By Samantha Cox
In your travels as a college undergrad, you’ve surely come across the term “subletting”. Generally in the typical “two bedroom sublet available for [season/year]!!!!!” post. But what does it all mean?
During these years you’ll probably have a few places you call home (no, the couches you’ve surfed and overstayed your welcome on do not qualify). With that in mind, you don’t spend a full year – the typical lease length – in one place. So what happens when it’s time to go home for the summer but your lease isn’t up? You certainly don’t want to be stuck paying rent for the dust bunnies collecting in your empty pad.
Behold, the glory of the sublease.
By subletting your space, you still maintain responsibility over the lease, while another person (a subtenant) lives there and pays expenses in your absence. Super convenient for college students, and an important feature to consider when searching for an off-campus apartment. But before you take the leap into the world of subletting, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Since the whole home-home vs. school-home thing is pretty common among college students, most off-campus housing will offer this option (usually requires a fee, so be sure to check that out). Be sure to talk with your landlord before making any agreements.
Give this some thought. A sublease isn’t something to take lightly. Just because your name is on the original lease, that doesn’t mean you can kick out your subtenant when you feel like coming back on the weekends to crash with your summer session pals. Be sure to discuss the dates you’ll move in and out to avoid complications.
Have a nice chat with the roomies to make sure they’re cool with another person moving in. Nothing is worse than leaving your roommates with the exchange student from Antarctica who insists on having the AC on subzero temperatures – all the time. (Hello, has he heard of an electric bill?) Probably should have looked into that one…
There are several things to consider before letting someone move into your space. Not only do they have to be cool with your roommates, but they need to be responsible and trustworthy. It’s a good idea to interview potential subtenants before making any decisions. Because although they’ve taken over the financial part, you’re still responsible for the apartment itself. That guy you partied with freshman year may fit in well with your buddies, but he may burn the place down before you get back.
Go out and get your sublet on.