Summertime is in full swing and that usually means exciting internships, overseas traveling, going back home, and leaving your rental empty. Those who don’t want to pay for a room they’re not using or have to break their lease will sublet. And with so many college kids and young professionals moving around, it’s not all that hard to find someone to fill your spot for a few months. What can be hard is making the sublet experience a smooth one for both you and your sublessee. Check out these seven tips for a successful sublease experience:
- Check your lease agreement:
The first thing you need to do before subletting your place is to check your lease to make sure you can even do it in the first place. Some leases do not allow tenants to sublease and others do with landlord approval. If you sublet your apartment or house when it is strictly forbidden, you may risk eviction, fines, and other legal issues.
- Speak with your roommate:
After checking your lease agreement, you must talk it over with your roommate to see if they are willing to live with a stranger for a few months. If your roommate is OK with the idea, you should then have an open conversation about their sublessee preferences, such as same sex, non-smoker, no pets, etc. A happy roommate will make any subletting experience 100 times easier.
- Make sure it’s a good fit:
If you want to have a successful sublease experience, you need to make sure the sublessee is a good fit. It’s doubtful that your roommate will become best friends with your sublessee, but you do want them to get along and have a peaceful living environment. Get a feel for the sublessee’s personality by going out to eat or grabbing some drinks with them before agreeing to sublet. Make sure your roommate is part of the decision process and that he or she gets along with the sublessee. Ease your roommate’s hesitance by doing a background check and getting referrals to make sure the sublessee is a responsible and law-abiding person.
- Set ground rules:
In addition to the policies of your lease agreement, you should also establish a set of ground rules for the sublessee to follow. This can be anything from “take out the trash every day” or “don’t throw parties.” Just make sure you are clear about what you allow and don’t allow. Make sure these rules are put into print for their reference.
- Make payment arrangements:
If you don’t set up and agree on payment arrangements beforehand, you could be in for some major trouble and confusion. You need to decide how and when your sublessee will pay rent, whether it’s to you, your roommate, or your landlord. It might also be easier to have your sublessee pay their entire rent in one lump sum, so you don’t have to bother with monthly checks.
- Check up on him/her:
Hopefully, your sublessee passed the test and is a trustworthy, respectful tenant, but the fact remains — there’s still a stranger living in your home. The best way to ensure you’ve left your bedroom in good hands is to check up on him or her on a regular basis. You can do this by calling them directly, visiting your home when you’re in town, or having your roommate or friends give you a monthly report. This will remind the sublessee of your expectations and hopefully put your mind at ease.
- Be flexible:
Chances are you’re also subletting in another city or state, so it probably makes you mad when your sublessor is not flexible or understanding about certain circumstances. Try to be as flexible as possible on move-in and move-out dates. Help him or her get the most out of their money, but also try to accommodate their requests to move-in or out as you see fit. If you’re having trouble finding a good sublessee or one that’s willing to pay your original rent, you may need to be flexible and come down on the price.