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The Basics of Subletting

What Subletting Is

Subletting is when you enter a lease with someone else, known as a subtenant, for an apartment or other property which you already rent. Subletting is usually used when you're renting a property and need to leave the property before the lease is up and don't want to spend the money to continue renting the property which you don't inhabit. Subletting lets you essentially act as a sort of mini-landlord for the property you were renting to keep yourself from paying for something you're not using.


You need a landlord's permission to sublet an apartment that you're renting. Some rental agreements won't let you sublet the property at all. Be sure to check your rental agreement or lease and talk to your landlord before considering subletting the space. Landlords also may have different parameters based on their preferences which determine to whom you can sublet and what they can do while staying in the property. The specifics are going to be dependent on your individual situation so make sure to check the lease and with the landlord to find out what exactly you need to know.

Finding a Subtenant

If you're looking for a subtenant, you should consider a couple of factors. The first is whether you know the person or know someone who knows them. The best place to start looking for a subtenant is in your immediate network and networks connected to yours. These are people that you may know, or people you trust may know, and can vouch for. You can do research more easily on their rental habits, employment situations, credit histories and the like. You can, in effect, ensure that they are who they say they are and that they're less likely to cause you problems as subtenants. Also, having a personal relationship can help in facilitating communication with them. Email lists of the graduate networks of your college, high school, etc. looking for folks who may fit the bill. Ask people at work about anyone they may know who might make a good subtenant and use social media to announce that you're looking for one. When your networks and associated networks fail to provide suitable candidates, check out websites like craigslist to see if there are possible subtenants that you might get in contact with.

Costs and Benefits

The costs of having a subtenant primarily have to deal with responsibility. You're responsible, to a degree, for your subtenants because they are, in effect, leasing from you. That means that when they fail to meet expectations or don't measure up in any way, it reflects upon you and you're more likely to have to deal with the consequences and your landlord.

The benefits of having a subtenant are centered around finance. Its just not cost effective or convenient, when you're dealing with variable schedules based on employment access or educational opportunities, to have to pay rent on a property you do not inhabit. Subletting helps you save money, time and hassle.

Use this information to help you sublet and make the best financial decision in your rental agreement for you and your family. As always do your own research before deciding to sublet a property and best of luck deciding and finding subtenants!

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