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What to do if Your Tenant is Subletting

Frustrated Mundelein Property Manager with a LaptopAs a rental property owner, your livelihood depends on trusting your most cared-for Mundelein rental property to a tenant you know and have thoroughly screened. But really, it can be a serious problem if your tenant opts to sublet the rental house – primarily if they do so without your knowledge or permission. Setting the terms of your tenant’s stay in your rental home easily starts with definite and clear language in the lease. If you already have your subletting policy in writing and your tenant violates it, here are just a few effective tips you’ll need to handle the situation like a pro.

Gather Evidence

If you think your tenant might be subletting your property without permission, your initial move should be to confirm your suspicions. It’s quite possible that the new “tenant” is not subletting but rather house-sitting or staying at the property for a certain reason. You can begin by interviewing both your original tenant and the person in the house and document their explanations, as well as when your conversation occurred and any other evidence you may have noticed.

You may additionally need to talk to the neighbors, or anyone else you think may have information with respect to the situation at hand. If your tenant is subletting your rental through a platform like Airbnb, for example, you can just try to search for your property on the app and use what you discover as evidence of the lease violation.

Give Notice of Lease Violation

If your research does attest to the fact that your tenant is subletting, and your lease specifically states that subletting is not allowed, you’ll need to notify your tenant that they have violated their lease. Take into account any other violations your research may have detected, particularly if the person subletting is not upholding the lease terms.

It doesn’t matter who is living in the rental and their agreement with your tenant, your tenant is still responsible for upholding their lease agreement. Most of the time, it is right to give your tenant time (such as 30 days) to rectify the situation and recommit to compliance with their lease. You will then need to go check again once that time has gone by to ascertain whether the subletting tenant is gone or not.

Take Legal Action, If Needed

Should your tenant refuse to comply with your request to evict the person subletting the property, your succeeding step may be to embark on the eviction process. Just always remember to look through your state and local laws and follow all of the statutes and rules to the letter.

With a subletting tenant complicating the situation at hand, you need to know what your rights are, whether or not you can legally remove the subletting tenant, and what tactics you’ll need to take for this purpose. Depending on where you live, you may have to evict both your tenant and the subletting tenant before you can redeem full rights and access to your rental property.

All in all, your legal recourse will rely on both where your property is located and the language in your lease. If your lease does not have clear language describing your policy on subletting, that is something you can revise easily. The best course of action is just stopping it before it arises when it comes to preventing subletting.


If you find yourself struggling with a subletting tenant, know that you don’t have to face it all alone. The property management professionals at Real Property Management Northwest Chicago Suburbs have the experience and legal knowledge to expertly guide you through any lease violation situations, getting you back to business as usual as fast and as smoothly as possible. Learn more about what we can do for property owners like you by contacting us online or calling us at 847-892-4040.

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