When you’re renting a single-family home, you’re going to likely have tenants who live there over the long-term. A subleasing arrangement between your tenants, and someone who may be staying with them, is a common development. In some regions this is legal, in others it isn’t. Whether or not you put up with it as a landlord is really up to you—there are pros and cons.
Pros Of Subleasing
When you’re subleasing, you are more likely to see rent come back to you on time. Someone who is subleasing is likely making a little bit more money; this is especially true if it’s a family situation. There are two reasons a family renting a home will sublease: they need extra money out of necessity, or convenience.
If convenience is the culprit, then this means through subleasing, a given family is lessening their financial burden, allowing them to be more up-front in terms of paying rent. Sometimes you might have to be a little bit insistent.
Additionally, a sublet rental property that is authorized by a landlord is apt to be more properly maintained. As a landlord, you’ve suddenly got even more leverage over renters, because in many places they’re actually pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable either socially, legally, or both.
This means you’re more likely to have sway over tenants performing routine maintenance. You could work out an arrangement with them: “Certainly Pablo can stay, provided you’re always on time with the rent, and get that backyard sodded.” You get the idea! You could even have them effect some remodeling, like a DIY deck, or the addition of eco-friendly energy solutions to a given property; or other measures which can increase value.
Cons Of Subleasing
Sometimes you can’t control who comes into a house when you’re subleasing. Additionally, this can be against the law in your district; depending. Those who are subleasing from a tenant who are themselves leasing from a landlord likely don’t have identifying information. They could be people in trouble with the law, have evictions on their credit report, etc.
Also, subleasing can happen when someone who is your tenant has lost a job, and needs money. If that happens, they could initiate a forward trend which continuously pushes back the time when you get your rent. Also, bad tenants will bring in bad subleased tenants, who could really tear up your property if you’re not careful.
As a landlord, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your rental properties. Sometimes subleasing is good for one tenant, but not another. Sometimes this is the case within the same community. As the landlord, you can decide who can live where on your property. It’s advisable not to break the law, but then again, what you do with what you own is your business. That said, in many places, subleasing is perfectly legitimate (as it should be), and so you’re not compromising yourself or your property by allowing it.
Additionally, there are ways you can streamline the process, making it more official and perhaps even doubling-down on your income from specific properties. If you learn a tenant is subleasing, you’re likely going to be entirely within your rights to increase rent.
It all depends on your perspectives, your strategy, and what works best for you.
Rentbelly can help you economize subleasing, maximizing unit potential—according to the site: “Rentbelly is a web-based service for building owners, property managers, and HOAs that enables you to implement and enforce your communities Short Term Rentals (STRs) policy.”
At the end of the day, modern housing has become a bit of a three-ring circus, but there are ways to capitalize on it through tactics like subletting that can be effective, safe, and advantageous. The only caveat is reality: anything worth doing, is worth doing well—so if you sublet, do it full-steam, don’t go about it at half-mast.