When you make the decision to sublet your apartment, you have also made the decision to, yourself, become a landlord. It is important to consider the legal ramifications of your decision, and it is important to go about the sublet properly to ensure that you do not have any legal issues. Follow these guidelines in order to effectively, and legally sublet your apartment.
Check Your Lease Agreement
Before you make the decision to sublet your apartment, you must check your lease agreement. Your lease may have specific stipulations about subletting, or it may completely disallow subletting. If you are unsure, ask your landlord. If your lease agreement gives you the greenlight to sublet your apartment, you may still want to notify your landlord. If you sublet your apartment in breach of your rental agreement, you may face fines, legal fees and other legal issues. Do not continue to step 2 until you are completely sure you can sublet your apartment.
Create a Rental Agreement
You are now a landlord, and it is important for you to have a rental agreement that outlines the terms of the sublease with your tenants. The agreement should include a security deposit, monthly rent amount and due date, and other terms that correlate to your lease agreement. You are ultimately responsible for the apartment. When you sublet your apartment you must make sure that the new tenants adhere to the same stipulations as spelled out in your lease agreement. Remember, you are still the responsible party, so if the tenants breach the lease in some way, your landlord will come to you to correct the breach, and you will have to go to your tenants.
Place an Advertisement
Advertise your apartment in your local newspaper, on a college campus, or on the Internet. Make sure that you include the monthly rent and lease term in your advertisement. You don’t want to waste your time meeting people that cannot afford your rent, or are looking for a different lease term. Also, make sure you meet all respondents face-to-face. Sometimes the most accurate impressions of a person come from non-verbal cues which can only be seen face-to-face. It is important that you sublet your apartment to people that you feel you can trust.
Do a Credit Check
Complete a credit check on your would-be tenants. Make sure they don’t have any red flags that concern you. You may also consider completing a background check.
Sign the Rental Agreement
Once you have settled on your new tenants, go over the rental agreement you have drawn up with them. Fill in the blanks, and make sure that the rental agreement correctly covers the agreed upon rent, lease term and security deposit. At this time, you should also discuss your move-out date, and schedule their move-in date. Be sure to get all of their contact information, including emergency numbers, and that you give them your complete information as well.
The key is to keep the sublet legal, and make sure to create a solid rental agreement.