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Lease Clauses

Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

Renting your property, investment property, or apartments is a great way to make money, but you will have to work for it. If you go through the trouble to screen and choose a quality, credit worthy tenant, then the last thing you want is them transferring the lease to someone else for the duration, or for them to find some way to transfer the lease to a less qualified tenant. Lease clauses are the only way to prevent this, and there are a number that you can use to limit or control reassignment.


Prohibiting Transfers

You can attempt to prohibit transfers completely in your lease, but it must be clearly outlined. Statements like “no transfer, rental, or subletting of the property” are important. These clauses must be broad enough to prohibit any case in which the tenant lets someone stay there without them staying there as well, or any case in which they earn money from someone else staying. You can create a list of transfers which require landlord consent, and those which do not, and include them in the list. For example, transferring the tenancy to a spouse, vs. to a friend. Or sub-renting a room to a stranger vs a great aunt.

Profit Sharing

Some landlords are okay with property reassignment so long as they take a share of the profits. You can write into the contract that the tenant is legally obliged to give you 100% of the funds of any renting they do. If you want to allow the tenant to rent out rooms, then a 50/50 deal is usually a better idea.


If reassignment or sub renting is something that you are okay with, then it is important that you review the new financial contract and the new tenant before releasing the current tenant from financial liability. If the new tenant does not have equal or better financial status, then you may be better off declining the transfer of liability. Writing that you reserve the right to approve or decline reassignment on a case by case basis allows you to protect yourself.

Permitted Uses

You can use a permitted use clause to severely restrict what tenants can and cannot do with your property. One example is that if you specifically state that the property cannot be leased without the use of your trade name, the tenant will have to come to you for legal permission to create the lease and pay for the name usage in order to sublet or re-assign the property. You can also restrict assignations to family members, or state that the property is not for subletting at all.

Your lease contract allows you to control who is in your property, what happens to it, how the lease is handled, and much more. If you don’t have a professional lease drawn up before renting, your tenant will be at a legal advantage. Need help with renting your investment property? Contact SJA Property Management for more information or to request a quote for your property.

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