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The question of subletting

When a landlord in Chicago is deliberating factors that he or she may want to include in the lease, subletting the home is a consideration that should make the list. Curbed points out that this could be a good way to keep from penalizing a good tenant who falls on hard times. It could also forestall any need for the landlords to have to go on the search for a new tenant or subtenant on their own if the current occupant is able to find someone suitable. However, there is always the risk that the subtenant may not be nearly as satisfactory, and this could cause any number of issues.

Landlordology suggests that the best way to handle the subject is through a detailed clause in the lease. Ideally, this section should include a requirement for consent from the landlord, which could go a long way toward eliminating the possibility of an upsetting surprise from a less-than-stellar occupant through the screening process.

Another potential benefit could come in the form of a fee. Including a one-time charge for each instance of subletting in the lease may make the option more profitable for the landlord, while discouraging capricious decisions to turn a home into a vacation rental. On the other hand, if the property is in an area known for tourism, weekly or monthly visitors could contribute a significant financial advantage to the owner.

Without a penalty, the clause means little. If the landlord expressly writes it into the contract, subletting without his or her express approval could result in a violation of the lease, leading to eviction. 

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