I am a co-tenant on a lease in LA. I want to sublet my room. My lease says a subletter can move in upon landlord approval, but it does not say anything about co-tenant approval. I’d like to sublet to someone my co-tenant approves of, but I want to know if my co-tenant can obstruct me from subletting completely.
I want to know if my co tenant can obstruct me from subletting completely.
It depends on whether also your co-tenant's lease provides that "a subletter can move in upon landlord approval". If it does, then co-tenant's possible objection would be devoid of merit. That is because the lease implicitly informed the co-tenant that a similar clause would be available to other tenants, thereby implying that subletting is contingent only on landlord's approval.
It is possible that co-tenant's lease contains that clause and other language supporting the allegation that no other tenant would have the right to sublet. In that case, the legal merit of co-tenant's objection requires pondering other factors. That being said, it is doubtful that the co-tenant's lease entails any intricacies in this regard.
The matter is more complicated if the co-tenant's lease does not contain language alerting --even if only implicitly-- of other tenants' permission to sublet. Assessing the merit of co-tenant's objection requires analyzing the communications between the landlord and the co-tenant that occurred prior to signing the lease. Those communications could shed light on co-tenant's assumptions that prompted him/her to enter the lease, one of those assumptions possibly having to do with the maximum number of tenants..