Grab our FREE Indiana residential sublease agreement sample and read further about subletting laws in Indiana, required disclosures, optional addendums and what other Indiana landlord tenant laws apply to residential sublease agreements.
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What is a Sublease Agreement?
When a lessee wants to leave the premises on a property that’s locked into a fixed-term lease, they have options, especially if their lease allows for a sub-lessee to dwell in the property. With one of these arrangements, the lessee becomes the sub-lessor, and they enter into a completely different style of lease with their new sub-lessee.
This style of lease can be beneficial for those lessees that want to go on vacation for an extended period, have periods of absence due to being a student, or for those that have found a new place to live but do not want to deal with the repercussions of ending a lease early. This helps the original tenant avoid the financial obligations of paying two rents or paying rent for a property in which he or she is not currently dwelling.
These documents are legally binding in the state of Indiana, but it’s essential to understand that the relationship between the sub-lessor and the sub-lessee won’t have any bearing on the relationship between the original tenant and the landlord. For this reason, it’s imperative that the sub-lessee carry out all responsibilities and doesn’t cause issues for the original tenant.
As a general rule, these types of subleases have a tendency to be short-term, which can be advantageous for both the parties involved in the agreement. For example, the sub-lessee can utilize a sublease when he or she is waiting for a more ideal property to come onto the market or use one of these temporary leases to wait out maintenance or repairs on a preexisting home. These also work similarly to month-to-month leases because the sub-lessee isn’t locked into a fixed-term lease that they’ll have to wait out.
These also can serve as long-term leases as well since a person that wants to move out of a property but has a long time left on their original lease can use this to add a permanent resident to the unit. The new sub-lessee can simply wait out the initial term of the lease and sign a new lease once the original fixed-term lease has expired.
How to Sublease in Indiana
Before considering a sublease agreement, a preexisting tenant will have to verify with 100% accuracy that the actual original fixed-term lease allows for subletting the property to a new tenant. Indiana allows this type of arrangement only as long as it isn’t explicitly prohibited in the original agreement.
After this is confirmed, it’s a good idea to mail to the landlord all of the pertinent information about the sublease agreement. Certified mail is preferable due to its verifiable nature. The letter should outline:
- Information about the sub-lessee: The full name of the new temporary tenant will need to be included. This will allow the landlord to verify the credentials of the new sub-lessee.
- The term of the sublease: If this is a temporary sublease, then the start and end dates of the arrangement should be provided to the landlord.
- The reasons for the sublease: For those tenants looking to merely add on a sub-lessee for a brief period, the reasons should be outlined clearly. If there is to be an extended or permanent arrangement, this should also be included.
- The information about the subtenant: For the purposes of communication, the home address of the new sub-lessee should be provided to the landlord or management company.
- A means to contact the original tenant: This is to ensure that any correspondence that needs to be delivered to the original leaseholder is deliverable. This is especially important in the case of having a sub-lessee that doesn’t live up to the terms of the lease agreement.
- A copy of the sublease: This is to ensure that the landlord or management company understands the conditions and terms of the sublease agreement.
It’s critical that the tenant waits for approval from the landlord so that there’s no issue down the road. After 30 days, it’s acceptable to assume that consent was provided, especially if the information was sent via certified mail. It’s also important to note that a landlord can only reject a proposed subtenant when there are legitimate factors at play, and that unreasonable refusal is prohibited if the original lease does not bar subtenants on the property.
Writing an Indiana Sublease Agreement
Once approval is attained, it’s a good idea to create a sublease agreement that has an ironclad structure so that there are no potential problems. These tenancies tend to be highly flexible, but they still need to have the essentials. In Indiana, one of the first things that will need to be noted is that under the law, tenants are allowed to sublet their property unless explicitly forbidden in the original lease. Here are some sections that should be included so that there is a maximum level of coverage for the sublease:
The Involved Parties
Since this is a document that can be used under legal proceedings, the first things that should be included in the agreement are the names of the involved parties. This means that the sub-lessor and the sub-lessee must consist of their full names. This will ensure that these parties are identified right at the start.
The Forwarding Address of the Original Tenant
Whether the tenant is moving out permanently or is just relocating for a few months during the sublease, it’s a good idea to include a forwarding address for the rental payments, correspondence, and mail. In some cases, this part of the document can also list the reasons that the original tenant is moving out.
The Sublet Area
Sometimes, when subletting a property, the sub-lessee doesn’t have access to the entire unit. This is usually the case when there are multiple sub-lessees dwelling on the property. This is also sometimes the case when the original tenant is merely subletting a portion of the unit, which is sometimes the case when an elderly tenant is looking for someone to help them pay the rent. For the sake of clarity, the document needs to explicitly state the areas that fall under the sublease in the unit.
Terms of the Sublease Agreement
Subleases are a type of tenancy that can really vary in duration, so it’s a good idea to clearly state the term of the sublease so that there is no confusion. The document should display the beginning of the sublease as well as the period of time that the sublease will extend. It’s also a good practice to include a copy of the lease since this will establish the term of the fixed-term as well as any rules therein.
Sometimes, a sublease can be somewhat overwhelming for a sub-lessee, which is why it’s a good idea to provide the information on how to pay rent and utilities so that the info is available in a single place. Here are a few details that can be added when writing a sublease agreement:
- The cost of monthly rent payments
- When rent is due
- The entire amount of rent during the sublease
- The price of utilities and whether the sub-lessee will be responsible for paying these costs
- The process of how and where to pay the rent
The Amount Required for a Security Deposit
In the state of Indiana, there are a few laws on the books that limit security deposits, but some tenants require that the sub-lessee pay one to ensure that any damages done to the property are covered. If this is the case, the number of days that the landlord has to return the security deposit should be stated. In Indiana, this must not exceed 30 days. If the security deposit must be retained for repairs, then the period of time that the landlord has to explain this retention also must be included.
Rules of the Property
For completeness, the sublease agreement will also need to include the rules of the property. Here are some common rules that can be included:
- Pets policy: For those renters with four-legged friends, the property’s policies on these will need to be provided. Sometimes, during a sublease, the sub-lessee may be expected to pay a “pet fee,” which can be used to repair any pet-related damage to the property. Also, if a property only allows certain types of pets or pet breeds, then there should be a section of the agreement that clearly states this.
- Noise Policies: Many properties in the state of Indiana establish quiet times where furniture may not be moved, parties may not be had, or loud conversation is prohibited. The agreement should clearly outline these rules so that there’s no problem during the tenancy.
- Policies on Smoking on the Property: Some properties do not allow smoking in the unit or within a certain amount of feet from the building. If this is the case, a copy of the policies of the property on smoking will need to be provided.
Signatures and Date
To close the document, set aside at least four spaces so that the signature and printed names of each involved party can be provided. After these have been placed on the document, each party must also date the signing as well.