How to Sublet an Apartment

With so many parties involved, it can be tricky learning how to sublet an apartment. Technically speaking, a sublease is a contract that allows another person to rent and live in your apartment while it’s still under your name.

Temporarily passing your place to someone else doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re a college student, new home buyer or business traveler, soliciting a sublease is a smart way to keep your contract—and make those monthly payments. Here’s how to sublet your apartment and what to consider:

Check with your landlord or property manager.

Laws surrounding apartment sublets vary, so start with state law, then consult your lease. If your lease doesn’t mention subletting, talk to your landlord or property manager before you take action.

Make your agreement official with a signed contract.

Construct a contract.

Once you get permission from your landlord to sublet your apartment, ask for an official subleasing contract. You can also find templates online. Regardless of what your contract looks like, it’s important to get the agreement in writing. You can always refer back to the contract if you encounter issues later.

Post it.

Include dozens of details about your apartment, including:

  • Costs: Deposit, rent, utilities, etc.
  • Neighborhood: Walkability, proximity to parks
  • Rules: Are pets allowed? When is rent due every month?
  • Square footage: How big is the apartment? What about the outdoor spaces and bedroom(s)?
  • Photos
  • Requirements: Will proof of income be required? What about a background check?

Once you have your listing dialed in, post your apartment online. Popular resources include Craigslist, Sublet, Uloop and Zillow. Start small with one website so you don’t get overwhelmed with too many responses.

Be selective with your subleaser.

Most importantly, be cautious. Only choose someone you’re sure you can trust. References and proof of employment letters are key during this stage. Remember, you’re ultimately responsible for the apartment. That means if your tenant skips a payment or punches a hole in the wall, you’re accountable.

Consider asking for a security deposit and/or the last month’s rent to incentivize respect of the property when you sublet your apartment.

Clean and prepare.

You’re moving out and a tenant is moving in. Prepare accordingly. Deep clean the fridge, cabinets, drawers, closets, and floors. Make sure all appliances work, including the washer, dryer, dishwasher, and oven. Finally, take pictures of your space before you move out. This will allow you to compare the condition of your belongings when you return.

Though you’ll leave items like your couch and TV behind, you’ll want to store certain things. For example, you may not want a stranger sleeping on your mattress. If that’s the case, find a place to store your mattress, along and with other private possessions in a storage unit.

Now you know how to sublet an apartment! We hope your transition is a smooth one.