What To Do With Your College Apartment This Summer

By Ashley Paskill on July 11, 2021

This article is brought to you by GradGuard. We protect college students and their families from the financial risks of college life, like providing a refund for tuition or replacing a stolen backpack when your school may not. When the unexpected happens, GradGuard’s tuition insurance and renters insurance can help you get back on track.

During the school year, you lived in your college apartment. If your lease is not up yet, you are likely planning on returning in the fall. However, if you are going to a different location to live with your family or take a job or internship, your apartment will be unused and you will be paying the full price. Finding a sublease who needs a place to stay this summer will help you reduce your costs and ensure that your apartment is in good shape when you move in for the fall semester.

Decide if you want to stay on campus

Before you even think about someone to sublet your apartment for the summer, decide if you actually want to leave or not. There are plenty of pros and cons of staying, so you will have to decide what is best for you. Take into consideration any jobs you have a commitment to in your hometown or near campus, and think about any friends, family, or pets you may not have seen during the school year. Take into consideration any family summer traditions you have, such as vacations or reunions. Weighing the pros and cons of staying and going will help decide whether finding a sublet is worth it.

Know the rules

Again, before you even decide to sublet, you need to know if your landlord allows subletting. Either check your lease or ask your landlord for the rules and any guidance you may need. You will need to let your landlord know that this is something you are going to do. Some landlords have rules about how long subleases can stay while others may be okay with them staying all summer. Be sure to know if your landlord has any rules like this and evaluate your decision accordingly.

Evaluate the risks

Whether you are subletting your apartment to a friend or stranger, you run risks of property damage or stolen items. Obviously, you will take valuables with you, but tenants may still damage the space or steal things. Consider taking on the role of a landlord by asking for a security deposit and references to be sure you are subletting to a good tenant. However, obtaining these things will not mean that the tenant is perfect. If anything goes wrong while you are subletting, you are responsible.

Advertise your sublet

If you do decide to sublet your apartment for the summer, you will have to find someone to move in. At first, try to find someone you know that may be taking summer classes or have a job or internship in your college town for the summer. You may decide to email classmates to see who is looking for somewhere to stay over the summer. If this does not work, take to social media. There are Facebook groups for colleges, and many are set up by the expected graduation year. There might even be a group specifically for finding housing. Be creative in where you post, be it a newspaper or site that is geared for sublets. When posting a listing, be as specific as possible in your descriptions and post high-quality photos.

Image: Alexander Shatov via https://unsplash.com/photos/mr4JG4SYOF8

Meet your subtenants

You may try to sublet to people you know at first, but this does not always work out how you would like it. It is likely that you will have to sublet to someone you do not know. Even if you get references and background checks, they may still be putting on a disguise of sorts. Meeting potential subtenants in person is so important for this reason. Get to know them and trust your gut. You need to know that the person is reliable and will be responsible for getting payments in on them. Even if you decide on someone, be sure to stay in touch with them throughout the summer to ensure things are going well and to answer any questions or concerns that may arise.

Write a subletting agreement

There are rules that need to be followed in your apartment. As the usual tenant, you are aware of these rules, but someone coming in to sublet the apartment will not know the rules, quite possibly after issues arise. The goal of a sublet agreement is to protect you and the subtenant. Your stuff needs to be covered and protected, and your subtenant needs to know the rules so they can continue living in the apartment for the allotted timeframe. If the subtenant does not know the rules, the responsibility ultimately falls on you. To protect you and your stuff (including your security deposit) and your subtenant, write an agreement that covers everything. Sit down with the person and go through it. Be sure to answer any questions they have. If you do not have the answer, be sure to reach out to your landlord because ignorance will not save you.

Going through the process of figuring out what to do with your apartment over the summer and finding a sublet can seem daunting, but there are plenty of resources that can help and actionable steps to help make it successful.

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