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Suppose you need to move away for a while and still need to pay rent. In that case, subletting the rental unit may be the best option. However, before you start to draw up your first sublease agreement, it is essential to consider federal and state laws governing these arrangements.

In this article, we'll discuss all you need to know to create a sublease agreement that will hold you in good stead.

Sublease Agreements

A sublease arrangement in Arizona permits a tenant to re-rent their residence to someone else. To detail the terms of the agreement, a sublease contract is drawn up.

This legally binding agreement is drawn up by the original tenant with the landlord's consent. Subletting is an excellent option for renters that wish to lease a room or the entire house while still bound by the terms of their original lease agreement.

A sublease typically specifies the same rights and obligations as the existing contract. The initial tenant is regarded as the sublessor in the sublease agreement, while the third party or new tenant is known as the sublessee.

The original renter ("lessee") must have formal approval from the landlord to grant a sublease. A tenant who wants to sublet a rented property, or a portion of it, must get permission in writing from the landlord if such authorization is not already stipulated in the initial rental agreement.

What to Include

Your sublease agreement will need to include the following basic information:

  • The names and contact details of the original tenant and the subtenant
  • A description of the rental unit
  • Terms of the sublease
  • Responsibilities concerning utilities
  • Information on the security deposit - the amount and the portion that is non-refundable
  • Lease term - start and end dates of the contract and notice days
  • A copy of the original lease or a description of the relevant terms

Special Laws

Any sublease contract must adhere to Arizona laws, which stipulate that lead-paint risks must be disclosed if the home was constructed before 1978. The notice specifications and eviction process requirements are also included in these laws.

When creating a sublease agreement that incorporates the terms of the master lease, be cautious and always verify that it complies with the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. In the section below, we'll discuss some of the laws that apply.

1. The Security Deposit

The maximum security deposit allowed by Arizona state law, Section 33-1321(A), is the equivalent of one and a half months' rent.

Moreover, the security deposit must be fully refunded, or the amount left over after deductible expenses, within 14 working days of the tenant's departure, according to Arizona state law in Section 33-1321(D).

The rental agreement must expressly indicate a portion is non-refundable; otherwise, all deposits qualify for a full refund.

2. Background Check

It is crucial for the lessee who desires to sublet a rental apartment to do the necessary background checks on the prospective subtenant. They should act like a landlord and demand that a potential sublessee submit a rental application form.

This application should request written consent to perform a credit, criminal history, and eviction check. You are permitted to ask for an application fee to conduct these checks.

3. Discrimination

Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, family status, or disabilities is prohibited under federal law. Rental units that meet the criteria for age-restricted establishments are exempt from the rule under Arizona law, as stated in Section AZ 41-11491.04.

4. Violating the Terms of the Original Lease Agreement

When leasing a portion of a rental unit, like a bedroom, it is crucial that the housemates sign a sublet agreement and that the rental contract permits such roommates.

It is crucial that the original tenant receive consent from the landlord and establish the subtenant as an authorized resident, or they risk violating the terms of the original lease. In this case, both the sublessor and sublessee could be evicted. 

If a landlord wants to expressly forbid any subletting of a rental apartment, they should include such restriction in the rental contract.

How to Write One

In the section below, we provide a short, step-by-step guide on how to create your sublease agreement.

  1. Check the original lease to see whether subletting is prohibited.
  2. If it is not, get consent from the landlord to sublease the unit or a portion of it.
  3. Identify the various parties involved and include their details in the agreement.
  4. Write down details about the apartment, such as its address and current condition.
  5. Make a note of the lease term.
  6. Determine what the sublessee's responsibilities for utilities will be.
  7. Indicate what security deposit will be required and the portion that is non-refundable.
  8. Include a copy of the original lease.
  9. Sign the agreement.

Sublessors

The original tenant is ultimately responsible for the subtenant's behavior following the signing of a sublease agreement. This means he or she is liable for any damage to the leased unit or unpaid rent. It is in the landlord's best interest for the sublessor and the sublessee to share the responsibility.

Moreover, it is in the initial tenant's best interests to hold any sublessee accountable for all the clauses of the original lease. Here are some of the responsibilities that the sublessor will have:

  • Getting consent from the landlord for subletting the apartment or home
  • Returning the security deposit within 14 working days
  • Following the correct eviction process

Build Your Own

We have given you all the information you need to sublet your rental property, but creating a sublease agreement from scratch can be time-consuming and inconvenient. Fortunately, we have a free form that you can complete:

We would also like to invite you to try out our property management software! With DoorLoop, you can create flawless rental application forms, leases, and sublease agreements quickly and easily, thanks to the autofill feature. Use the software to run a background check on a prospective new tenant and receive payments with ease. Book your free demo today!

eSignature

Lease signing is your biggest opportunity to lay the foundation for a pleasant tenant experience, and that relies on making the process as easy and efficient as possible.

With DoorLoop, you can get your subleases eSigned in a few seconds. You can also get to the eSignature step much more easily by creating reusable sublease templates that are autofilled with tenants' information.

DoorLoop also makes it so simple to find the best tenants in the first place by syndicating your lisitngs on popular websites Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Apartments.com, and more. You can also make sure you're bringing in the best tenants by screening your prospects in seconds through DoorLoop.

For more information about DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.

Final Thoughts

Sublease arrangements can be the answer in many situations. However, it is important to obtain consent from the landlord for the sublease and to ensure that you are not violating any terms of the original lease.

If you need help drawing up a sublet agreement of your own, you can download our free form or use our software to generate rental documents quickly and easily! Try DoorLoop for free to create your sublease contract!

FAQs

Can tenants sublet a rental unit without consent from their landlords?

In Arizona, a renter cannot sublease without the landlord's consent. Subletting your rental unit must be requested in writing, and it must be sent by certified mail for delivery confirmation.

You will also need to include the name and address of the potential sublessee, the planned duration of the sublease, your reasons for wanting to sublet, and any subtenants' consent.

Your landlord can reject your request for a sublease. However, according to the Arizona court, they cannot, unless specifically permitted under the original lease, withhold consent in an unreasonable or arbitrary manner.

Is it okay to sublease a unit if the original lease prohibits it?

No. Tenants may not sublease an apartment if the original rental agreement explicitly prohibits it. If you sublease the unit anyway, you risk being evicted along with your new tenants.

How do you end this agreement?

To end a sublease contract, tenants will have to follow the same eviction process that landlords have to follow.

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David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!