Relocation Tips: Subletting 101

Unlike most lease agreements, life doesn’t work in six or twelve month increments. Find out how to sublet your apartment.

Sometimes you have to move before your lease is up. Relocating for work is one of the most common reasons people have for moving before the end of their lease, but it can get a little tricky depending on your lease agreement. Worst case scenario you have to break your lease, but it’s a more affordable process if you find someone to sublease your apartment.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sublet your apartment, there are few great places to start looking. 

  • Craigslist: Craigslist lets you advertise your apartment for free. You can post pictures, add your contact information, and let people know the details of the sublet and lease terms. People searching the site for sublets can search specific qualifications needed for the apartment they seek, and can filter out apartments until they find the perfect one.
  • On, tenants and landlords can post sublets, and people can search for those that fit their desired qualifications. Millions of users check out when looking for apartments. On, not only can you sublease, but you can get furnished rentals and roommates if you want to live with someone else.
  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are a great option for finding a subletter. You can post a status requesting a subletter, or even make a listing on Facebook Marketplace. Not only can your friends view the post, but they can share it to their social network, too. This is a great way to increase the chances that you find a tenant you already know and trust. 
  • AirBnB: If you have trouble finding someone to sublease your apartment, you can consider posting your place on AirBnB. While you'll need to have written consent from your landlord to do so, it may be a great way to offset the cost of your remaining rent payments. 

Safe Subletting

When someone responds to your subletting ads, you will need to show them the apartment. When doing so, always have someone else in your apartment with you, so that you are not inviting strangers in while you are alone. Lock away any personal belongings of value and keep all sets of keys with you. You never know who you are letting into your apartment  when showing it, so always play it safe.

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Most landlords and property agents require that you approve the subletter with them first. This includes credit checks and references sometimes, otherwise you default on the lease. Check your lease before subletting.

If you are subletting your place privately, you should do a background check on the potential subletter. The background check takes only minutes and costs about thirty or forty dollars, you can include this in the rent price.

If they pass the background check you need to draw up a legally binding contract that requires the subletter to pay you directly. In this contract have a clause that deals with property damage. Contact your bank and set up a safe and reliable transfer system for the rent, and get a down payment from the subletter.

Before you sign a contract with anyone, have a reliable third party look over the agreement. If the subletter destroys the apartment, not only will you be evicted, but you will be held legally responsible for the damages unless you have clauses in the contract protecting you from potential legal issues.

Protect yourself financially

Require that the subletter pay a security deposit before moving in, and in writing, explain how they can receive their security deposit back or what could cause them to lose it and why.

Human Resources Today