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What are the parameters on backing out of a sublease and not being held responsible?

Davis, CA |

Can a subtenant back out of a sublease and leave the original leaser responsible because the subtenant believes that the lease was signed on false premises, such as apartment cleanliness? If these beliefs are false, what can the original leaser do to hold the subtenant responsible if she is saying that she is not responsible?

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Attorney answers 2


The landlord may sue either or both the subtenant and the tenant for breach of the lease agreement. The tenant will always be ultimately responsible for payment on the lease to the landlord. The tenant may maintain a separate action against the subtenant for breach of contract, in addition to any other cause of action the tenant may have. That would make the subtenant liable to the tenant. However, if the subtenant has an affirmative defense, that may absolve the subtenant of liability under the sublet agreement. I don't think misrepresentation of the cleanliness of the apartment will work here, since the subtenant would have had ample opportunity to inspect and approve the rental unit.

This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for educational purposes only and you accept such information at your own risk. To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 530-231-4949 or visit our website at The exchange of communications through and similar social media does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my office. Thank you.


If the term of the sublease is one year or longer, your rights and obligations will be clearly stated in your sublease. Edward C. Ip

No attorney / client relationship established. The answr is for discussion and general information only. The lawyer had not reviewed any documents or contract prior to the above comments.

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