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How to Sublet Legally in Florida

Landlords in Florida are allowed to prohibit subleasing in their lease, although some court cases suggest that they can't unreasonably refuse a prospective replacement.

Florida law does not specifically prohibit or permit sublets, so what your lease says matters. If your lease says no sublets, then that means no sublets. Always obtain written approval from your landlord prior to subletting.

Ready to get a subtenant without the risk of doing it illegally? Follow these steps.

1. Check your lease

Most likely, your lease contains a clause that requires you to obtain your landlord’s approval prior to subletting. Look for a term called "sublets and assignments."

2. Request approval

You should send a letter to your landlord via certified mail, return receipt requested, and save a copy of the document for your own records. Certified mail is the only proof of delivery that most courts will accept and thus is the best way to protect yourself. The letter should clearly outline the terms of the agreement and include the following information:

  • The term (starting and end dates) of the sublet or the date of the proposed assignment (30 days from when you sent the letter)
  • The name of the proposed subtenant or assignee
  • The permanent home address of the proposed subtenant or assignee
  • Your reason for subletting or leaving permanently
  • Your new address during the sublease if applicable
  • The written consent of any co‑tenant
  • A copy of the proposed sublease

If you haven't found a subtenant yet, you can leave out the specifics about who will be replacing you. Just say that you will find someone qualified and will send their application as soon as it's ready.

3. Make sure your subtenant is qualified

Your landlord really does have the right to deny your request if you find someone who is less desirable as a tenant than you. Make sure to find someone who meets the same screening standards that you had to meet in order to get your lease.

4. Wait for approval

Some Florida leases include a clause that bans subletting unless the tenant has gotten the landlord’s explicit permission. This is legal in Florida, although state courts have ruled that landlords can’t “unreasonably” refuse permission to sublet.

Grounds for so-called reasonable refusal may include:

  • The financial responsibility of the proposed assignee or subtenant.
  • Intended use of the property.
  • The legality of the proposed use.
  • The nature of the occupancy.
  • The compatibility of the tenant’s use with the uses of the other tenants.

Make sure to get approval in writing - either an email, letter, or even a text message. You don't want to fall victim to a game of "he said she said" should things go sour.

5. Sign a sublease and get a security deposit

Remember just because you aren’t living in the place anymore, doesn’t mean that you aren’t held accountable to the terms of your lease. It is still up to you to make sure that the rent is paid on time and that none of the lease terms are broken.

For this reason, it's important to sign a legally binding sublease with your subtenant. We also recommend asking them for a security deposit of one month of rent to protect you against damages or missing rent.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.