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Blogs The Do's and Don'ts of Subletting

By: admin on 04/12/2019

Getting Ready to Sublet?

You landed an exciting summer internship or a temporary assignment in a different city or state, but your lease is still up with several months to go. And the idea of paying rent to the landlord when you’re not even using the space is bothering you a lot. Hold on to your worries for a minute! You heard it right, there is a perfect solution for your problem and that is subletting. Indeed, it is the best way available to save yourself some serious money from an otherwise unused space. But before you rush off to sublet your place, be aware that there are many hiccups and challenges connected with easy money, and it can be a rule for subletting as well. And if not implemented properly, it might bring serious problems, including legal ones too, for you.

Here are a few dos and don’ts of subletting to help you avoid any future trouble…

Do’s

1) Examine your lease

Before deciding on putting an ad in social media or online portals such as Craigslist or Unileasehousing, look into your lease carefully to know about your limitations regarding subleasing rules. It would be wise to discuss your subletting plan with your landlord and get his/her approval of the sublessee beforehand. Never forget that you have signed the lease agreement, which means only you will be responsible for any misadventure at your place in your absence. If your landlord finds out about a secret subtenant with no approval, he/she may send you a legal notice. And any legal action initiated on you will not only harm your credit, but will be on the public record as well.

2) Sign a formal lease with sublessee

Forget strangers, even if you are going to sublet your place to a known person or a friend, it’s better to get your agreement in writing to avoid any confusion when it comes to fixing responsibilities for the rent payment or any damages/loss to the apartment. Make sure that the lease clearly mentions about the amounts of security deposit and rent with due dates. If leaving any furniture or goods behind, add additional clauses in the agreement to make the sublessee responsible for any damages done in your absence.

3) Ask for a security deposit

While subletting your place, it is wise to ask for at least one month, preferably two months (first and last month), rent as a security deposit from the subtenant. It will reduce your cost in case of any damage or loss to the property, or if rent payments becomes an issue during the lease. If the sublessee pays the rent directly to you, make sure to transfer the same to your landlord in time.

4) Fix responsibility for utility bill payments

Unlike fixing issues related to the rent, it is easier to transfer responsibilities when it comes to paying utility bills. You can easily ask the concerned utility companies to change the ownership details and make your sublessee responsible for all future bill payments.

Don’ts

1) Sublet your space without a face-to-face meeting

Whenever you find a great deal on your apartment, don’t get over excited and decide on a sublessee in hurry. It’s always a good idea to first interact with the person face to face and then take a decision. You can invite him/her over for a coffee or a drink and take your final call only after the casual meeting.

2) Leave the place dirty and in disorder

No one likes to move into a filthy and disorderly place, especially when he/she is paying money for it. If you are expecting your sublessee to be a responsible and well-organized person, you should also be considerate to him or her. It’s a good idea to arrange or store your stuff properly before the person decides to move in. Remember, if you leave your place clean and tidy, there is a better chance that your subtenant would also respect your preferences.

3) Make frequent visits while subletting to someone

It's quite understandable that at times you might need to visit your apartment for some unavoidable reasons. However, remember to respect the privacy of the person staying there and don’t forget to inform him/her about your plan well in advance. Furthermore, you should avoid overnight stays because it might create discomfort for your sublessee.

4) Hide your roommate

If it is a shared room, remember to introduce your roommate to the sublessee, in order to avoid any future pitfalls. You don’t want your roommate or sublessee to end up in a surprised situation and hate living with one another. Associate each of them by first sharing about each other traits and qualities and then with their permission, sharing their contact information to help them get in touch.

Remember, if you are ever confused or lost in the subletting process, our experts are here to guide and assist you. At UniLease, we simplify your housing process.

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