5 Tips for Subletting an Apartment

Bubba May
Written by Bubba May
Updated March 16, 2016
downtown apartment living for sublease
Whether you rent an apartment downtown or in the suburbs, check with your landlord before subletting and create a written sublease agreement.
Eldon Lindsay

Before subletting an apartment, sign a sublease agreement and safeguard against liability for damages.

Subletting your apartment can be scary if you’ve never done it before. The act of subletting occurs when the tenant of an apartment leases out his or her rented space to another party while the original lease is still under the original name.

As you can imagine, this opens the door to a lot of uncertainty and blind trust. To ease your doubts about subletting, we’ve provided a few tips to make the transition easier and more comfortable for you.

1. Get permission before subletting an apartment

Ask your apartment community before you start advertising your space. Getting the people in charge involved from the beginning will help you ensure the subletting process is professional and legitimate.

2. Put the sublease agreement in writing

This is the most important advice anyone can give in subletting cases. Every discrepancy, expectation and agreement should be documented and signed by both you and the potential tenant. This protects you if — heaven forbid — something were to happen during the sublease.

3. Take pictures before the sublease begins

This is for your own protection. Take pictures and document the current damages and characteristics of your apartment before the new tenant moves in. This provides proof of the apartment’s state prior to his or her inhabitance.

4. Do your homework

If you can help it, try to get someone you already know, such as a family member or friend, to sublet your apartment. If this search comes up empty, keep the pool of potential subletters small. Look for Facebook pages of people searching for temporary lodging, rather than a category on Craigslist.

5. Act like a landlord

Once you find someone to sublet your apartment, take all of the measures a landlord would take, because you essentially are the landlord. Ask for a deposit and run background and credit checks. Again, keep everything documented to keep track of all encounters and procedures you’ve had with your tenant.

Subletting your apartment doesn’t have to be scary. Doing your research and taking measures to protect yourself can turn a situation of worry into a pleasant convenience.

Do you have experience with subletting an apartment or creating a sublease agreement? Share your experience in the comments section below!

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