Subletting is when your tenant rents out the premises to another party. Some tenants sublet when they will be gone for an extended period, say the summer months or a sabbatical in another city, and they don’t want to permanently give up their rental. Airbnb and other short term rental sites have also become popular with people trying to make some extra income, and this may include your renter if they want to rent out a room in the rental or the entire rental for a short period (overnight, weekend). All of these scenarios are considered subletting, and such arrangements are only allowable with the landlord’s consent.

West Virginia landlord tenant law does not contain any special language regarding subleases, other than how it relates to the security deposit. Specifically, if a tenant has any assignee or sublessee, the landlord is only entitled to hold a security deposit from one party.

For subleasing situations the landlord may require that a criminal background check is run on the sublessee. While it’s true that in a subleasing situation the tenant with the rental agreement with the landlord has ultimate responsibility under the signed rental agreement, it still behooves the landlord to require a criminal background check on a sublessee living in the property. When a lease agreement states that subleasing is allowable only with the approved, written consent of the landlord, consider making it clear to the tenant that consent can only be an option when a background check has been run and the landlord has had an opportunity to review the results.