Is Subletting Your Apartment the Right Move?

standard August 29, 2017 Leave a response

Have you ever wanted to grab your suitcase, throw in some clothes and book an airline ticket at a moment’s notice to go travel the world? Yeah, same. But more often than not, we have responsibilities to consider—you know, like paying our rent and managing our finances. Traveling takes money and usually the bulk of our income goes towards rent, which doesn’t exactly leave behind a lot for hotels, restaurants, costly activities and souvenirs.

Sure, you can certainly travel on the cheap, but if you have to cut corners while traveling, you will probably have an even harder time paying rent while gone. Which is why a lot of renters have taken to subletting their apartments while they’re off exploring the world. Finding someone to rent your home while you’re away can be a good solution to financial woes, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Get the Property Owner’s Permission

If you do not own the home you are living in, you need permission from the owner before you can sublet the apartment, condo or house legally. In some cases, the owner may not be amenable to the idea, but others might be, as long as you abide by a set of terms that they draft. Some landlords may have a provision in your lease agreement that already addresses this issue; some may allow subleasers, but still require credit checks.

If they approve, fantastic! But you need to know that subletting your apartment means that you are responsible for whatever happens while you are away, not the person subleasing it from you. You are essentially responsible for whatever costs may arise, just as if you were living there yourself. Meaning, if the person stains your white carpet with red wine and it is impossible to remove, the cost of replacing that carpet is on you.  

Can I Sublet Without Telling My Landlord?

Sure, you can always not tell your landlord and hope things work out for the best, but that isn’t advisable. You may not want to go the sneaky route when it comes to subletting your space, because if something happens while you are gone, like noise complaints or a leaky pipe, there is a pretty good chance your landlord will find out. And trust us, your landlord will not be pleased upon finding out that you rented out their property without asking. It could get you kicked out or result in legal penalties—our best advice? Don’t do it.

Once you have all of the logistics figured out, you need to actually find someone to sublease your home. There are various ways in which you can do this, including posting an advertisement on websites like Craigslist and Roomster, but it is always best to spread the word among your friends and family first. When it comes to someone living in your home while you are away, responsible for paying rent, it will be a lot easier to deal with if you actually know the person. However, it is always a good idea to do a credit check, ask for referrals and require proof of employment – especially if they will be subleasing from you for a long period of time. The property owner may require you to pay for a service that offers professional background and credit check for landlords, so be prepared for additional cost.

You can also ask for a security deposit and/or first and last month’s rent before they move in, which will help you out if they fail to make a rent payment. You should also get everything in writing prior to leaving, just like you would if you were a real landlord. Have the person sign a sublease agreement, so everything is legally binding.

No matter how much you prepare, you are taking a risk when subletting your home. However, if you’d like to keep your current rental while traveling and have explicit permission from your landlord, it’s worth a shot!


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