has a valid lease in effect. Just because he left does not end the lease. Only if you agree to take back possession would the lease terminate.

The subtenants are not squatters as they have a legal right to the rental as sub leasees.

You could follow either of two courses of action.

1) If rent is past due, you would need to send proper notice "Pay or Quit". If rent is not paid by 'your tenant', then you may file for eviction and possession of the rental property. You would name your tenant who signed the lease and "all others" on the eviction notice.

Under no circumstances should you accept rent payment from the sub tenants as that will establish a rental agreement with the sub tenants. (month to month)

Upon being granted an eviction, your tenants lease is terminated, which in turn, terminates the sub tenants rental agreement. The sub tenants would then be treated as holdovers if they fail to move out. You could at this point offer "cash for keys" to get the sub tenants to move out.

2) If your tenant fails to pay rent and the tenant has been absent for a period of time without notification to the landlord, you could follow your State law on abandonment of the rental property. The tenant must be gone a set period of time without notice to the landlord. The landlord would treat the tenant as abandonment of the the rental property with proper notice and terminate the lease. That would also make the sub tenants hold overs if they fail to move out. If the sub tenants fail to move, then an eviction would be necessary to remove them. Again, "cash for keys" might be the simple solution to the whole problem.

  • Your tenant still has a valid lease in effect

  • You must take action against your tenant to terminate the lease (i.e. eviction)

  • Accepting rent payments from sub tenants can establish a legal rental agreement (month to month)

  • If you have accepted rent from the sub tenants, then you might treat then as verbal 'Month to Month' tenants and just give proper notice under your State law to terminate the month to month rental agreement.

    Re: Sublease Nightmare... Please help by Stephanie Athena-Marie (CO) on February 12, 2018 @11:07 [ Reply ]
    Thank you all who were helpful in offering suggestions and solutions ! The issue has been resolved with a lease termination letter. Thanks again

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