Premises 
Subletting

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Subletting premises – the facts

If you rent office space or consulting rooms, you’ll often do so on a sessional or daily basis. Sometimes, there is a rent reduction if you decide to rent the rooms for a longer period of time, or if you rent out more than one room in the same building.

That’s why some private practitioners choose subletting to allow them to be flexible and reduce their rental costs as well as their overheads.

Subletting is when you rent premises, but let part of it to a subtenant. You’ll always remain responsible to your landlord for the rent, even if your subtenant doesn’t pay.

Is subletting allowed?

Usually, but not always. It all depends on the tenancy / rental agreement that you have, and you will need permission from your landlord. Read through any agreement carefully and examine the small print.

If you choose to sublet, you MUST get everything in writing. You should make an agreement with the person you’re subletting to that is signed, dated and witnessed. Your landlord may also need to approve this. You should also develop a list of guidelines for your tenant to follow.

Sharing the space: further benefits

Subletting allows you to make contact with other practitioners. For example, if you rent out a consulting room for the whole week, but only use it on Monday and Tuesday, you could rent it out to another practitioner for the rest of the week.

The downside

You may find that subletters can want to dip in and out. As a result you can spend a lot of time dealing with prospective subletters while making little financial gain. Also, there may be weekly changes in schedule that you will have to track, and possible quibbles over invoicing.

The most effective sublet is a monthly agreement with one month’s payment in advance and a month’s notice of termination on either side. This will reduce the administrative burden and the monthly rental is pre-agreed.

The contract

Members of the Private Practice Hub can download an example of a subletting contract by logging in here. You can become a member here (it’s free).