In Boston the subletting season is upon us. This is when the college students in the area flock to their hometowns or to new cities for internships and summer jobs, or to new countries on study abroad trips and sublet their apartments for the summer months. A sublet contract is an agreement between a tenant and a subtenant, with the landlord’s approval.
Subletting can be a great alternative to paying rent for a space you do not need if you are a college student looking to head home for the summer or just someone making a change in their living situation. Subletting does have its risks, but if you do your research and find a good match, subletting can easily be a success. Follow these steps to successfully sublet your apartment this summer.
1. First and foremost, check your lease to see if subletting is allowed. If subletting is forbidden under the terms of your lease, talk to your landlord and explain your specific situation. If your landlord is hesitant, try to negotiate by offering to find a new renter. If your landlord agrees, be sure to get their permission in writing before moving forward.
2. Start the hunt for a new renter by asking friends and family if they know anyone. Then try websites like Craigslist or housing boards on your college’s website if you are a student. (I once found a great apartment and roommates using Craigslist.) Make sure your ad has enough details about the apartment to pique the interest of potential renters.
3. Once you start receiving applicants, you must screen all potential candidates. If you have roommates, involve them in the process as well since they will be the ones living with the new renter. Interview the candidates and even consider asking for references. It’s important to remember that even if you move out for a period of time, that legally you are still liable to the landlord for rent as well as any other terms of the lease, so the person you choose must be trustworthy and have the ability to pay. Ask them about their employment status, why they are seeking short-term housing, and about their lifestyle and daily routines.
4. Sign a written agreement. Once you’ve found the perfect candidate, make sure you have a copy of the agreement in writing. The Internet Legal Research Group has a professional sublet form for every state. Find one here.
There can also be some great benefits to those looking to move into a sublet apartment. Subletting is a great option for those with poor credit and those looking for a short-term lease. It’s also a great way to avoid move-in costs and potentially save money on rent.