A Guide to Subletting in Los Angeles

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Got some questions about subletting? Subletting is a term that describes an individual allowing someone to rent all or part of a currently leased house or apartment. You can sublet your apartment if you’re going away for an extended period, or if you want to completely move out before the lease is up, for example. Subletting in Los Angeles, California is not a smooth ride, and you could come into tons of issues if you don’t comply with the subletting laws. If you want to find out how to sublet in Los Angeles, then cozy up with this Roomi blog and we’ll explain all!

1. Carefully read through your lease

This first step is very important because your entire plan of action depends on it. Before you go ahead and sublet your apartment, you have to be certain that your lease permits you to. According to California law, you must obtain written consent from your landlord before subletting, and if your lease says you can’t sublet, then sorry – but you really can’t. You can figure out whether you’re allowed to sublet in your lease under a clause entitled, ‘assignments and sublets’.

2. Get approval from your landlord

If you’re reading this step, then congratulations! You’re allowed to sublet, even if it does come with a price. You’ll need to get written approval from your landlord which gives you consent. But even before this, you’ll need to make sure that you find a subtenant who meets the requirements of the landlord, as you prepare to sublet.

Related: Pros and Cons of Living in Los Angeles

3. Subletter screening

Found a potential subletter? Awesome! That means you’re well on your way to successfully subletting an apartment in Los Angeles. You must find an individual who is as financially stable as you are. Make sure you specify the important subtenant qualifications when marketing your listings. This will help you put together a solid case when you eventually request approval from your landlord.

4. Send your landlord a written request for approval

As a paying renter, you are entitled to many renters’ rights in California, meaning that you have standard rights that should not be messed around with. That being said, this next stage requires as much formality as possible. You’ll need to present your request in the best way, and adhere to state laws meticulously. Emails are acceptable, but it’s more advisable to use certified mail to avoid future conflict.

In your written request, the following should be included:

  1. The start and end dates of the apartment sublet
  2. The name of the potential subtenant
  3. The potential subtenant’s application, including their financial details
  4. The potential subtenant’s permanent house address
  5. Your reason for subletting or moving out permanently
  6. If applicable, give your new address during the sublet period
  7. A written consent of any co-tenant
  8. A copy of the proposed sublease

There are a lot of steps to take, but no one said subletting in Los Angeles, California was easy!

5. Wait for approval

For the first week after submitting, you’ll need some patience. After that, you can begin to ask for feedback politely. If you still haven’t gotten a response after thirty days, you can remind them of their ‘duty to mitigate’, stated in Civil Code 1951.2. This term means that a landlord still needs to legally get the rent covered, even if they’re against sublets. In other words, they’re still required to accept qualified subtenants to mitigate rent loss.

6. Make sure you collect the first month of rent and store it as a security deposit

You’ll need to avoid any chances of legal hassles or disputes in the subletting process. To stay protected against lost rent, try to get a deposit of a month’s worth of rent from the subtenant. Be sure to arrange a suitable method for them to pay rent at the end of every month so you can easily transfer the payment to your landlord’s account.

Subletting in LA, California is no easy ride, but by knowing the many renters’ rights and laws, you can simplify the process somewhat. You don’t want to risk engaging in an illegal sublet, so always be careful and take things step-by-step!

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