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Is it legal to sublet my apartment if I have no current contract with the landlord?

Longview, WA |

I am looking at possibly renting a home with a 12 month contract but I currently have a nice place without a current written contract with the landlord and dont want lose it if the home falls through. And thought about subleaseing my apt. for 12 months so I would have it in case something goes wrong with the home.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Washington state recognizes that lots of people do not actually have a written agreement regarding their tenancies. If you want to sublet out your current place, you want to discuss this with your current landlord first, before making any irrevocable moves, such as moving in a sub-tenant without permission.

The thing is that when there is no writing, either party can end the tenancy with 20 day's notice properly given to the other party (RCW 59 18 200). If your current landlord doesn't appreciate your plan, you can easily lose your current tenancy. If that is an issue for you, discuss what you want to do with your landlord first.

Elizabeth Powell

Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.


My guess is that you still HAVE a written contract, if you ever had one. Most leases provide that the contract continues, (sometimes referred to as the tenant "holding over"), after the expiration of the original lease term. You will need to either read your contract or have an attorney review it for you to determine what it says about sub-leasing. Most leases require the landlord to approve such arrangements, in advance. That does not mean that you cannot do this, but you may have to jump through a couple of hoops, first.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

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