Can my landlord sue me for subletting my rental without permission?

UPDATED: Aug 5, 2011

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Can my landlord sue me for subletting my rental without permission?

I got a roommate for the last 9 months in their home. I notified them that a girlfriend and her daughter will be moving in. The number of occupants remained the same as the original lease seeing my ex-wife and son did not move in with me. 4 days before I was moving out they found out she was just a roommate and claimed they were going to sue me for her portion of the rent over the course of the 9 months. The only thing I see I did wrong here was not add their names to the lease. This cost me my deposit with a new landlord because of what they told them and they also kept my deposit.

Asked on August 5, 2011 Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to carefully read your written lease  (ssuming you have one) with your landlord about the property you rented. Its terms and conditions typically control the obligations owed to you and you to the landlord unless in violation of state law.

If your lease has no prohibition against sub-leasing or a requirement that your landlord must approve a sub-lease or a new tenant, he or she had no legal basis for bringing suit against you for sub-leasing the rented unit without his permission. Even if the lease has a provision requiring landlord permission to sub-let, what are his or her damages? Rent is paid on a monthly basis and was never late.

If your landlord continues to threaten you about the lease, go down to your local landlord tenant clinic to discuss the situation or consult with a landlord tenant lawyer.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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