My blog posts usually start with a short story (most of the time about some error in judgment from my youth). For this topic, I want to lay it out there as directly as possible. Subletting your apartment is a dangerous proposition. A majority of the time, you’re relying on someone you’ve never me to take care of your apartment. Under most sublet agreements, the original resident remains on the lease and is responsible for any damages or missed payments. Even with a thorough screening, there are no guarantees the person subletting your apartment will take care of it and make the agreed upon payments.
With that said, the vast majority of sublets do work out just fine. The hardest part of the whole sublet process is finding a quality person to sublet your apartment. I’ve been in the apartment industry for a relatively long time and the one thing I’ve learned about success rates for finding a sublet is that effort is the key. Those people who take our advice and actively search for sublets are so much more successful than those that mostly complain and expect us to do all the work for them.
Below are 10 tips for finding and securing someone to sublet your apartment.
- Check with your landlord first – Not every company manages subleasing the same way. Check with your landlord before starting your sublet search. Click here for a list of questions you should ask your landlord if you are thinking about subletting.
- Be nice to your landlord – I’m a landlord and a real person. Your landlord is a real person too and they have feelings. The old saying “you attract more flies with honey than vinegar” is generally true. It’s not always the case, but if you are nice to your landlord, they might be willing to put in a little extra effort to help you.
- Start early – As soon as you know that you will need to sublet your apartment, start your search. As a rule of thumb, we (as landlords) anticipate it will take about 60 days to rent a place once we know it is going to be available. With that in mind, if possible, start looking for someone about 60 days or more before you plan to move-out.
- Post Ads – If you live in Bloomington, click here for a great resource on where to post your sublet. If you are not in Bloomington, I recommend asking your landlord if they know where you can post sublets. Your landlord also might keep a list internally so make sure to ask about that as well. In addition, do a search online for “sublets your city name.” Facebook & Twitter may also be worth pursuing.
- Post Ads often – Posting ads is usually not a one and done initiative. Many of the sublet postings sites are organized based on date posted. The most recently posted ads will show up at the top. Posting often on these sites will keep your listing towards the top.
- Schedule showings of your home yourself. Most leasing companies do not want to spend their valuable time showing your apartment. They have vacant apartments to rent; they have little incentive to try and re-rent your already rented apartment. Coordinating and doing the tours yourself will give you a leg up.
- Offer to pay a portion of the rent each month – This is something you may want to mention in your ads as well. A lot of times the people looking to sublet an apartment are expecting a deal. If you can offer even a small deal, you’re likely to get a higher response rate than those that offer no deal at all.
- Offer to pay “sublet fees” – Most rental companies charge a fee for subleasing. They generally do this to recoup their processing and screening costs. The way I look at this is that you can either add barriers for your potential sublets or you can remove barriers. Paying the sublease fee is one less barrier, making it easier for them to commit.
- Find out their objections and deal with them – If you find someone who you suspect likes the apartment, but they do not seem ready to commit, try asking these questions. Is there anything I can answer for you that will help you make your decision? Do you have any concerns that might be stalling your decision? People do not always say what they feel or what they are thinking. Ask them so you can address those concerns or move on.
- Be honest – At some point, a sense of desperation may set in while looking for someone to sublet your place. You may be tempted to bend the truth about your apartment, the neighborhood, or your landlord. Don’t do it. In the long run, a strategy of deception will likely come back to bite you in the butt.
Hopefully, those tips will help you find a great sublet for your home. Please comment below if you have any other tips about finding someone to sublet your apartment.
This is Part 1 of a 3 part series on subleasing. In this post, we gave you suggestions on how to find someone to sublet your apartment. Part 2 will help you reduce the risks associated with subleasing your apartment. Part 3 is about finding a place for you to sublet.