If you’re a renter with a lease, and life’s path has made it so that you need to be away from home for a lengthy period of time, subletting may be an option.
When you sublet, you essentially act as a landlord yourself, allowing someone else (called a subtenant) to take over the responsibility of living in your apartment. Typically, subletting is covered in your lease. Your landlord may not allow it at all or he may want you to obtain written permission first should you decide to sublet.
It’s important to note here that your landlord has the final say in whether you can sublet your apartment or not. Below are several ways you can help ensure your landlord accepts your written appeal.
1. Find A Reliable Subtenant
The first thing to do is find a reliable person to sublet your apartment to. Ideally, this person is someone you already know and trust. However, if you need to sublet, but don’t have a close friend or relative in mind, you can still find a suitable subtenant by advertising the rental.
Be sure to include all the benefits of the apartment in your advertisement. If you have a hard time finding someone, consider lowering the rent or offering to pay the utilities. Even if you end up paying a portion of the monthly costs, it’ll be much cheaper than paying all the expenses or breaking the lease.
2. Screen Applicants
If you don’t already know the person who wishes to sublet your apartment, do a background check to ensure he’s responsible and doesn’t have a criminal history.
Be sure to ask for references and call them. The main people you should speak to are the employer and the current landlord.
3. Get Approval From Roommates
If you have roommates, it’s a good idea to make sure they are okay with a subtenant. If they are, have them sign a document stating their approval.
4. Put The Particulars In Writing
Draw up a lease agreement between you and your subtenant. Detail things like: the dates he will live in the apartment, how much the rent is and who he will pay it to (you or the landlord), who is responsible for utilities and make sure to give the subtenant a copy of the agreement so there’s no question as to his responsibilities.
5. Notify Your Landlord In Writing
Mail or email your landlord with a written request to sublet your apartment. Let him know you’re serious about the proposition by including: the reason you want to sublet, the dates of the sublease, the subtenant’s name and address, your contact information so the landlord can contact you during the sublease period and the sublease agreement and any roommate approval documents.
6. Wait For Approval
Most landlords will reply to your written consent within an acceptable amount of time. It’s in your best interest, however, to ask for permission as much ahead of time as you can so the landlord has time to consider your proposal. If he hasn’t responded in a week or more, you can politely follow up.
Should your landlord ignore or refuse your request, you may need to hire an attorney.
Subletting your apartment is a great way to avoid paying rent for a place you aren’t living in or to keep you from having to break your lease. If you do it right, it can work out well for everyone.