Subleasing - Tips, Tricks and How-To

The time has finally come.  Spring is in the air and the hope of summer is finally growing in each of us.  Many of us leave town for the summer for internships, summer jobs or just to be at home.  Unless you have a lease that relieves you of your summer obligation, you will be leaving our apartments empty, but may still owe rent.  Subleasing is a great way to offset your apartment cost for the summer while you are away.  Contrary to popular belief, subleasing is not as daunting of a task as one might think.  (By the end of this post, my aim is for you to believe that!)  I’ll show you how to get started in the subleasing process, the best places to find a subtenant and things to consider to keep yourself safe during throughout the process.

Why Sublease – If you do not need your apartment during a portion of your lease, you may consider subleasing your apartment as a way to relieve you of the rent obligation during your time away.

Beginning the Sublease Process  Please note:  the specifics of this post are specific to the sublease process for our company.  To get started, contact your leasing company to determine how they handle subleasing and retrieve any document necessary for completion of the sublease.  You can find the necessary documents on our website under the Documents tab (you will need a Sublease Agreement and the new resident will need to complete a Rental Application).  Print these out first and keep them handy!  Also, if you have roommates, they will have to agree to any sublease agreement that you make, so be sure to include them in the conversation from the get go.

How to Find a Subtenant – The most ideal sublease situation would be to have a trusted friend fill your apartment while you are away.  So start looking in your group of friends or friends of friends.  Put the word out there and let people know you are interested in subleasing your apartment.  The next place to find a subtenant would be online.  Consider posting an advertisement to trusted sites like boilerapartments.com, Purdue’s Off Campus Housing Site or on exponenthousing.com.  Steer clear of looking for a subtenant on a site like craigslist.  Be sure that when you generate your ad, you give as much information as possible and encourage interested persons to contact you directly (if they call your leasing office, odds are they won’t be able to get much information unless you’ve made arrangements ahead of time).  If your leasing company allows it, consider making a flyer and posting it in their main office – ask them to steer people in your direction if someone was to call or email looking for sublease options that fit your time frame.

Complete a Sublease Agreement – Once you have secured a prospective subtenant, you will need to complete a sublease agreement.  We provide a bare bones agreement for our residents to work from, but we encourage you to add and amend the agreement based on your personal needs.  You’ll need to have a copy of your original sublease on hand to refer to.  Let’s walk through completing our agreement together…..  

Now let’s talk about things to consider adding to the contract if you feel necessary.  At the end of the sublease agreement, you will still be held responsible for any damages or unpaid balance that occur throughout the duration of your subtenant’s stay in the apartment.  As a result, you may want to add to the document the condition the apartment was in prior to the subtenant moving in and how it is expected to be left once they vacate and some terms for you inspecting the property before they leave (perhaps).  If the subtenant has a dog or cat that will be staying in the apartment (obviously, they have to be properly approved through the office, first), you may consider adding a clause that the subtenant will be 100% responsible for any damage caused by the animal.  Otherwise, the sublease agreement binds the subtenant to the exact terms and conditions of the agreement that you signed.  You will need to provide your subtenant a copy of that lease, so they know exactly what they’ve agreed to.  

Things to Consider During the Terms of the Sublease 

Is the rent being paid on time?  Call your landlord each month just to check in and be sure; no one wants late fees racking up on their account.

Are there any maintenance issues going on in the apartment that you should know about?  Again, call your landlord and check in periodically.  Be sure all maintenance related charges are being resolved promptly by the subtenant.  

Is the apartment being maintained in a clean and sanitary manner/Is the apartment being damaged by the subtenant?  If you have roommates that are still in the apartment while your subtenant is there, they will be able to tell you what is actually going on in the apartment.  If not, you might consider stopping in to ensure that the apartment is being cared for properly.  

Is the leasing agency properly caring for your subtenant?  Stay in touch with the subtenant to be sure that things are going smoothly for them as well.

Are the utilities being paid for in a timely manner?  Figure out a way to be sure your subtenant is staying current with the utility companies.  

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list, but is meant to get you thinking in the right direction.  If you come up with other questions that may require more help from your landlord, be certain to have a conversation with them when you drop off your paperwork.  

Finalizing the Sublease Agreement - Be sure that all paperwork is submitted and approved before you ever allow someone else to occupy the apartment.  Check with your leasing company to determine how to handle the transfer of keys and parking passes.  Wha-La…Finished.  Bask in the summer sun and enjoy your time away from the hustle and bustle of campus.  

If you do decide to sublease your apartment, remember, the sublease agreement does not absolve you from responsibility for the apartment.  However, subleasing is a great way to save some money if there is an extended period that you will not be in the apartment.  Subleasing doesn’t have to be a painful process; once you find someone, follow the instructions of your leasing company and protect yourself as you write or complete the sublease agreement.  Download and print our Sublease Agreement and get situated for summer!  Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner…can summer come sooner…please?!?!