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Subletting a property

June 18 2018 by Multi-Prêts Hypothèques
What you'll learn
  • The rights and responsibilities of the subletter

  • The rights and responsibilities of the sublessee

  • The rights and responsibilities of the owner

Subletting is a real estate phenomenon that is gaining ground. It is namely favoured by travellers and young professionals who have to work outside the country.

Although it can be an excellent solution for some, it does hold many legal intricacies that are important to grasp.

The rights and responsibilities of the subletter

Let’s begin by defining that by “subletter”, we refer to the person leaving their property by subletting it.

Need to leave the country for a few months? Subletting is especially appealing because of its temporary nature.

For one thing, you can reclaim your property when you return. For another, you won’t need to pay the rent while you’re away.

However, just because you’re subletting your apartment doesn’t mean that you no longer have any obligations! Indeed, you remain responsible for many clauses of the lease, most famously the rent. This means that if the sublessee skips out on the rent, you’ll have to fix the situation by paying the owner.   

You’ll also have to take on additional responsibilities. As subletter, you must provide a pristine property. If the owner of the property isn’t available to carry out the necessary reparations at the sublessee’s request, you will be responsible for them.

Your landlord seems a little iffy about the idea? Be aware that neither the lease nor the building’s rules can forbid subletting a property, as that would be against the law. The Code civil does prevent subletting, however, when the property is considered as a family residence and your spouse refuses the subletting.

For more information regarding the concept of a family residence, read this article.  

Once you’ve found someone to sublet your apartment, let your landlord know. You’ll have to provide them with a notice that includes the name of the interested person, their address, and the planned date for the subletting. Consult the Régie du logement to find examples of a notice. 

appartment

The rights and responsibilities of the sublessee

Let’s begin by defining that by “sublessee”, we refer to the person that temporarily lives in the subletter’s property.

When you sublet your property to another person, that person temporarily becomes the occupant of the space. This gives them the same rights as the tenant, with the exception of the right to keep occupying the property.

Although the length of the subletting agreement is determined by the subletter, it automatically ends on the date set out in the lease. To this effect, it is the subletter’s responsibility to provide a written notice to the sublessee at least 10 days before the end of the lease. In the absence of such an initiative, the main renter must provide notice to the sublessee.

room

The rights and responsibilities of the owner

After receiving the notice, the owner has 15 days to reply. The subletting or end of the lease cannot be refused, except for valid motives such as inability to pay or behavioural issues from the tenant.

In the case of a lack of reply to the notice from the owner, whether voluntary or not, the agreement is regarded as accepted. Furthermore, the owner that agrees to subletting can demand the reimbursement of reasonable expenses brought on by the subletting, such as a credit verification.  

In the case of a subletting of over 12 months, the owner can refuse to renew the lease. To do so, they must signify their intent, in writing, to the tenant and sublessee in a similar delay to that of any other lease modification.

To find out more about a landlord’s rights and obligations when it comes to tenants, read this article.

Starting to find rentals a little too limiting, and looking to buy a property? Read our starter guide to purchasing your first home. You’ll also discover our simplified mortgage request and online mortgage prequalification process.

After all, if you’re steadily employed, why deprive yourself the pleasure of owning your own home?

Key takeaways
  • Subletting is especially appealing because of its temporary nature.
  • The subletter will have to take on additional responsibilities in regards to the property.
  • Neither the lease nor the building’s rules can forbid subletting a property, as that would be against the law.