What is a lease?
- A lease is a contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified time for a specified payment.
- Leases can either be written or oral.
- Leases have consequences for breaking them.
- Leases must be written in Plain Language.
- Leases can not have you waive certain rights
Any information given on this website is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have a legal question, please seek out legal counsel as soon as possible. Additionally, any information given is presented as a service. Drexel University Off Campus Housing does not endorse any website, realtor, apartment, or home. Drexel OCH encourages renters to be cautious and aware, and to make informed decisions when searching for housing.
- Subletting is to lease or rent all or part of a leased or rented property to another person.
- Make sure that you are allowed to sublease your apartment.
- Be aware that you may still be responsible for the rent.
- Be sure to document everything.
- Use a quality subletting agreement.
Payment of rent is enough to create a verbal lease. You can verbally agree
to be in a month to month lease, or any term up to three years. However,
as the details of verbal leases are difficult to prove, or even remember at times, OCH recommends using written leases only.
A lease is an agreement between you and your landlord. Be aware that if
you break your lease you may still be responsible for the remainder of your lease’s rent.
Your lease can not contain any “legalese”. It must be written in easy to
understand language. Please note though, that just because a lease is in plain language does not mean that it is a ‘fair’ lease. Carefully read your lease, and be aware of all the terms before signing.
In a lease, you may be asked to waive certain rights that you would
normally have. For example, you have the right to continue your lease even if your property is sold to another person. Your lease may have a provision in it that waives this right.
Other rights, however, may NOT be waived. Such as the right to have the landlord make repairs, the right to privacy, and the right to not have to accept an apartment “as is”. Provisions in your lease that ask you to waive unwaivable rights may not be enforceable.
If you believe that you are being asked to waive an unwaivable right, please contact Drexel OCH.
The ability to sublet is not a right. If you believe that you may want to
sublet your apartment in the future, even if you are not initially planning to do so, make sure that there is a subletting provision in the lease. Read the sections in your lease regarding subletting. Often your landlord will require you to secure their written permission, or may charge you a fee for letting you sublet.
Be aware that subletting does not “let you out” of a lease. While the
person that you sublet your apartment to does have the responsibility to uphold the obligations of the lease agreement, you may also be responsible in the event that they fail. For example, if your sublessee fails to pay his or her rent, you may be held responsible for the rent due.
Just as when moving in or out of an apartment without subletting, make
sure that you document the condition of your apartment right before the sublessee takes over. Do the same again when you return. Take pictures, walk through the apartment with the person that you are subleasing to. Encourage them to take the same pictures that you are. You may be dealing with a good friend, but good documentation can avoid hurt feelings in the future.
Utilize a quality subletting contract. Many of these can be found on the
web for download. Do not rely on a verbal agreement, including with a friend. Even trustworthy people can forget details that are not written down over time.