What are the rules on housesitters in rental units?

I’m having a friend housesit (and dog sit) for me when I’m on vacation. Do I need to get the landlord’s permission to do this?

It depends on what your lease or rental agreement says. Most require tenants to request landlord permission to sublet or bring in a subtenant. Even if you don’t collect rent from your housesitter (in fact, you might even be paying someone to stay in your apartment and dog sit for you), that person is still legally a subtenant, who may require landlord approval. Once you get the issue of landlord approval straightened out, be sure to leave your housesitter clear instructions on how to take care of your apartment (and your dog). Use the Nolo Housesitting Instructions and Pet Care Agreement to make sure the housesitter has all the information they need.

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