Life happens and there are a number of factors out there that could require you to opt for subletting your apartment. Few life transitions or changes line up neatly with apartment lease terms. You could get a job in a new city or hit financial circumstances that make your current apartment unaffordable, leaving you unable to stay the course of your lease.
The likelihood is that most landlords understand this and know that subletting is necessary in a variety of situations. Keeping them in the loop on this process will save you a lot of hassles in the transition process and prevent you from unnecessarily burning any bridges.
Landlords aren’t jailers and many will be able to acknowledge the circumstances that require you to sublet your apartment. But many landlords create clauses on leases that say subletting is not allowed. Typically this means they don’t want anyone living in the apartment that isn’t on the lease. Trying to buck this rule and have someone live in your apartment with your name still on it could risk you a lot of trouble if you get caught, including fees or hairy legal issues.
If you have an attentive landlord, your chances of getting caught are pretty high, especially if mail is regularly coming to your apartment addressed to someone else. Your best bet is to talk to your landlord honestly about your need to sublet and arrange for the new tenant to be put on the lease. Chances are this will be easier than you think. Landlords are typically looking for someone reliable to live in their properties, so usually not much more than a credit check and income verification is all it takes for a new tenant to be approved by the landlord.
As the person on the lease, you’ll be held responsible for anything that goes wrong in the apartment, even if you’re not the one living there. If you are subletting, you’ll most likely ask for a security deposit from the person taking over the place, which can help you cover the security deposit you initially paid your landlord. In some cases, damages can go beyond the cost of the security deposit, leaving the person with the name on the lease responsible. Be sure the right person is blamed and charged for excessive damage by letting your landlord know who will actually be living there.
3. Maintaining a Positive Relationship
Develop an honest dialogue with your landlord about your need to sublet and do it the right way, in order to maintain a positive association with them. Many landlords own more than one property in a city or are friends with other landlords, and you won’t want to be excluded from getting a great apartment in the future because you burned a particular landlord and people heard about it. Keeping a relationship amiable with your former landlord will also benefit you as you’re moving out of the place. Transitions are you’ll forget something in the process, so they can help you connect with the current tenant in order to retrieve lost items or even mail that hasn’t properly forwarded to your new address.