Sublease

Whether for a month or half a year: As soon as a main tenant takes in a residential partner for a fee, it results in a sublease. Especially in cities with high rents and limited living space, subleasing is a popular instrument and a win-win situation for both sides: The main tenant saves on rental costs, the subtenant is able to find an apartment or room relatively uncomplicatedly.

In a sublease, the main tenant remains solely responsible to the homeowner or administration - in all rights and obligations. These include making a rent deposit, paying rent for the apartment as a whole and being liable for any damage to the apartment. A sublease agreement is always meaningful and regulates the co-existence when you want to sublet your rental apartment.

6 Questions and answers about the sublease

1. Do I need the consent of the landlord for subletting my apartment?

Basically, the sublease is permitted and generally may not be excluded in the lease. However, the renter must inform the landlord in advance about the intended subletting.

2. May the landlord prohibit subletting the apartment?

The landlord can only prohibit the sublease if the main tenant wants to enrich himself through an excessive rent. In addition, he may also do so, if the tenant causes disadvantages (such as overcrowding) by means of subletting. The main tenant must be able to disclose the terms of the sublease to the landlord upon request. If the main tenant does not provide the information, the landlord may also prohibit the sublease.

3. Who is liable for damage in the sublease?

The main tenant is always liable for damages by the subtenant, ven if the subtenant has already left the apartment but is still listed in the rental agreement. However, the main tenant can claim the costs from the subtenant.

4. Is a written contract required for a sublease?

The written form of a sublease contract is not obligatory, as in the case of the ordinary lease, but it is recommended for reasons of argument and clarity. The contract includes the amount of  rent, rights of use and a precise description of the room or living space allocated to the subtenant. An example of a sublease contract can be found at the tenant association.

Termination formalities, deadlines and dates are subject to customary legal regulations. In addition, it makes sense to state the rooms for shared use in addition to the rooms for individual use alone.

5. How high should the rent be?

There is no legal stipulation how high the rent may be. Often the rent is divided by the number of rooms, as long as they are the same size for calculating the rent. If the rooms are of different sizes, the number of square meters is used as a basis for calculation.

However, the main tenant may claim no more than 10 percent more rent from the lodger than he pays. For furnished apartments or rooms, it is 20 percent of the net rent.

6. May a deposit be requested from a sub-tenant?

Yes. However, if you request a deposit from your subtenant, you must deposit this in a rental deposit account. This may not be for more than three months' rent.