The Documents Associated With Subletting
Housing in college is always changing and can be just as stressful as scheduling your classes for next quarter when you find yourself in between leases or leaving your living space for extended periods of time.
Subleases can take the financial burden off of you if you are not using your place due to going on vacation between quarters or semesters, or if you have overlapping leases and do not want to pay both leases in full. By subleasing a space, you aren’t responsible for paying the lease in full, but you are still responsible for getting a subtenant and making sure they follow through with their promises to pay rent and not damage your space.
The easiest way to hold each party involved in the subleasing process accountable is to have everyone sign a written contract to agree on the terms of the sublease.
Create a more informal agreement among roommates
Depending on when you are planning to sublease, you and your roommates may be subleasing the entire apartment or house, or just your room. You should be prepared to let your roommates in on the subleasing process as anyone you let into your apartment for a sublease affects your roommates as well.
Agreements between roommates can be talked over, but it is always in your best interest to put any agreements down in writing so that everyone in the agreement is held accountable to upholding the agreement’s terms. Agreements among roommates should include how subtenants are chosen, i.e., if each roommate has the power to pick the subtenants that will replace them in the living space or if everyone has to agree on a subtenant prior to signing a sublet agreement.
You may also want to create the sublet agreement together, or at least let them know what the sublet agreement’s terms are so that they know how the subtenant is expected to behave or how long they will be subleasing.
Papers describing rental history and/or other types of references
Prior to signing any subtenant to a sublet agreement, you want to make sure that they are going to be responsible as a subtenant occupying your living space. Just like how employers seek references to see if their potential employees are going to be great hires, you should seek out information regarding your subtenants to see if you are leaving your living space in good, reliable hands.
If the given rental history includes your subtenant’s past housing and landlords, you will be able to directly converse with their past landlords to inquire about any possible problems that may have come up in their past leases in order to avoid future problems during your sublease experience with them.
If you cannot find any form of rental history, look to other forms that you would be able to pull information from, including any personal/work references that they can provide. You don’t want to look like you are unnecessarily snooping into your subtenant’s personal life, but you do not want to leave your apartment into hands that you do not have the slightest amount of trust in.
Create a sublet agreement
Just as you would sign a lease when first getting your apartment, you want to make and sign a sublet agreement between you and your subtenant. By signing an agreement with your subtenant, you are making your subtenant legally responsible for paying rent on time and keeping your apartment in good condition.
This sublet agreement should be signed by all parties of the sublease: you, your landlord, and your subtenant. The sublet agreement can usually be provided by your landlord. If your landlord does not have one to offer, you can always make your own by using online templates or looking to others provided online as examples for sublet agreements.
Make a copy of the agreement for each member on the agreement so each person is able to refer back to it when needed and will not be in the position to claim that they were unaware of any terms in case of a conflict later on in the sublease term.
The sublet agreement should outline everything you expect from your subtenant during the sublease, including the sublease term, the amount of rent payment, the type of behavior you expect from the subtenant, etc. Prior to move-in or actually signing an agreement, it is a good idea to get a security deposit so that if the terms of the sublease are broken, you will be compensated financially.
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