Unauthorized Subletting

 Dear Dave,

I own a rental property that brings in enough to pay the taxes and insurance with a little left over. Recently, I found out that my tenant, who just signed a new two-year lease, is subleasing the property for the short term as a vacation site. This kind of thing happened once before and is prohibited in the agreement. Do you think I should approach him about the situation or let it go until it becomes problematic?


Dear Catherine,

It’s already a problem, because he’s in violation of the lease agreement. Call him today and tell him to stop the sublease immediately. Let him know that he’ll be evicted if anything like this ever happens again.

This may sound harsh, but an agreement is an agreement. You may not have experienced any big problems up until now, but what happens when he pulls this again and the next people who come in are a bunch of partiers? You could end up with broken windows, holes in the walls and a bad reputation. On top of all that, what if they leave and he doesn’t have the money to fix things? It’s all on you. Why? Because you lost control of your property!

As a landlord, I always try to be gentle and nice but really clear about things. But this guy needs to understand that you mean what you say in the lease agreement. Once more, and he’s gone!


* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations. Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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