One way to keep your apartment if you’re planning on long term travel is to sublet. As long as your lease agreement allows it, you can rent the apartment out to someone else, who in turns pays you rent, keeps the apartment in the same condition that you left it and notifies you or the landlord of major repairs needed. Subletting offers many pros and cons that you need to aware of, before you make a decision.
Pros of Subletting during Long-Term Travel
You may be wondering if there are any advantages to subletting if you’re not going to be around if a problem arises. There are a few pros worth noting:
- You can return to your apartment which is beneficial if you love it, or if getting into a new apartment is difficult in your city or town
- A vacant apartment will attract thieves, so a subletter can provide apartment security simply by living there temporarily
- You can have someone else pay most or all of your rent, so that you’re not paying twice for shelter
- If you’re a long-time renter paying low rent, you may be able to charge a higher rent in a sublease agreement and earn extra money
Selecting the right subletter will determine which, if any, of these benefits you can enjoy. You should require a background check at the least, and an application at the most. You may not get as many renters to go through the process, but protecting your apartment and your things is worth it.
Cons of Subletting during Long-Term Travel
You’re not going to be around if there’s a major issue to deal with at the apartment if you’re away traveling for a long time. As a result, you need to consider these cons of subletting in this situation:
- The wrong subtenant can steal your apartment from you, because you’re gone for such a long time
- If your landlord complains, you won’t be around to do much, and letters and emails may not work
- You’ll end up paying rent yourself if your subtenant doesn’t, plus the expenses of wherever you’re living
- It’s possible to evict the subletter, but you’ll have to pay lawyer fees because you’re not there to do it yourself
- Meeting with contractors and others to get estimates to repair damages caused by the subletter is impossible without involving the landlord or property manager
- Your landlord could commence an eviction action against you and you won’t be there to defend yourself
- You may not find out until after the subletter is long gone that your appliances, furniture or other items are stolen
- It’s difficult to manage conflicts between the subletter and neighbors when you can’t talk to them in person
Carefully weigh whether subletting is worth the risk and the hassle. You might be better off ending the lease and finding a new apartment when you get back.
The cons of subletting during long-term travel far outweigh the pros, and therefore it should be your last resort.