3 Mistakes To Avoid When Subletting Your Apartment

If you're considering subletting your apartment, it's important that you avoid the three mistakes outlined below so that you can stay out of legal trouble and avoid financial hardship.

Mistake #1: Not Understanding Your Lease's Terms

Prior to subletting your apartment, it's absolutely necessary that you understand what your lease says about subletting. Ignorance of the lease doesn't give you the right to break your agreement, so read through your lease carefully.

If subletting is allowed, does it mention needing landlord approval and allowing the landlord to perform their own background checks on any potential candidates? Are there any special steps that you need to take when subletting? Remember, it's never a good idea to go against what your lease agreement says, even if it puts you in a tight spot. Follow all terms exactly or you may find yourself without an apartment.

Mistake #2: Not Doing Your Research on Potential Tenants

You may need to sublease your apartment quickly, but there's no bigger mistake when it comes to subletting than not doing your research.

When subletting your apartment, you need to cover all of your bases. This means knowing exactly what kind of living situation a potential tenant is looking for, as well as checking their references and requesting a credit report. You don't want a tenant to up and leave during the lease term, because even if there's a subletting agreement in place, you'll still be required to pay the remainder of the rent and utilities for the original lease. Additionally, it's important to know what kind of person this individual is. What do their references say about their character and what does their credit report tell you about their financial situation? While doing your research will take some time, it's preferable to subletting to the wrong person.

Mistake #3: Not Getting a Security Deposit

Whether you're subletting to a friend or family member and don't want to offend, or to a well-researched candidate with sparkling references, it's still important that you get a security deposit before move-in to keep you out of sticky situations in the future.

When you sublet an apartment, the original lease that you had with your landlord still stays in effect. This means that you'll be held responsible for any unpaid rent monies, as well as any damage done to the apartment in your absence. It's better to get the security deposit up front, even if it offends, because otherwise, you'll be on the hook.

To learn more about subletting, consult with your landlord or property manager. And, if you did fall prey to any of the mistakes above and suffered consequences because of it, consult with a real estate lawyer to learn what you can do in your situation.