How to sublet your room or apartment

How to sublet your room or apartment — tips to share with your college student who lives off campus

If your college student lives off campus, they may need to sublet their room or apartment at some point (for a semester abroad, over the summer, etc.). Share these helpful tips!

What is subletting?

A sublet or sublease refers to a legally binding contract between you and your subletter, allowing them to live in your space and take over your rent for a specific amount of time. Subleasing happens most commonly when an individual will be away from home for an extended amount of time (over the summer, during a semester abroad) and doesn’t want to waste money paying for an apartment they aren’t living in.

Where do I begin?

Check with your landlord or apartment manager

Review your lease to see if you are able to sublease. Many apartment complexes don’t allow it. If you are unable to locate this information, consult with your landlord.

Complete a sublease application

It’s important to document the agreement you have with the person subleasing your apartment. Make sure to fill out sublease forms. Most of the time you will need to also fill out a sublease addendum which will be added onto your current lease to document the process.

Negotiate a price

If utilities are separate from your rent, you will need to negotiate these costs with your subletter. When it comes to rent, you should expect to ask for 70–80% of your normal rent but you may be able to get closer to 100% if you live in a tight housing market, or if you are providing a furnished or very attractive apartment/room.

Take pictures and move out

If you are leaving your room/apartment partially furnished, remove all of your personal items and store them somewhere else. Do not leave any valuables behind. Take photos so that you won’t be held responsible for any damages caused by the subletter. Do a deep clean before you leave to set the standard for how the place should look when you return.

How do I find a good subletter?

The person living in your space while you’re away needs to be trustworthy and responsible. If you are not able to find anyone through your connections, ask a potential subletter for personal references and a rental history.

Other tips

  • Leave the contact information for the leasing manager/landlord, your contact information, and directions on how to submit a maintenance request.
  • Request that your subletter schedule a professional cleaning service to stop by after they move out.

Adapted from an article by Kathleen Davis which you can read here.

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