A Louisiana sublease agreement lets a tenant rent and sublet rental property to any new tenant they want. This new tenant, called a subtenant, can use part or all of the building after paying payments appropriately. The initial tenant should check the original lease to see if this is allowed. Let's learn more about this document and how to craft one.
A sublease agreement in Louisiana is what lets the tenant who signed the lease assign their rights to another person. This ensures that the tenant doesn't have to break the lease if they can't live on the property, and they don't continue paying rent once they leave.
The agreement adds someone else to the original arrangement who has the same terms. This document is legally binding, so subtenants must pay the rent and other expenses agreed to each month.
However, this isn't a true contract between the property owner and the subtenant. It's just an arrangement between the subtenant and original tenant. Therefore, if anything happens to terminate the lease, the sublessee can't have legal claim to that unit. Property owners often work out deals with the subtenant, but that's not guaranteed in every Louisiana county.
Utilities can be left in the name of the original tenant, but the sublessor must pay for them or get the cash from the subtenant in a timely manner. The agreement doesn't break the original lease the sublessor signed; it just adds a third party so that it's legal for a new tenant to live there. Therefore, the original tenant must continue paying rent if the subtenant fails to do so.
The tenant who signed that original lease is responsible for the subtenant, so if they break the terms of the lease, it must be addressed. A great way to avoid a non-compliant tenant is to run background and credit checks before letting them live on the property.
Some landlords request sub-agreements be put in writing, and the landlord must approve of it before changes are made. If the sublease agreement isn't allowed, it is mentioned in the original lease, as well as other rules that could apply. Likewise, a security deposit is often required to handle issues that should be repaired once the subtenant moves.
If a lessee must leave the property for long periods, a subtenant is a great way to avoid breaking the lease and avoiding extra costs. This is ideal when the tenant has a fixed-term lease and doesn't want added expenses. When starting the sublease agreement, the lessee is then the sublessor, so the subtenant is the tenant.
Here are times when a sublease might be wise:
- Original Tenant Is a Student - It's common for college towns because students may have to leave for winter and summer. They can use a subtenant and let those people pay rent while they're gone. It's beneficial for the subtenant because the place is often furnished, and they can work while school is out.
- Original Tenant Must Move out Before Lease Date Ends - When better properties become available, you must seize that opportunity. However, it often happens at bad times. Therefore, a primary tenant could sublet the unit to another person to cover rent for the duration of the lease. The subtenant benefits because they can check the property before taking over the lease once the original ends.
- Original Tenant Wants an Extended Vacation - If the original tenant goes on vacation for long periods, they don't want to pay rent while they're gone. This benefits the subtenant when they don't wish to sign a full lease.
In Louisiana, such documents are legally binding, but everyone must understand what's in the sublease agreement. Typically, the landlord isn't involved in the sublease. Therefore, a problematic subtenant can lead to issues between the original renter and the landlord. It's best to do a background check on the person first.
What to Include
When creating a sublease agreement, it's important to include these things:
- Name of the sublessor and subtenant
- Street address of the property to sublease
- Amount of rent the subtenant must pay every month, including information on where to send rent and what late fees might be required
- Amount of money the subtenant needs for a security deposit because they're living in the unit and the length of time after they vacate the property before it's returned to that subtenant
- Terms of the sublease agreement, which includes the date it starts and ends. If there's a possibility for the subtenant to renew the lease once the term ends, that must be included in the sublease, too. Also, provide the notice length the subtenant must give if they're vacating the property while subleasing.
- Signing by both parties
How to Write One
In many cases, the tenant wanting to sublease has to be completely sure that the sublease agreement contains everything necessary and offers the ideal framework for a more stable arrangement. This is a legal document, so it's crucial to know what's allowed during the sublease period for the court's sake. Here are some sections to include in the sublease:
- Involved Parties - Whenever a sublease agreement is used, it's similar to a month-to-month or fixed-term lease. Therefore, the parties involved should have everything outlined upfront. This establishes the document's legality and who is now bound by the lease. The original tenant and the subtenant must each provide a full name.
- Forwarding Address - The tenant must give their address to the original landlord. However, the sublease should include this information, even if it's a short one. This provides a place for the subtenant to find forwarding information for the original tenant if they must send important correspondence. That is crucial for subleases when the original tenant gets rental payments from the subtenant to pay rent.
- Physical Parameters for the Sublease - Sometimes, a subtenant is only renting a part of one unit. This might happen when the original tenant or multiple subtenants dwell on the property and rent a room. Therefore, the agreement should expressly state the sublet area so that all tenants have clear space layouts.
- The Term - It's best to establish a precise term for this sublease. It offers a clear move-in/move-out date, so there can be no confusion later.
- Information Regarding Utilities and Rent - It's crucial to provide pertinent information, so the subtenant doesn't get confused. This means the sublease must include the cost of rental payments due monthly and the due date for the payment. It's best to provide the total rent due during the rental period for short-term subleases, as well as the rough estimate of utilities. If there are special methods for paying rent, they should be included here.
- Security Deposit - Louisiana doesn't have an upper limit for the security deposit amount. However, fixed-term leases generally have security deposits of one to two months of rent. Sometimes, it's paid during the signing of the lease, so the subtenant isn't responsible. However, if the tenant moves out, the security deposit is passed on to the subtenant. Still, they must be aware of the security deposit and that it's used for damage to the property. Louisiana state law requires the landlord to return it within 30 days if there was no damage and the subtenant provided a forwarding address to receive it.
- Original Lease Rules - It's crucial that the sublease include the rules of the original lease to avoid confusion. Clearly state the policy for noise, pets, smoking, and cleanliness. Since violations could lead to eviction, this affects the original tenant. This is especialy true for noise; many rental units have quiet periods established that tenants must know, so it's best to state that in the agreement.
- Signatures - As with other legally binding documents, you can't just state the involved parties. It's not enough! To close things out, all identified persons must sign the sublease so that it is legal. Once that happens, the subtenant and sublessor must print the names and date it, too.
If the tenant focuses on subletting the property they rent, they should ensure that they're following the regulations and rules in Louisiana. There aren't specific laws pertaining to subletting a property. As long as the original lease has no clause prohibiting it, this is generally possible.
Sometimes, the landlord wants to be part of the process and wishes to approve the new tenant, but they can't just deny the request to sublet a property.
The sublessor is required to abide by the laws in Louisiana governing evictions, security deposits, and other landlord-tenant concerns. They must also deal with the conditions in the original lease and sublease.
It's crucial to understand that Louisiana doesn't have laws in place for subleasing. Therefore, those who want to sublet should consult their original leases to determine if that's possible. Some properties forbid the practice, and if that's the case, subletting makes the original lease forfeit or null and void.
Once you consult the lease, it's best to talk to the landlord to determine if a sublease is appropriate. Send the request in writing through certified mail so that you have a receipt. Here's what you should include in your letter:
- Subtenant Information - Along with the full name of your subtenant, it's a really good idea to give the landlord contact information on those who rent the unit. You may also consider doing a background check or asking the landlord to do this based on the data given.
- Reasons for Subletting - Information is crucial here, so the tenant must explain their reasons for subletting completely. This might just be a temporary arrangement, but the sublease could go until the end of the original period, and all of that data should be conveyed in the letter.
- How to Reach Original Lessee During the Sublet - There might be times where the landlord or subtenant must speak to the original tenant, and that information must be included. This is useful if the subtenant becomes unruly, but it also offers a way for the management company or landlord to reach out to the tenant if there's a status change or important correspondence.
- Copy of the Sublease - This gives the landlord an idea of the terms you included in the sublease.
Once you've written the document and made copies of everything, you should send it to the landlord. Give them at least 30 days to agree or not respond before you start subleasing. The landlord needs ample time to accept or challenge the conditions.
After the 30 days have passed, the tenant should assume that they have permission if they received nothing in return.
Build Your Own
If you want to quickly create a sublease agreement for Louisiana, it's best to choose DoorLoop. We offer free templates, which you can find below:
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.
When everyone respects written agreements and upholds the obligations in the sublease, it's a beneficial experience for all parties. Subleasing is a great option for many, but you need to establish the rules at the beginning. Otherwise, you're not protecting yourself from early termination fees because the subtenant isn't someone the landlord wants on the property.
Are you ready to start? Create your sublease agreement today with DoorLoop!
Does Both the Original Tenant and Landlord Have to Agree on Subletting?
Generally, yes. If there are no clauses prohibiting subleasing, then the landlord cannot just say no. However, they could be part of the process for choosing a subtenant.
Is It Legal to Sublease in Louisiana?
Yes, subletting is legal within the state of Louisiana if the rental agreement doesn't contain provisions that prohibit it. Tenants who prefer to sublease should make sure the document covers maximum occupancy, rent, and who to call with unit problems.
Can a Sublease Agreement Be Oral?
Yes, Louisiana does allow oral lease and sublease agreements. However, oral ones are hard to prove if disputes arise, so it's best to have them in writing.