First, a note on terminology: This sublease uses the words sublessor and subtenant to describe the parties
to the sublease. The sublessor is the “original” tenant who is subleasing to the subtenant. Subtenants are
also known as sublessees.
The attached document is a sample sublease. It should be modified for your particular subleasing
situation. If a paragraph doesn’t apply, delete it. It is best to make all changes in the electronic file and
print out a clean copy for everyone to sign. If you must change a pre-printed copy by hand, initial all
additions and cross-outs. All blanks should be filled in. If a blank isn’t applicable, then write “N/A” in
the blank. If you are unsure as to whether or how the sample should be modified, consult an attorney.
Note that this sublease is written based on the assumption that the sublessor is moving out and that only
the subtenant will be living in the residence. If the sublessor is staying and only subleasing out a
bedroom in a multi-bedroom dwelling, the sublease will need to be modified to reflect this. In a case
like this, be sure to state what exactly is being subleased. So, for example, instead of specifying only the
address of the residence, you might state that the sublease is “for the back upstairs bedroom and shared
use of the common areas and yard at the residence located at 123 Somewhere Street.” There also might
be issues about where the subtenant can park and what exactly constitutes the “common areas”.
This sample sublease requires that the subtenant pay rent to the sublessor (tenant) rather than pay rent to
the landlord. (The tenant keeps paying the full monthly rent to the landlord.) This is the way a true
sublease is done; however, the sublease can be modified to have the subtenant pay rent directly to the
landlord. Note that in a true sublease, the term of the sublease must end sooner than the original lease
ends. (For example, if the lease ends July 31st, the sublease should end on or before July 30th.) In a true
sublease, the sublessor (the tenant) is always a middle-man between the landlord and the subtenant. The
subtenant pays his rent to the sublessor and makes his maintenance requests to the sublessor. If rent isn’t
paid, the landlord makes his demand for rent to the sublessor and not the subtenant. This isn’t the way
things are usually done in real life. What most people call a sublease, is really an assignment or partial
assignment; however, the courts usually don’t care what the document is called. What matters are the
actual terms of the agreement.
Note that paragraph 4 allows more time for the sublessor to return the subtenant’s security deposit than
landlords are usually allowed. In a true sublease, the subtenant pays his security deposit to the sublessor,
who holds the deposit until the end of the sublease. The extra time given by paragraph 4 for the
sublessor to return the deposit (60 days rather than the usual 45 days) allows the sublessor to see how
much of his security deposit he will get back from the landlord before he has to turn around and refund
the subtenant’s security deposit.
If, instead, the subtenant pays his security deposit to the landlord (and the landlord refunds the
sublessor’s security deposit to the sublessor at the time the sublease begins), this paragraph should be
deleted. Paragraph 8 should also be modified to reflect that the sublessor doesn’t hold a security deposit
from the subtenant. In a situation like this, the subtenant needs to make sure that the place is in excellent
shape when he moves in or he should have the sublessor pay him for damages caused by him. He should
also get a copy of the tenant’s original move-in condition report so that he’ll know which damages were
pre-existing and which weren’t. Otherwise, the subtenant could wind up paying for damages caused by
If the landlord approves the sublease on the understanding that the sublessor’s security deposit will be
refunded to the subtenant (which is the way subleases are often done in Blacksburg), paragraph 4 should
be re-written to state how much of this security deposit will be reimbursed to the sublessor by the
subtenant. If a subtenant takes over an apartment that has been lived in by the sublessor for several years
and there are substantial damages to the apartment, the subtenant and sublessor should agree that the
sublessor can be paid something less than his original security deposit since the subtenant isn’t going to
get all of the security deposit back from the landlord. For example, if the original security deposit paid
by the tenant (the sublessor) is $500 but there are $300 worth of damages to the apartment when the
subtenant moves in, the subtenant should pay only $200 to the sublessor. If the subtenant paid the full
$500 to the sublessor and didn’t cause any additional damages to the apartment, the landlord would give
only $200 of the $500 security deposit to the subtenant and the subtenant would be out $300 for damages
caused by the sublessor.
As you can see, subleasing can be quite complicated. If you don’t completely understand what you’re
doing, you should consult an attorney. Whether you understand what you’re doing or not, if you’re a
Virginia Tech student, you should consult the Student Legal Services Attorney (www.legal.sga.vt.edu).
Form: SUBLEASE_2008.doc 18SEP2008
1. PARTIES. The parties to this sublease are
Subtenant: _____________________________________ Email: _____________________. [Add
lines for additional sublessors and subtenants; for example, if three tenants wish to sublease out their
entire apartment to two people for the summer, you’d want to list all three tenants as sublessors and
also list both subtenants.]
2. SUBLEASE. Sublessor hereby subleases to Subtenant and Subtenant hereby subleases from
Sublessor the premises located at _________________________, Blacksburg, VA 24060. [If the
sublease is for only a bedroom, rather than an entire dwelling unit, then describe what exactly is being
subleased; for example: “... and Subtenant hereby subleases from Sublessor the downstairs bedroom
and shared use of the common areas of the premises located at ....”]
3. TERM. This sublease shall begin at 9:00 am on ______________ _____, 20_____, and shall end at
5:00 pm on ____________________ _____, 20_____. This sublease shall neither automatically renew
nor automatically convert to a month-to-month tenancy. [A true sublease should end at least one day
earlier than the original lease.]
4. RENT. Subtenant shall pay a monthly rent of $___________ for each whole month of the sublease
term. If the first month is a partial month, Subtenant shall pay a first month’s rent of $____________.
If the last month is a partial month, Subtenant shall pay a last month’s rent of $____________. Except
for the first month’s rent, rent shall be paid to Sublessor at the address provided above by the _____ day
of each month. Rent not RECEIVED at Sublessor’s address by the due date is late; however, Sublessor
shall consider rent received by mail as having been timely paid as long as it is post-marked by the due
date. The first month’s rent shall be paid to Sublessor in person at the time of signing this lease. [If
there isn’t a partial first month or partial last month, then delete, strikeout, or mark as “N/A” the
inapplicable sentences and don’t forget to initial and date the strikeouts or N/A notations.]
5. LATE FEE. Subtenant shall pay Sublessor a late fee of _________ for each month that rent is late.
[This should usually be the same as what’s in the Lease.]
6. SECURITY DEPOSIT. Sublessor acknowledges receipt of $_____________ as a security deposit.
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Sublessor may deduct from the security deposit the amount of damages incurred by him/her due to
Subtenant’s breach of this agreement. Subtenant is not entitled to have the security deposit applied to
unpaid rent or late fees. Upon termination of the subtenancy, Subtenant shall surrender the premises in
good repair and condition, reasonable wear and tear excepted. Subtenant shall pay all reasonable
cleaning and repair costs for any conditions beyond reasonable wear and tear.
After termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession (including return of all keys), Sublessor shall
process the security deposit and provide Subtenant an itemized list of security deposit deductions and
copies of all related bills provided by the Landlord or provided directly to him/her by his own contactors,
repairmen, or cleaning services. Sublessor shall return the remainder of the security deposit and provide
the itemized list of security deposit deductions and bills to Subtenant within (1) sixty days of termination
of this subtenancy or (2) fifteen days after return of Sublessor’s security deposit (or a letter explaining
any deductions) from Landlord, whichever is earlier.
7. MOVE-OUT. Subtenant shall remove all of his/her personal property from the premises by the
move-out date and dispose of all keys as reasonably directed by Sublessor. If Subtenant fails to vacate
the premises, remove all personal property, and dispose of the keys as directed by the agreed date,
Subtenant shall pay all reasonable damages incurred by Sublessor as a result of this breach including, but
not limited to, reasonable attorney fees.
8. LEASE INCORPORATED. Subtenant acknowledges receipt of a copy of Sublessor’s Lease
(including the following addenda: _______________________________) and Landlord’s rules and
regulations. Subtenant shall obey all applicable terms and conditions of the Lease plus the rules and
regulations during the term of the sublease. Failure by Subtenant to abide thereby is a breach of this
9. MOVE-IN CONDITION. Within five days of moving into the premises, Subtenant shall hand
deliver or mail to Sublessor a move-in condition report containing a list of all existing damages on the
premises. Unless Sublessor objects to the report within five days of receipt, the report shall be presumed
correct. If Subtenant fails to provide this report, Sublessor may assume that no damages exist on the
premises at the time of Subtenant’s move-in.
10. ABSENCES. Subtenant shall notify Sublessor prior to his/her absence from the property for a
duration of seven (7) or more days.
11. ALTERATIONS. Except as specifically allowed by the Lease or the Landlord’s rules and
regulations, Subtenant shall make no alterations to the premises.
12. USE. Subtenant shall not use the premises for any purpose other than as a private residence.
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13. SUBLESSOR ACCESS. Sublessor may enter the premises immediately in cases of emergency
(such as flood, fire, leaking pipes, etc.). In all other circumstances, Sublessor shall not enter the
premises during the term of this sublease without giving Subtenant twenty-four (24) hour notice.
Sublessor shall enter the premises only for reasonable purposes and only at reasonable times.
14. INCORPORATION & MODIFICATION. This sublease is the complete and entire agreement
between the parties and all prior agreements and understandings, both written and oral, have been
incorporated herein. Changes to this sublease shall either (1) be made directly to this sublease and
initialed by both parties or (2) incorporated into a separate writing signed and dated by both parties.
15. BREACH. If any party to this lease takes legal action against the other for breach of this sublease,
the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover a reasonable attorney’s fee.
16. SUBLEASING & ASSIGNMENT. Subtenant shall not make any assignment or sublease under
this agreement without the prior written approval of Sublessor and, if required by the Lease, Landlord.
We, the undersigned, agree that we have read and understand the terms of this sublease, that this
sublease contains all the terms of our agreement, and that we are bound by all of its terms and
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