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Apartment Living 101: Subleasing

Nov 16, 2007
Subletting your apartment can be a great option if you need to move out of an apartment before your lease is up. By doing so, you can avoid having to pay the fees associated with breaking your lease and, depending on the arrangements you made with the person you sublet to, you can effectively hold your spot in that apartment if you plan to return later. Nonetheless, there are several things you should keep in mind when deciding to sublet your apartment.

Keeping it Legal

Before you start showing people your apartment, you first need to check with your lease to make sure you are allowed to sublet the apartment. Some leases strictly forbid subletting and, therefore, you would be in direct violation of your lease if you attempt to sublet your apartment. Violation of your contract can result in legal issues as well as fines, so, if you are unsure, discuss it with your landlord before following through with subletting. Furthermore, you can only sublet for as long as you legally have the apartment. Therefore, if you have a one year lease, you can only sublet the apartment for that one year.

Finding a Suitable Tenant

Subletting an apartment is a relatively simple process once you have approval from your landlord. All you really need to do is post ads in various places, such as newspaper classifieds, message boards, or other places. Be sure to specify in your ad when you will need the person to move in and move out as well as the amount of the rent and a way that you can be reached for more information. More than likely, it won't take long for you to start receiving phone calls from people that are interested in subletting your apartment.

Drawing Up Your Agreement

After you select a tenant to sublet your apartment to, keep in mind that this person will be entering into an agreement with you. You are still the one that is legally bound to the lease with the landlord and, as such, you are still responsible for the apartment. As such, your written agreement will be between you and the subtenant.

The lease that you create with the subtenant must include a provision that the subtenant will follow the same rules of the lease while he or she lives in your apartment. If the subtenant fails to follow the written agreement and your lease is violated in any way, you will be responsible to the landlord and the subtenant is responsible to you. In other words, if a violation occurs that results in a fee or a fine, you will need to pay the landlord and then you will need to pursue the subtenant in order to regain the money that you lost.

Remember that you are the one that is still responsible to the landlord. Therefore, the subtenant will send you the rent for the apartment and you will be responsible for sending rent to the landlord. If the subtenant fails to pay the rent to you, you are still responsible for making the payment.
About the Author
Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Austin TX Apartment Guide, his Austin Leasing Agent company's website, & his Austin Apartment Locator Guide.
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