Tenant subleasing or not

8 Replies

I have a duplex in South Minneapolis and unit #1 has two tenants who signed a year lease.  They have always paid on time, but recently a tenant who just move in just over a month ago wrote to me that she would like to sublease the unit and was looking for my approval.   The other tenant wants to stay and found a replacement tenant that would like to take over the moving out tenants spot.   I've started the background check process on the prospectus tenant and am waiting for the rest of the information to come back.  Thus far her salary, landlord history are spotless and qualify.  I am waiitng for the criminal history come back.   

So I understand that in Minnesota that if you sublease a unit, then the subtenant pays the tenant and the tenant pays me.  The question I have is if all parties involved agreed that we sign a written contract voiding the existing contract ending on 10/30/2018 and then have the existing tenant that wants to stay and the new tenant sign a new contract, why wouldn't that work?

I don't allow subleases because I don't want Tenant A in charge of Tenant B. There's too many potential problems. For example, Tenant B doesn't pay their share of rent, so Tenant A pays the entire amount to avoid late fees or an eviction. now Tenant B is forced to go after Tenant B and you may not find out until months later.

Bad idea.  It doesn't take much to lose control of your property and I would never advocate for actively giving up what limited control we have as landlords.   If they will sign a new lease with your current tenant great, otherwise you are opening yourself up to learning lots of lessons.  :)

Sign a new lease, use a M2M in a situation involving unrelated room mates. It makes going forward much easier for you since you will likely have a revolving door of new tenants. 

For this reason I never rent to room mates.

@Marcus Johnson I'm pretty familiar with state landlord-tenant law and I know of no such clause that requires tenant B to pay tenant A who pays you.  It sounds like urban legend to me.  Have you been told this by an attorney or a know-it-all landlord?  I have had many subleases over the years and with few issues.  I sublease instead of writing a new lease because I have lost some control in the process in that the new tenant B must be acceptable to the remaining tenant so I must keep that in mind during the process.  It's my understanding that tenant A is responsible for payment if tenant B does not pay and that gives you more leverage to collect if necessary.

@Marcus Johnson this sounds like a terrible idea. If the first tenant wants to move out and you are in agreement about it, I would let the tenant out of their lease. Also pre screen the potential tenant that the original tenant found to make sure that he or she meets your rental criteria. If they do then sign a new lease with this tenant. Subleasing will only complicate your life.

@Marcus Johnson - I do not have experience in this by I think if  you have the existing contract ending 10/30/2018 I would do what you are suggesting of end one lease and start a brand new one. I would do this for both tenants to so the previous contract doesn't even exist, it's as if they just moved in fresh. I think you can only do this at the end of the lease like you have but make it a clean end and cancel of one contract and start of a new one.

disclaimer: Not a lawyer

Yes, that would work, either a new lease or an addendum to the old one saying essentially " new roommate name"  replaces "old roommate name"  everything else remains the same.  Make sure to address the security deposit transfer.  I usually let the tenants handle the security deposit between them and the person leaving signs a release for me stating they are owed nothing.  if you are one of the states requiring a separate security deposit account it might be a little different.