You have the perfect apartment in the best location. The rent is just right and your world is perfect. That is until you get assigned to a three-month gig in Australia. Now what?
You could consider subletting your apartment. This means that you are still the person with the rental agreement with the landlord, but now you are renting the apartment to another renter.
Here are 7 hacks to keep in mind when considering subletting your apartment:
- Review your rental agreement to see if subletting is even allowed. If not, you’ll need to find another solution. If it is, then move forward. Be sure to have your subtenant sign an agreement that clearly defines expectations and responsibilities. That agreement will be solely between the two of you. Remember to address who is paying for utilities and other monthly expenses.
- You continue to be the person who answers to the landlord, even though you are no longer living in the apartment. Making sure that you are subletting to a responsible person is key to the success of this scenario. No matter when your subtenant pays you, your monthly rent deadline will remain unchanged, including other monthly bills, like cable and utilities.
- You will most likely be paid less rent than what your monthly rent payment is. Be prepared for this expense. It’s better than continuing to pay full rent, but it won’t cover everything.
- Ask your renter for a security deposit. This will help them remember that they are responsible to you if anything goes awry.
- If you don’t know the person, do a background check and credit check. If it is someone you know, still follow the protocol of having a signed agreement between you and them. Have the discussions now, and don’t assume they should know something that they don’t. You don’t want to be dealing with any issues from Australia!
- This is someone who will be living in your space for a short period of time, so a lot of your things will still be there. Be sure you are comfortable with that. Store anything of value, real or sentimental, in a safe place. Don’t forget to do the same for your kitchen items.
- Be clear about your return date and your expectations for the condition of the apartment.
Subletting can be a great solution for a temporary situation. Use common sense and best practices to be certain you have found the right person to sublet to, with the least amount of issues.
Written by Melanie Olsen