Is it legal for my landlord to do this?
May 12, 2014 7:49 AM   Subscribe

My lease, like most, says that subleasing is not allowed without manager's consent. I came in on a sublease and later let the manager know I was planning on subleasing. She just declared she will not accept any subleasing any more. Does anyone know if this is legal for her to do this? It's breaking faith, but not breaking the literal contract. FYI, I live in Missouri.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (10 answers total)
You need to tell us what country, state, and locality your apartment is in, before anyone can begin to tell you what the laws are there.

But in general, barring any local laws to the contrary (e.g., the lease can't require something if there's a statute saying that the lease can't require it), the actual wording of your written lease governs what is legal. IANYL.
posted by decathecting at 7:54 AM on May 12, 2014

The laws on whether you are considered a tenant and your rights as a tenant/nontenant vary greatly depending on where you are, and this is definitely something that's worth making a phone call to a local attorney who knows the answers to these questions and your likely outcome.
posted by Etrigan at 8:05 AM on May 12, 2014

Are you subleasing now, or is that arrangement over and now your name is on the lease?
posted by jsturgill at 8:05 AM on May 12, 2014

Generally speaking, if you are a tenant with a landlord/tenant issue it's worth checking with a local tenant's rights organization or legal aid organization. You can often find one by googling for "[city] legal aid" or "[city] landlord tenant."
posted by insectosaurus at 8:06 AM on May 12, 2014

This question isn't clear. You say you "came in on a sublease" - does that mean you originally started occupying the residence by subleasing from the legal tenant? If so, did you sign an actual lease with the landlord when the original lease (on which you subleased) ended?

Then, "later let the manager know I was planning on subleasing." Does that mean you officially told the landlord that you were living there and intended to pay the rent on behalf of the legal tenant? Or that you are now on the actual lease for the property and informed them that you intended to rent out your space to someone else who is not on the lease?

As stated already, your rights will almost certainly vary by jurisdiction and by the specific language in the lease. But in the scenario where you are on the lease with the landlord, and neither your lease or local tenant law speak to subleasing rights, you are probably out of luck. The landlord is probably not obligated to allow tenants to sublease out their spaces, even if that was previously permitted.

Bottom line - you should check with a local housing lawyer. You can probably explain your situation within a 30 minute consultation and pay little or nothing to find out whether you have any recourse to get what you really want here.
posted by trivia genius at 8:10 AM on May 12, 2014

So you're on a subleasing contract not the lease? Look at your sublease.
posted by k8t at 8:11 AM on May 12, 2014

It's probably a question of contract terms more than legality as such. With few exceptions, the landlord will be allowed to do whatever the contract says she can do.

Beyond that, a definitive answer to your question would require an analysis of the lease document, sublease document, and applicable laws/ordinances. For that you'll need a local attorney, or at least your local housing department. No one on here is going to be able to give you more specific information than that.
posted by valkyryn at 8:23 AM on May 12, 2014

This all definitely depends on the specific county you live in. My lease also says no subletting without the landlord's permission, and my careful examination of the county laws says this is totally legal for her to do. There are other places where you have a right to sublet even if your lease says you can't. So, you need to look at your county's laws, or have someone else who's familiar with them explain them to you.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:38 AM on May 12, 2014

Everyone is asking where the poster lives -- it says in their question they are in Missouri. I think we could assume that's Missouri, USA.
posted by barnone at 10:56 AM on May 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Missouri attorney general website indicates the landlord must approve a sublease in writing.

They cannot evict you for unauthorized subleasing but they are entitled to double the rent for the remainder of the lease if you do.
posted by dave99 at 9:23 PM on May 12, 2014

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