Four Things to Remember About Subletting Your Apartment

keys-and-handsThings happen and sometimes you just can’t stay in your apartment as long as you originally thought you would. Subletting is a great way to keep your apartment while you’re living somewhere else or traveling for an extended period of time. In most cases, subletting goes right without any hiccups. But there are those occasional times where it can go wrong. So, before you sublet, remember these four very important things.

You Should Be Picky — Always

This isn’t a roommate and you’re not buying a new dish set; you’re picking someone who will be renting your apartment, living in your space, and possibly taking care of your stuff (if you sublet with your furnishings too). So be as meticulous as possible with the process. Do your own background checks and don’t be shy about getting as much personal information as possible. Make sure the person has steady employment and can afford the rent too.

Does Your Lease Allow Subletting?

Some leases strictly prohibit any subletting. So, read the lease and make sure it’s a legal move. Whetheryou’re having someone permanently take over the lease or temporarily stay in your apartment, you don’t want to break the terms of your lease or any city codes. Breaking your lease could result in you being kicked out and not getting your security deposit back — or worse, legal action from your property owner.

Get Everything in Writing

You should always have a written agreement between you and the person you are subletting to. Make sure to cover not just the fact they are subletting, but additional details like:

  1. How the security deposit will be handled.
  2. The amount of monthly rent, when it is due and how it will be paid.
  3. The information of the person you are subletting to.
  4. The agreement between you and the original landlord.
  5. Who is responsible for what maintenance costs?

Document How You Leave the Apartment

Before your renter can move in, you need to document the current condition of the apartment. That means writing down any pre-existing damages, taking photographs of each room to documents the condition they were given in, etc. That way if the person you sublet to leaves damages, you have proof you were not responsible for those damages.

Subletting is a great way to get out of a lease, travel or relocate. But, you have to do it right. While you might have friends and family that want to sublet your place, make sure they’re responsible and take steps to protect yourself — after all, it is your name on the lease, so keep your name and credit secure.

Apr 2014