A California sublease agreement (also known as subletting) is a legal document that is used to officiate an agreement between a tenant of an apartment or rental, and a new tenant that will be replacing him or her for a period of time. This type of agreement would be implemented if, for example, a tenant whose name is on the lease (a sublessor) needs to travel out of town for an extended period of time and would like someone (a sublessee) to take possession of the apartment and pay rent as a tenant while they are gone. It is important for the sublessor to ensure that they thoroughly vet the sublessee, as the original tenant’s name will remain on the lease. If anything unfortunate, such as property damage, or late rent payments occur while the sublease agreement is in place, the original tenant will be held responsible. For example, if the sublessee suddenly abandons the property without notifying the sublessor, who may be out of town, the sublessor would still be responsible for the unpaid rent and could face eviction despite the sublease agreement being in place.
According to California Tenant Laws, subletting is allowed if it grants you permission in your lease. If the lease makes no mention of subletting, California Law tends to lean in favor of allowing the tenant to sublet the rental although this provisioned isn’t specifically mentioned (CIV § 1995.210). Here is a helpful guide to subletting in California.