Texas law allows subletting but only if your lease says it's okay and you get your landlord's consent. 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." In Texas if your lease says nothing at all about subletting then you are explicitly prohibited from doing so by state law until you've gotten official approval from your landlord. If your lease outright prohibits it, then you simply cannot do it unless your landlord makes an exception.
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 the specifics about who will be replacing you blank. 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
In many states, landlords can only reject a proposed subtenant for business-related reasons—for instance, a candidate’s financial instability or history of damaging rental properties. This is not the case in Texas, where landlords don’t need a “reasonable” basis for refusing a sublet (unless a lease says that they must). They can refuse you based on whatever grounds they want.
This means that if your sublet is approved you are effectively becoming the landlord, so it's very important for you to find a high-quality tenant.
4. Wait for approval
Texas law doesn't address the approval process for sublets. A good rule of thumb is to get it all in writing with a formal letter or an email. If you haven't heard anything after a few days, follow up over the phone.
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.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.