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Sub-renting your apartment: what does the law say?

How to sublet your apartment

Subletting is rightly considered a convenient and less expensive way to find rented accommodation. Several reasons can lead a tenant to sublet his apartment: to avoid leaving an empty dwelling for an absence, to share the rental costs with a sub-tenant ... But to what extent is this approach legal?

The legal specificities

The subletting of a house or apartment consists, for a tenant holding a valid lease, in the provision of a third party of all or part of his housing against the payment of 'a rent. This practice is not to be confused with the roommate solution, where all roommates are tied equally to a single lessor. In the case of subletting, the subtenant is bound to the tenant, who is the only one bound to the lessor.

In Luxembourg, the legislation allows the subletting of residential housing as well as commercial signs. When it is intended for natural persons, the law recommends that the subleased apartment be furnished. But you must first obtain permission (written agreement) from the lessor before making the housing available to the subtenant. The tenant must therefore send his request by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to his lessor. The amount of rent claimed from the sublessee can not exceed the rent paid by the official tenant.
There is no provision in the law that requires a lessor to accept a sublet request. In case of refusal, he is not obliged to justify his decision. In general, the refusal of the lessor is motivated by the fear of losing control of the management of his property, or having to deal with unpaid bills.

The housing sublease contract

When the landlord's agreement is obtained, a contract between the tenant and the sub-tenant must detail the terms of the sublease. The tenant is obliged to provide to his sub-tenant the written authorization of the lessor as well as the copy of his current lease. According to the law, subletting in Luxembourg is no longer subject to the payment of a deposit (commercial premises), nor to a limitation of duration.
The contract must be accompanied by an inventory of places of entry and exit. He must also mention the notice period. Income from a sublease is to be declared as taxable income.

The advantages and disadvantages

In the case of a sublease, as the main tenant, you are free to choose the person with whom you wish to live together: a friend, a relative, a colleague ... Conversely, the sub-tenant has the advantage of choosing to come into cohabitation with the tenant that suits him. Both parties (tenant and sub-tenant) share common rooms, which have large living areas for a rent they are relatively cheaper. There is no legal relationship between the sub-tenant and the lessor, so he or she can benefit from a more or less flexible contract on the part of the tenant.

The disadvantage is that the main tenant is considered fully responsible for all the breaches of his sub-tenant (damage, unpaid ...). It is recommended to choose a sub-tenant who has insurance that can cover the damages for which he will be responsible. The civil liability may also cover the main tenant, in case of damage caused by his sub-tenant.
In the end, subleasing a home without prior authorization from the landlord can have serious consequences for the tenant. If the owner sees an act of breach of the terms of the contract that binds him to his tenant, he can terminate the lease or claim the payment of damages.