What You Need to Know Before You Sublet Your Place

By Kailey Walters on November 13, 2017

If you rent the place where you live but have been thinking of living elsewhere for a short period of time before your lease agreement ends, subletting may be an option.

However, there are a few concerns you might want to address first. After all, before diving right in, you want to ensure you’re making a financially, practically sound decision, both for yourself and for potential subtenants.


There are a number of reasons you might sublet your place. Perhaps you’ve been offered a job in another location and need to move there right away. Maybe you’ve been renting an apartment near campus and plan to return home over winter break, but the lease agreement won’t be up yet. Whatever the case may be, you’ll definitely want to do your research to ensure you’re complying with the rules and that you’re not subletting to just anybody.

With that being said, one important question you should address is whether or not you actually have permission to sublet, and if so, what the process is that you have to go through. Doing so essentially involves asking your landlord if you have permission and then completing a sublease application.

According to Brick Underground, which addresses concerns on real estate in New York City, the Metropolitan Council on Housing is a helpful site that outlines the details on your right to sublet, as well as other important information regarding the subletting process, rules, and regulations (within New York City).

While the information on this site is specific to tenants in New York City, the basic principles hold the same for all subletters: familiarize yourself with the subletting process before you make a decision, so you are educated on whether or not you qualify and what is required of you.

If you live with roommates, you’ll also want to make sure they agree with your decision to sublet. In this situation, communication is key, as you don’t want to create any unnecessary tension. As a result, you’ll need to obtain your roommates’ written consent.

Brick Underground also suggests it’s important to ask whether the landlord will raise the price of the apartment while you are away. If the landlord does decide to up the price, you should take note and make it a priority to inform potential subtenants so that they know what to expect.

When it comes to actually searching for subtenants, a question that may first come to mind is: how do I find people who are responsible and trustworthy? RentLingo is a useful website that suggests finding someone you already trust to be your subtenant, or at least finding someone through an existing network of connections, such as through your friends, your roommates, or even your landlord. That way, even if you don’t personally know the potential subtenant, you will have an idea of what he or she is like through your own connections’ testimonies.

It’s also perfectly acceptable if you decide to go a different route and use social media to locate potential subtenants. However, you may want to conduct a background check just in case to make sure you cover all your bases — because at the end of the day, you will still be held responsible for any late payments or damages that occur while the subtenant is living there.

Whatever decision you make, it’s always important to ensure you’ve done your research so nothing will come to bite you in the butt later. As long as you know what’s expected of you in the terms and agreements of the subletting process, you’ll be all set. Happy subletting!

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