How to Find a Last-Minute Subletter to Take Over Your Apartment Lease
Sometimes, tenants have really good reasons to want to break their lease.
Maybe it’s a great new job out of town, or an unforeseen expense that’s going to make it hard to pay the rent. If you’re lucky, it’s an opportunity to live in a bigger, better place for the same amount of money.
But breaking a lease can cost you lots of money, so most tenants choose to sublet instead.
Finding the perfect person to sublet your apartment can take weeks.
But if you have to move out immediately, there are some steps you can take to find someone a bit faster.
Keep reading for the 5 best things you can do to find a last-minute subletter to take over your apartment lease.
1. Talk to Your Landlord or Leasing Office
You should never sublet unless your lease says you are allowed to (or doesn’t specify that you can’t).
If you’re allowed to sublet your apartment, the best place to start your search is with your landlord or leasing office.
Your landlord may know a renter or two who would love to take over your lease.
They might even have potential renters on a waiting list, just waiting for you or someone else in the building to move out. Plus, the fact that they’re already landlord-approved might suggest that they’d be good subletters.
2. Post Your Sublet on Social Media
When you need to find someone to take over your lease quickly, one of the best ways is to spread the news to your coworkers, relatives, and friends.
Post it on Facebook, Twitter, and all of your social media channels to let your friends — and friends of friends — know about the opportunity.
Someone you know may need a temporary living situation or may love your neighborhood and want to give subleasing a try. Remember, it’s always best if you can sublet to someone you know or someone that knows someone you trust!
If your connections aren’t able to help with any leads, cast your net a little wider.
3. Post Your Sublet Online
Don’t underestimate the power of websites such as Craigslist, Sublet.com, and Flip. These are great sources for renters of all types, and they make it easy to get your ad in front of thousands of people in a matter of seconds.
Regardless of where you find your tenant, you’ll need to proceed with caution before handing over the keys.
Once you find someone who’s interested in your sublet, you’ll need to make sure they’re qualified. You’ll also need to protect yourself by having them sign some legal documents.
Without a proper sublease or contract, your subletter could destroy your entire apartment and leave you on the hook for the bill.
Related: Your 5-Step Apartment Cleaning Checklist
4. Offer a Discount for Your Subletter
If you’re in a real jam and need to find a subletter immediately, you may want to offer a discount or be willing to give them a break on part of the rent.
Ideally, you’ll be able to find someone to pay your entire monthly lease.
But having someone pay 70% or 80% of the rent is much better than having to pay for all of it yourself.
When you’re down to the wire and need to get a subletter in your unit immediately, drop the price, offer a free month’s rent, or provide a small discount.
You could also offer to pay for some of the utilities. If you decide to do this, limit it to utility bills that don’t change each month, such as your cable bill or Wi-Fi access.
You can also sweeten the deal by letting the tenant know that some utilities are already covered under the terms of your original lease. If your rent includes the cost of electricity, heat, and water, make it known! Add this into your listing or ad so tenants know exactly what they’re getting for their money.
5. Have an Open House
Distribute flyers around a local college campus and hang notices in coffee shops to invite interested neighbors to an open house!
In a matter of a few hours, you just might find multiple subletters that want to take over your lease right away.
What to Do When You Find Your Tenant
Before you give your subletter the keys to your place, there are a few things you’ll need to do.
- Have them fill out a rental application and provide references so you can check their rental history. Your landlord will likely want to see this as well.
- Take pictures of what your apartment looks like before the start of the sublease. That way, any damage your subletter does will be their responsibility to pay for or repair.
- Collect a security deposit.
- Inform your tenant of when the rent and utilities need to be paid each month.
- Don’t forget to explain any additional rules or regulations that your landlord expects you to abide by.
When you sublet, you essentially become the landlord. So take the necessary precautions and make sure you protect yourself and the property every step of the way!
To find a last-minute subletter, start by asking friends and people you know. Spread the word on social media, post ads online, and host an open house if need be.
And if it’s possible, try not to wait until the last minute. Subletting involves making sizable payments and signing legal contracts.
The sooner you can start looking for a tenant to replace you, the smoother the process will go!