Legal Blog

Landlord Tenant Tips: Illegal Subletting on Online Rental Websites

apartmentQuestion from Landlord: While searching for local rental properties on I discovered that one of our residents listed his apartment unit for rent on the website without our permission. There are several reviews from renters on the website that indicate they have rented the unit from the resident. In addition, management personnel have seen many unknown individuals coming and going from the unit but have not seen the resident at the unit in quite a while. Is the resident permitted to do this? Answer: If the lease prohibits subletting or limits occupants to those specifically listed in the lease then your resident has violated the lease by renting the unit to a third party. You should serve a lease violation notice on resident that identifies the violation and states that if the violation is not remedied within 21 days of the notice then the lease will terminate on the 30th day following the notice. The proper remedy by the resident would be ridding the unit of any renters and removing the unit from the rental website. This answer is specific to Virginia. Please call me for additional information if your property is located in Maryland or DC.  


Crystal Kramer is an attorney in the Landlord Representation Group. Crystal’s practice is focused on representation of landlords and property managers of residential and commercial real estate in Virginia. This representation includes Fair Housing disputes and all litigation associated with lease disputes, including breach of lease, unlawful detainer actions, and tenant’s assertion actions. You can connect with Offit Kurman via ourBlogFacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTube, and LinkedIn pages.  You can also sign up to receive Law Matters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.