A Massachusetts sublease agreement is a document that legally allows the original tenant of a rented property to lease it to a new tenant. In essence, the new tenant will be allowed to take over a part (or the entirety) of the rental unit. While the original lessee is legally allowed to create a sublease agreement in Massachusetts, they must first get permission or approval from their landlord.

Typically, the original tenant will request a sublease when they want to lease a particular part of the property to someone else. However, some sublease tenants may want to sublet the entire property to the subtenant. In any case, the original tenant must request permission from the landlord for the sublease.

A tenant may request a Massachusetts sublease agreement for a wide variety of reasons, including more financial comfort when they pay rent. The following page will outline how the Massachusetts sublease agreement works, what the general subletting rules are, and what the tenant needs to approve it.

Sublease Agreement

The sublease agreement is a legally binding document signed by the tenant and the subtenant, although it requires permission from the landlord. There are many reasons why a subtenant may want to take over the tenant's lease, and those reasons include the following:

  • Tenants want to vacate the unit or apartment for some time and don't want to spend too much money on rent payments.
  • The tenant wants to lease a portion of the property to the subtenant so that they can split the rent payment.

Regardless of the reason for the sublease in Massachusetts, the sublet process involves certain rules and obligations that everyone must comply with. During the rest of this page, the original tenant will be known as a "sublessor," and the new tenant will be known as the "subtenant."

What to Include

As mentioned before, the landlord in Massachusetts must approve the tenant's request for subleasing. Once that part is done, the tenant must draft a sublease agreement that includes the following rules apart from the original lease:

  • Tenant and Subtenant Information - This includes full names, addresses, and other relevant information.
  • Lease Term Dates - State the start and end term for the sublease agreement.
  • Description of the Property - This part will include a description of the sublet premises, including its address and any other information the tenant may be responsible for sharing.
  • Rent Amount - Specify the rent amount the subtenant must pay the sublessor. This rent amount doesn't have anything to do with the original rent payment.
  • Original Lease Agreement - Finally, the sublessor must include the original lease and all the rules and regulations that they and the landlord agreed upon. Moreover, the original lease must include information about the landlord.
  • Security Deposit Information - As its name suggests, the sublessor must include information regarding the security deposit, if needed.

The tenant may be able to include extra information regarding the security deposit, utilities, late fees, and renovations in the sublease agreement as long as they're compliant with Massachusetts law. Finally, the sublease document must include a space where the responsible parties can sign.

How to Write One

As with the original lease document, a Massachusetts sublease agreement must include state-specific information like the one mentioned on this page. Still, drafting a Massachusetts sublease agreement isn't hard at all.

Here is an outlined process on how to draft an original lease document for sublet properties:

  • Write the information of all parties involved in the apartment lease, including the lessee, the sublessee, and others.
  • Include the sublease term for the tenant, the rent amount, and other miscellaneous terms.
  • Address the security deposit conditions.
  • List all the restrictions and consequences of not complying with them, including what happens if the tenant doesn't pay rent on time.
  • Include a space for everyone to date and sign the document.
  • Include a copy of the original lease at the end.

Special Laws

As mentioned before, a sublet property arrangement may have different rules depending on the state. Aside from the permitted guidelines in Massachusetts, the arrangement must be compliant with the original lease drafted by the landlord too.

The following is a list of subletting laws that tenants must be aware of when drafting the sublease agreement:

Written Approval

As mentioned before, the sublessor must first get permission from the landlord before subletting the premises. However, the landlord must provide written consent to the sublessor. Other types of approvals aren't permitted. To make things easier, the tenant should send a letter via certified mail so that there's evidence of the request.

It's vital to note that, if the landlord doesn't provide any permission to the sublessor/tenant, they can consider the subtenant a trespasser, which can cause the landlord to evict the original tenant.

Withholding Permission

According to Commonwealth law, the property landlord can't withhold permission to sublet the property unreasonably, unless they stated a ban in the original lease agreement.


If the secondary tenant violates the terms of the contract in any way, the primary tenant can evict them from the property. The process works the same as with an original landlord-tenant agreement.


In essence, subletting laws require sublessors to comply with Massachusetts laws, as well as the terms offered by the landlord in the original lease.

Moreover, the sublessor must give the deposit back to the sublessee within 21 days after the lease ends. In case the sublessee fails to pay for rent, the sublessor must provide written notice to either pay or leave the property.

Build Your Own

Drafting a subletting agreement doesn't have to be complicated. If you're looking for an easier way to draft a sublease agreement that complies with every party (landlord, tenant, subtenant), feel free to download one of our free templates in Word or PDF format.

On the other hand, you can download a customizable version of the lease agreement for a fee so that you can adjust terms as you consider appropriate.

What Is DoorLoop?

DoorLoop was created in response to a growing need for a platform to help manage rental businesses. You can use the software to run background checks, create professional leases, and track rental payments on one intuitive platform.

To see it at work for yourself, schedule a free demo.


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,, 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.


Subleasing documents can be difficult to manage, especially considering that this isn't permitted everywhere. We hope this page has helped you understand all the rules surrounding a Massachusetts sublease agreement. Remember that if you're looking to draft a document yourself, make things easier by downloading our free templates today.


Is Subletting Legal in Massachusetts?

Yes! It's entirely legal to draft a sublease document in Massachusetts, as long as the landlord or responsible party allows it. If the landlord didn't specify any sublease laws on the document, or they have a clause there that prohibits subleasing, the primary tenant will not be able to sublet the unit.

How Does the Tenant Sublease a Property in Massachusetts?

First, the tenant must check the lease for any clauses regarding a sublease. Moreover, they must obtain approval from their landlord. Once the tenant gets written consent from the landlord, they can send the document to the sublessee so that they can discuss the terms.

Can Landlords Charge a Subletting Fee?

While there are no laws surrounding sublease fees, some landlords charge their tenants for doing this. However, the tenant may contact an attorney in this case.

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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!