5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Subletter

What do you do if you get a job offer in a different city six months into your one-year rent? Perhaps you are a college student who needs to study abroad for a semester; you will need to pay rent even though you are not physically inhabiting the property. You could break the renting lease if your landlord allows it, but surely it will cost you. The other viable route that most tenants choose is to sublet the property. Essentially, subletting a property is renting out your apartment to a third party while retaining your name on the lease contract, via Sandra Davidson Estate Agents

Subletting is the perfect solution for the tenants who need to move suddenly and those that need temporary accommodation. Now, subletting an apartment is not as easy as it may sound. The first order of business is to run it by the landlord. Also, you need to be comfortable with strangers using the items in your house. Finding the right person responsible for the items in your home and not defaulting on rent is often easier. So before picking anyone from any random website, look at these five tips that will help you find the perfect subletter for your apartment.

1. Get up to speed with the rules

First, you need to be aware of the rules on the lease and be sure that subletting is allowed on the leasing contract. Go over the contract carefully to make sure that you will not be going against what you had initially signed not to do. If the contract uses vague words or has no information about subletting the apartment, you should personally run it by the landlord for further direction. Remember, the responsibility of paying for any damage done on the property will fall squarely on your shoulder if you choose to sublet without involving the landlord. Also, subletting without permission is equivalent to breaking the lease, which is what you are trying to avoid in the first place, mentions RentPrep

If the contract forbids subletting the space, explaining your situation to the landlord is worth a try. The landlord might have tenants on the waiting list, taking the burden of finding one on your own off your shoulder. Also, since the landlord is human, they may understand and allow you to sublet with conditions attached. In such a scenario, you must get the new contract in writing to avoid losing some details in translation.

2. Start with the people you know

As mentioned earlier, subletting your personal space is more than finding someone who won't be late on rent — they also need to take care of your stuff temporarily. Essentially, because you need to establish some level of trust with the new tenant, who better to let in your house than someone you know? Pass the message around and let your friends help you find a suitable tenant. Go ahead and talk to HR at your workplace; it is possible that the company is hiring interns who might need a space to crash for a couple of months. 

Working with the HR team in your company will save you a lot of headaches since interns often receive accommodation stipends, per UrbanBound, and are likely not to default on rent. If you are in school, put up a message board to pass the message around quickly. While this might not be the most reliable way to get prospective tenants, every effort you put in is worth a try, especially if you need to move out soon.

3. Take your search online

If you still cannot get a tenant through your network, then perhaps it is time to take your search online. While Craigslist is a popular site for finding renters and roommates, you need to expand your search further than only one platform. Fortunately, there are plenty of other free websites you can try out, for instance, Circle for Roommates if you live within L.A or New York City. Also, do not underestimate the power of social media. This might be a great place to take your search if you have a good following on your personal social media accounts. 

Another important detail you need to include in your online advertisement is a lot of information. Tenants are attracted by what they see, so be sure to upload several good images of your apartment. Also, give as many details as possible about the lease agreement, and include information about the rent and utility costs during the subletting period. UCribs mentions that the subletting market is full of scammers; giving out enough details makes you look legitimate and, in turn, increases your chances of landing a good subletter.

4. Get multiple offers

While it can be frustrating trying to find a suitable tenant for your space, especially when you are short on time, you need to resist the need to go for the first response to your ad, especially if they seem not to be the right fit. Give yourself time to get a few offers, then narrow down on the best three. The Regents of the University of Michigan advise that you should have a set of questions and conduct an interview, all in a bid to get the right tenant for your apartment. 

After narrowing your search down to one individual, you must review the lease agreement. Give them enough time to think about the general rules of the apartment. You might be running out of time, but you must be overcautious, especially if you are dealing with a stranger off the internet. The last thing you want is to deal with a tenant who doesn't comply with the rules, let alone pay the rent on time.

5. Get creative

When it is crunch time, and you need a subletter as soon as possible, you need to get creative with your whole approach. Think about having an open house where prospective tenants can have a feel of the home. This direct approach is guaranteed to land you a serious tenant if it works. It is even better if multiple people attend the open house; in such a situation, you just go with the best candidate.

 Another great idea worth exploring is offering a generous discount on your rent to send more tenants your way. According to Trulia, knocking down up to 30% off your usual rent for a few months is ideal and might make more people interested in your apartment. You must only consider discounts for the rent and not the utility bills. Remember, the ultimate goal is not to get charged for breaking the lease or left to pay rent for an apartment that you are not living in.