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How legally binding is a sublease contract that is in violation of another contract?

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  • How legally binding is a sublease contract that is in violation of another contract?

    Hello from California.

    I am having issues with the tenants I subleased to. They signed a written contract and are now trying to back out of it. I'm not sure how binding their contract is because I recently found out that I am not actually allowed to sublease my apartment. The contract I signed with apartment office had a section that briefly mentioned how subleasing was not allowed. Since the entire contract I received from the office was over 20 pages, I didn't read each page carefully, so I didn't notice that subleasing was not allowed. So I subleased my place and had the tenants sign a sublease contract. Now they're violating several of the clauses of the sublease contract. Thus, I ultimately want to know, how legally binding is this sublease contract if I'm technically not legally allowed to sublease?

  • #2
    Re: How legally binding is a sublease contract that is in violation of another contra

    Originally posted by BlackWolf View Post
    Hello from California.

    I am having issues with the tenants I subleased to. They signed a written contract and are now trying to back out of it. I'm not sure how binding their contract is because I recently found out that I am not actually allowed to sublease my apartment. The contract I signed with apartment office had a section that briefly mentioned how subleasing was not allowed. Since the entire contract I received from the office was over 20 pages, I didn't read each page carefully, so I didn't notice that subleasing was not allowed. So I subleased my place and had the tenants sign a sublease contract. Now they're violating several of the clauses of the sublease contract. Thus, I ultimately want to know, how legally binding is this sublease contract if I'm technically not legally allowed to sublease?
    It's not unusual for tenants to illegally sublease their properties. That being said, if you DO sublease, you are in violation of your own lease with your LL, because your business relationship is with the LL. You can still feasibly enter into a sublease with someone and enforce that because you have a business relationship only with those subtenants for their rental of your property. It's not illegal per se, because it doesn't violate a specific law, but it DOES violate the terms of your lease, which can result in a civil action against you.

    If your tenants violate that sublease, however, and you decide to enforce the terms and potentially seek to evict them, those same subtenants now have leverage against you because they can now proceed to go to YOUR LL and complain about you. Once that happens, if your LL finds out you've sublet in violation of your lease, you face the risk of EVERYONE being evicted for it.
    "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
    "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
    "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

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    • #3
      Re: How legally binding is a sublease contract that is in violation of another contra

      Originally posted by BlackWolf View Post
      Hello from California.

      I am having issues with the tenants I subleased to. They signed a written contract and are now trying to back out of it. I'm not sure how binding their contract is because I recently found out that I am not actually allowed to sublease my apartment. The contract I signed with apartment office had a section that briefly mentioned how subleasing was not allowed. Since the entire contract I received from the office was over 20 pages, I didn't read each page carefully, so I didn't notice that subleasing was not allowed. So I subleased my place and had the tenants sign a sublease contract. Now they're violating several of the clauses of the sublease contract. Thus, I ultimately want to know, how legally binding is this sublease contract if I'm technically not legally allowed to sublease?
      If the original lease contract prohibited subleasing, the sublease contract cannot be enforced. No court would entertain suit on it. The 'technicality' is a big one.

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      • #4
        Re: How legally binding is a sublease contract that is in violation of another contra

        Thanks for responding. So would this whole situation be one whole case or two separate ones (i.e. if this were to go to court, I would have one case between my subtenants and one case between my landlord; or if the case with my landlord would invalidate/void the sublease and thus there is nothing I can do about the subtenants breaking their subleasing contract)?

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