The Supply is Greater Than the Demand. Here’s How to Sublease
HaveUHeard that when a student moves into an off-campus apartment they generally sign a lease for twelve months? (it is actually a 10-month lease that apartments prorated so it gets paid over 12 months). So how to sublease? A sublet is a legally binding contract between you and the subtenant which allows them to live in your apartment for a specific period of time. Of course, they are responsible for paying rent for that period of time.
In order to sublet you must first check local laws. The right to sublet could be written in the lease or perhaps in the state law depending on where you are located. So, for Florida, the lease must say somewhere that you are prohibited to sublease. If there is nothing that states that, you are able to sublet your apartment according to Florida state law.
Before doing a sublease, you should request landlord approval. Provide as much detail as possible. You obviously want to make sure the subtenant is reliable. You remain liable for payments so you want to make sure this person will be able to pay the rent. You must have a legal agreement with your subtenant in order to make the sublet final. This way you are able to protect yourself in case of any future disagreements. Obtain and hold a security deposit just in case there are any damages made to the apartment. Lastly, you want to set up rent payments with your subtenant. Don’t forget to take photos beforehand in case any damage is done from the subtenant!
Now, how to find someone to sublet. There are some Facebook pages that FAU students can use to find potential sublessors:
FAU Class of 20XX (insert years) – official group
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Housing, Sublets & Roommates
FAU Off-Campus Housing
If your student is a member of a sorority or fraternity or involved in a club, getting the word out early, as well as potentially subletting to someone they know, is generally better. The truth is, there are far more apartments available to sublet every summer than there are students looking to sublet, so if you can make an arrangement with someone you trust early; take it. If you are looking for someone to take over for the fall semester, try looking at the summer before. Many people sign a lease and find options that better suit them last minute.
Looking for a spring sublease may be a bit tough since most people have already signed year leases. Definitely start posting in the fall semester (around October/November). There are students who are tied to a year’s lease that may have decided to do a semester abroad or take a semester off; so, sublets are out there. As opposed to summer; it is more difficult to find a desirable apartment with roommates that you will be happy to live with than it is to find someone to rent your place. Most people tend to give up their summer leases, so finding someone to take over your lease in the summer can be tricky. However, it is possible. Chances are you will not get your full rent covered. Something is better than nothing though.
Some apartment complexes charge a sublet fee. Most all require signed forms with complete information on your sublessor. It is to your advantage to play by the rules and be sure all forms and fees are taken care of because, without them, you (the original renter) are responsible for any damage that may occur in your absence…and it happens. As a matter of fact, all the renters/roommates may be responsible, if they cannot be sure who caused the damage. My daughter was recently charged for a broken washing machine when she wasn’t even in the country. There was no way to identify who caused the damage and since her name is still on the lease.
It seems like a lot to sublet, however, it might be worth the trouble! I am usually away during the summers. If I had known more about this, it might have been a good option so I wasn’t wasting money. I definitely think it is a good option for students and parents to look into if they will be renting an apartment while attending college. I even found websites such as ULoop that had listings for bedrooms and apartments near FAU that were subletting. Each had a description where some listed the application fee, security deposit, first-month rent or prorated rent, and extra things such as pet fees.
Madeline Gilligan, FAU Intern
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