Home insurance when you transfer your lease, sublet your accommodation or rent out your home

Feel like taking a few months sabbatical in Asia or a six-month final year internship in Paris or maybe even starting a new career in northern Quebec? Whatever the reason and whether you’re a tenant or homeowner, transferring your lease, subletting your accommodation or renting out your home are three ways to benefit financially from your time away. Here’s why you need to think about these options and how to go about each of them.
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Transferring your lease

Just like it says, transferring a lease means that the tenant gives up all the rights and responsibilities spelled out in their lease. This step is therefore totally appropriate when you move and have no intention of returning to your former accommodation. It’s your responsibility as the tenant to notify your landlord that you plan to transfer your lease. However, you still have to find another tenant to replace you.

You need to notify your insurance representative as soon as possible about any change to your housing situation. You’ll then be well protected in your new home and, with your file up to date, you’ll no longer be unnecessarily paying insurance for things like civil liability or water damage in your former accommodation. Home insurance is not transferable from one tenant to another, so it’s the new tenant’s responsibility to contact their own insurance company.

Long-term sublets

This is an attractive option for lengthy stays away from rented accommodation. It lets you sublet your accommodation to someone else in order to receive income from it while you’re away.  You keep all your rights but also your obligations – as if you were still living there. This means that you become a sublessor, i.e., an intermediary between the new tenant and your landlord. Your landlord can refuse a subletting arrangement but must provide well-justified reasons for doing so.

Writing up a clear and complete contract is essential when you’re subletting a property: since you’ll probably be far away, it’s better to protect yourself against any eventuality.

Don’t forget to notify your insurance representative of the new situation, since the insurance risk level differs depending on whether you occupy accommodation or sublet it.

Short-term sublets

Short-term stays via booking platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway and TripAdvisor are booming. However, this growing trend is receiving some serious pushback due to unpleasant experiences with overly loud and boisterous users.

Tenants (i.e., not the property owners) must notify their landlords if they want to use these platforms to sublet their accommodation. They then need to contact their insurance representative because this kind of sublet impacts the level of insured risk.

Subtenant and short-term renter liability

Subtenants are not exempt from liability. They must check whether they can transfer their home insurance policy to the sublet accommodation or have a clause or endorsement added to the tenant’s policy.

If a rental is only for a few days – in the case of a cottage, for example – the renter must check with the property owner what the insurance coverage is.

For longer rentals (for example, you like the cottage and want it for the whole winter), your homeowner’s insurance policy may offer you some coverage away from home. Contact your representative to learn more about liability for premises that don’t belong to you.

Good to know

Subletting is an attractive option in many situations and for many reasons. The most important thing is to be adequately protected, no matter where you live and for how long.

This website provides general information only. Your insurance policy contract takes precedence at all times.

Questions about sublets? Want a tenant insurance quote? Learn more about home insurance and get a quote.

Learn more

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