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A sublease is a lease by the lessee of an estate to a third person, conveying all or part of the estate for a shorter term than that for which the lessee holds originally. A sublease is a new contract between the lessee and the sublessee. The original lessee turns into a sublessor in this new contract. There is no privity of contract under the sublease between the owner of the property and the sublessee. The original lessee still has the responsibility to fulfill the lease obligations. The property owner could forbid a tenant to sublease the estate. However, some jurisdictions allow tenants to sublease in certain conditions despite the landlord’s prohibition. For example, in New York City, a tenant who lives in a building with four or more units may sublease regardless of any prohibition on the lease agreement. 

[Last updated in April of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]