8 tips to consider before subletting your apartment

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Are you planning to sub rent out your property? If you are moving out for a new career path, migrating from your university town, or you want to do some significant traveling, subletting your property may a good way to make some extra money. But, you may wonder how to sublet an apartment.

So, before you dive in, it’s essential to understand the risks you face and what you can do to minimize them. Start by understanding what sublet vs sublease is and remember these eight factors if you plan to sublease your house.

What does subletting mean?

  • Subletting, also known as subleasing, occurs when a renter leases out their apartment or room to someone else for a specified duration of their contract.
  • While the lease remains in the name of the original tenant, the new renter is often known as the sublessee. This person will be responsible for paying rent and maintaining the property.
  • The legality of subletting your apartment will be determined by state legislation and the lease you signed. Some states mandate property managers to allow anybody to sublease, while others leave the decision to property management.

Important things to consider when subletting an apartment

If you’re doing it for the first time, subletting might be a difficult thing. If done incorrectly, you may find yourself in a web of legal and financial issues. So, here are a few procedures to follow in subletting your home without any hassles.

  1. Get Permission From the Landlord/property manager.

Even though you are legally permitted to sublease your flat without notifying your property management, this does not imply that you should. Whether you’re renting your entire apartment or just one room, you must obtain permission from your landlord. 

Otherwise, you can be evicted! Before subletting, go over your lease with your landlord and get their written approval.

  1. Understand the local laws

Read your state laws to see if you are permitted to sublease your unit. For instance, in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Kentucky, you can sublease your flat without asking for permission from the landlord, unless your contract indicates otherwise.

Whereas, in Arkansas, if you sublet without permission, you might face up to six months in prison or a $500 fine. Knowing your state’s laws lessens the chances of you missing out on complying with them, and not just the rules your landlord/property manager has imposed.

  1. Do a mandatory background check.

Subletting your unit to the first individual who inquires is not wise. You must ensure that a prospective renter is dependable and financially secure. If your renter disappears after a month, you will need to pay the rent and the rent for the property you are now living in. 

You may also lose your security deposit if they cause damage to your flat. Conduct thorough interviews with everyone who applies and find out where they work and how much money they make. You must ensure that they make enough money to pay the rent on time each month.

  1. Make a written record of the rent amount.

Create a written record of the terms of your sublet agreement. Sublease rental costs might vary based on your circumstances and how fast you need to move out. For example, if rent is $1,200 per month, you can charge $1,000; and settle the $200 difference out of your pocket. 

  1. List out your belongings.

Have you decided if you want to leave all of your possessions in the apartment? Depending on the subletter, it may be simpler to leave your goods there. You can leave it for them to use with the idea that everything belongs to you and will have to be returned once you have come back. Write an exact listing of what you will leave in the care of the tenant. Another alternative is to sell your possessions while you’re not in the apartment. 

  1. Incentivize People to Choose Your Offer

If you’re having trouble finding a tenant, consider providing a slight rent reduction. Offering your house for $100 or $200 less per month can make it more appealing.

You can also provide the tenant with a home warranty. Several home warranty companies offer rental property plans that you might look into. Your apartment will be marketable, and your home systems and appliances  will be covered against unexpected repair costs.

  1. Make an agreement

When you pick a tenant to sublease your property, you must create a formal agreement to avoid potential legal issues. If you don’t know a lawyer, there are many subletting agreement templates available online that you can download. 

You should also decide whether you need a security deposit from your tenant. It is usually a good idea to do so if the tenant unexpectedly quits or damages the property in any manner. 

  1. Keep a record for ease of reference.

This is where you’ll write down when trash pickup is, where the vacuum is, and your Wi-Fi password. It’s also an excellent opportunity to put contact information for someone local for the renter to contact at times of need. You can also leave recommendations for nearby restaurants, markets, and activities.


Make sure your agreement covers the following items:

  • Name/s of the subtenant
  • The address of the leased property
  • The sublease’s accurate duration, start date, and termination date
  • Amount of rent 
  • Security deposit
  • Utility costs
  • Permission for overnight guests
  • Smoking and drinking rules
  • Parking space for the sublessee
  • Confirmation that the premises are in proper working condition
  • Signature of subtenant
  • Signing date

Bottom Line

Subletting your apartment may be a suitable option if you’re out of town for extended periods. But, in the end, you will be accountable for the condition of your home or apartment. So, now that you know how to sublet an apartment, you can focus on making sure you’ve covered all the bases before letting in a subtenant.