Should tenants sub-let their apartments?

Property sub-letting means leasing of a portion of the property occupied by the tenant during his/her duration of stay. Tenants now prefer sub-letting a section of their apartments, to people who are looking for short stays. The concept of paying guests is not new but sub-letting reflects the changing social patterns of society. Earlier, cases of paying guests and sub-letting were few. Now, there is an increasing demand from people, who come to the cities for short stays. Tenants living in upmarket areas, do not mind sub-letting their homes.

Regions in India, where sub-letting is becoming popular

As per rough estimates, there is an increasing trend, among tenants living in the National Capital Region, who are alone or have nuclear families, to keep a guest on rent to utilise the extra space and earn income. This trend is more visible in areas that have bigger apartments (large two-bedroom to four-bedroom properties) and independent houses. The rental rate for sub-letting, depends on the location, the tenant and the duration of the stay.

Looking at the opportunity, a number of brokers have also started offering such services, through their existing clients. The market, however, is still emerging. A number of factors drive the decision to sub-let the property – in some cases, the owners live outside India or they may simply not be aware.

Benefits of sub-letting your apartment

The direct benefit, is the rental income. For those who do not live with families, sub-letting helps them to earn and also provides them with company. Take for example, someone who sub-let his rental accommodation to two other working professionals in Noida. He can get some good company of people and would be able to reduce the burden of the rent.

Risks associated with sub-letting

The biggest risk in sub-letting, is that you may get into a legal tussle with the sub-let tenant. The maintenance expenses of the house and other finances, such as water bill, electricity bill, etc., are divided between the tenants. In the absence of necessary documentation to cover these expenses, there can be disputes

The legal view on sub-letting

According to the law, a tenant cannot sub-let the apartment, without a consent from the owner. It is always safer to bind the tenancy, even if it is for sub-letting, into an agreement. In such cases, the owner of the property needs to be duly informed and there needs to be an agreement between them too.


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