Do I Need to Collect a Security Deposit to Sublet My Apartment?


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If you’re a student looking to travel for weeks or months at a time, or just want to add a roommate to your list, you may be looking to sublet your apartment or room. Subletting allows you to save money by recovering part or all of the cost of your rent and keep your place so you can come back after your absence.

We’ll walk you through a few points about subletting to help you decide if finding a sublet is right for you and what you need to keep in mind as you prepare to sublet.

What is subletting?

First, the basics: what exactly is subletting? A sublet is a legally binding contract that allows you to rent out your apartment or part of it (a room, for example) while you still have the original lease with your landlord. The sublease agreement should set out all of the terms and conditions applicable to the tenant so that you and your sublease are clear about the terms of the agreement. This document will also help protect you, the original tenant, if you have any issues with your landlord or sub-tenant on the road.

You may be looking to sublet your entire unit if you are away, or you may want to add a roommate to your existing lease. Either way, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering subletting your property, including whether or not you need to collect a sublet security deposit.

Check the conditions with your landlord

Before you sublet, make sure your landlord has agreed to a sublet. Most leases will have explicit terms indicating whether or not tenants are allowed to have subtenants.

Even if your lease allows subletting, it’s a good idea to check with your landlord just to confirm that you intend to sublet. If you are discussing the sublet with your landlord in person or over the phone, be sure to have the terms of the sublet in writing with your landlord, including factors like the total duration of the sublet. If you have roommates, you will also want to have their consent to a sublet in writing. Submit this documentation to your landlord at least 30 days before the date of your move or the start of the sublet.

Some landlords also require that you complete a sublet application or complete an addendum to your original lease.

Find sub-lettering

Once you have official permission to proceed, you are ready to find your sub-letter or new roommate. After identifying a potential sub-tenant, you may want to perform a credit check and / or contact their references to make sure that they are good tenants and that you will have no problem making them pay their rent. on time. Depending on your local laws and the terms of the sublet, you could be responsible for all or part of the cost of the unpaid rent if your sublet decides to leave early.

If you have roommates, you’ll want them to be able to meet and approve the sub-letter as well – after all, they’ll have to live with them after you leave.

You may need to negotiate the rental price for your sub-letter. Often, short-term sublets cost a little less than the usual rental cost. You will probably want to ask a sub-tenant for 70-80% of your typical rent, unless you live in a particularly hot market or an attractive area, in which case you may be able to get the full cost of your rent. Check the cost of renting similar units in your area to get an idea of ​​the market rate. Remember to specify whether the cost of utilities will be included in your rent or billed separately based on usage.

To move out

If you are leaving your apartment with the sub-tenant, make sure you have agreed in advance whether you will be leaving your furniture and other personal effects in the apartment. Some subtenants prefer a fully furnished apartment while others may want to bring their own. Make sure you pack or put away any valuables or special sentimental value so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re away. You can also leave your valuables in a safe or safe out of the way.

Obtain a security deposit sublet

Check if your landlord requires you to collect a security deposit from your sub-tenant. Either way, it is recommended that you require a security deposit, otherwise you will be responsible for any damage caused by your sub-letter, and the costs could even come from your own security deposit. In many cases, your landlord will collect the sublet of the security deposit directly from the subletter. In this case, make sure that you are there for the visit with the sub-tenant and your landlord and that you know exactly what you are responsible for in relation to the sub-tenant.

You’ll also want to document the condition of your apartment before you leave. Take pictures of your apartment and save them. You can also do a full inspection with your sub-letter to document any issues that exist before they moved in. Have them sign an agreement that they will be responsible for any major damage they cause. Make sure the document is specific about the damage to any of your furniture or other property left behind as well as to the apartment or house itself.

Documentation with pictures and an inspection helps clarify for both parties who is responsible for what, and it helps to ensure that you will not be financially liable for damage caused by the sub-letter. Before moving, make another visit together to confirm any damage to the sub-letter.

Be sure to follow local laws when collecting a sublet security deposit. Subletting comes with risk, but it can be a useful way to hold onto your apartment while you are traveling or are away for the summer.

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