How to Choose the Best Sublet for You

By Lorena Roberts on October 28, 2017

Subleasing an apartment can be a total pain. There are a lot of logistics to get worked out before you sign on the dotted line. If you’re trying to pick a sublease for the upcoming semester, there are some things you should be aware of. You probably haven’t thought about every little detail.

Here are some tips to help you decide how to pick the best sublet for you.

1. Furnished or unfurnished

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay for a short period of time, you may not want to lug all of your crap to the place you’ll be staying. If you don’t want to get a storage facility, you’ll have to be sure your stuff will fit into the place you’ll be renting. If you’re planning on storing your stuff (or you don’t own anything) then you’ll most definitely need a sublease that’s furnished.

2. Roommates

Sometimes subleasing means moving in with people you’ve never met before. These are tricky waters. You’ll want to make sure you a) meet them beforehand, b) set boundaries, and c) follow through with those boundaries — just as if you were actually moving in with your own roommates.

3. Location, location, location

Subleasing might mean living in a less than ideal location. When you’re looking for a place, even if it’s for a short period of time, you’re going to want it to be at least somewhat convenient. If you think you’ve found the perfect sublease, but it’s 40 minutes away from your job, is it really perfect?

4. Review crime stats will easily become your best friend when you’re looking for a place to live. After all, you want to be in a safe place, don’t you?

Sometimes noise complaints aren’t that big of a deal. But if there are 15 assault and battery incidents near where you could be living, you may want to rethink the location of this place. Look for a safe neighborhood, where other renters are present. This is generally a good way of going about it.

5. Timeline

When can you move in and when do you have to move out? These are specific details you should be sure of before you start moving boxes. If you don’t know what these dates are, I wouldn’t suggest moving in.

6. What are the general rules of the property?

What’s the policy for having guests overnight? Are neighbors particularly annoyed by get-togethers or late night gatherings? Are pets allowed? Will you have to pay a pet fee?

If it’s a gated community, you’ll want to be sure you have a remote or know the code for getting in. If you’re going to be living there, you don’t want to have to wait for someone to come by and let you in every single time you come home.

7. Parking, utilities, and other conveniences

Things like parking and laundry are pretty important to know about before you move in. You’ll want the low-down on all the conveniences before you actually sign. When I was in search of an apartment, there was no way I was going to be carrying my laundry to the main clubhouse and back when I needed to do a load.

If you have to pay for parking, that could factor into the overall cost of living there.

If utilities aren’t included, that’s just adding to your monthly bill.

8. Maintenance

These people can either make your life a living heck or really help you out. If the place you’re getting ready to sublease from has a reputation for not fixing problems, you may want to think about whether or not you want to live there. It can be incredibly annoying to live in a place where things are always broken.

9. Why are you subletting?

You’ll want to know the circumstances under which the person is subleasing out their apartment. Maybe it’s a family emergency and totally legit, or maybe it’s that the neighbors suck and they want out of there! Either way, you’ll feel more settled if you know the reasoning behind all this.

10. Contact information

When you sublease from someone, you want to be sure you stay on good terms with them. Make sure you collect all contact information needed just in case you run into some kind of horrible problem. It’s best to stay in contact with the person you’re subleasing from. They may want to text you every few months just to check on things. You will probably feel a lot better about the whole situation if you’re at least kind of friends. You’re living in their place, for goodness sakes. They’ll want you to take care of it just as much as you’ll want to avoid any extra fees. 

Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville last December with a BA in Honors Psychology. After some serious soul-searching, she's decided to pursue a Master's in teaching in order to teach middle school math! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her Whippet mix, Gio, at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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