Despite your best plans, you may have to vacate your apartment earlier than expected. Life presents all kinds of surprises and you may have to move to a new city for a job, get married and move in with your partner, or decide to buy a house, to name a few.
Unfortunately, breaking your lease by moving out before it ends can be a costly headache. This is where subletting or lease transfer comes in: you may be able to find someone to take over the lease for your apartment so that you do not have to pay the costs associated with breaking the lease or breaking the lease. pay the remaining rent even if you are not. live there.
A lease takeover occurs when a new tenant takes over the remainder of your lease. It’s a bit like subletting unless the lease is actually transferred to the new tenant, they will be responsible for paying the rent and the condition of the apartment, not you.
Here’s what to do if you need to find someone to take over a lease or sublet.
1. Contact your landlord
If you think you need to leave before the end of your lease, let your landlord or property manager know as soon as possible. First of all, you need to know if a sublet or a lease transfer is possible under the terms of your lease. If your rental agreement allows for a transfer or sublet, let your landlord know that you hope to move out early and find someone to take over your lease.
This can work to your advantage: Your landlord might be interested in starting another tenant under a new lease, for example, if rental prices increase in your area, so you might not even have not to find a new tenant. Your landlord or building management may also have specific policies in place for subletting and lease transfers that you should be aware of before you go looking for a new tenant. You may need to complete additional paperwork or have the new tenant approved by your property manager or landlord, for example.
Your landlord may also know of tenants interested in the property, which may mean that you won’t have to search for a new tenant on your own. This has the added benefit of finding someone who is already pre-approved by your landlord or property manager.
Finally, there are specific exceptions that may allow you to break your lease without paying a penalty, for example, if you move on a military posting on active duty. Make sure you understand the local rules and regulations around breaking your lease and find out if you qualify for any of these exceptions.
2. Find a new tenant
Once you’ve obtained permission from your landlord, you’re ready to find a new tenant to take over your lease or sublet. Even if the housing market in your area is hot, it can be more difficult than you might imagine to find a new tenant, especially a reliable tenant. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to find a new tenant at least a month or so before you need to move out, if possible. You may also need to add incentives to find someone who wants to sign a short-term lease, like offering the first month free or a reduction on the overall monthly rent.
Create a listing for your apartment that includes high-quality photos that showcase your accommodation, as well as text explaining the terms of the lease transfer or sublet, including the length and timing of the lease, the cost of rent, whether utilities are included, cost of security deposit, and whether the apartment will be furnished or not. Being as clear as possible in advance will help you find a suitable tenant for you.
You can post your ad on social media or ask friends or coworkers if they know of anyone looking for a place, but that’s an inaccurate science. To find a new tenant, your best bet may be to list your apartment on a site like Zumper which can help connect you with tenants who are ready to move out as soon as possible so you can save as much money as possible.
3. Check your new tenant
You will need to review your potential new tenants to make sure that they will be reliable and that they will be eligible with your landlord. You’ll want to review an applicant’s rental history, credit score, and income to make sure they qualify for your apartment. You will also need to check their references. Your landlord or property management company may prefer to do this on their own, so be sure to check with them first.
Fortunately, if you have to screen potential tenants yourself, Zumper offers a free tenant selection tool, provided by Trans Union, to take the time and guesswork out of finding a reliable, trustworthy tenant to take over your lease.
If you sublet your unit, you can still be responsible for any damage the new tenant suffered or their unpaid rent, unless you arrange for the tenant to sign a new lease or pay the rent directly to your landlord. . So you’ll want to take steps to protect yourself, like collecting a security deposit and documenting the condition of the apartment before you leave.
Moving before the end of your lease can be a problem, but finding someone to take over or sublet from you is a great way to avoid most of the pain of breaking your lease.