Here’s How to Sublease – The Supply is Greater Than the Demand
HaveUHeard that students generally sign a lease for twelve months when they move into an off-campus apartment? Most leases run from early August (usually a few days up to a week after August 1st) through July 31st. Unlike most dorms, students are responsible for the entire year, even if they do not intend to stay for the summer. However, most apartment complexes will allow students to sublet their apartments. You will, nevertheless, have to jump through a few hoops to make a sublease happen.
It is best to start looking in the fall semester to find a sublessor for the summer. It may seem a bit early, but there are usually more available apartments looking for sublessors than there are people looking to sublet. Post on Facebook pages and begin asking around in December. Get the word out there if you are in a sorority or fraternity or involved in any sort of club or organization. Another good avenue for possible interest is with those students coming from dorm residences. If they spend the summer in Gainesville, they may need a bridge from their dorm move-out to their fall apartment lease. If you can make an arrangement with someone you trust early, take it!
Don’t count on getting your full rent covered. Due to the unbalanced supply and demand, many people tend to write off their summer leases. That means finding someone to take over your lease in the summer can be tricky and require flexibility. For example, some students may be in Gainesville for Summer B Semester only. Also, consider that most girls in sororities will have to come back to Gainesville for the two weeks before the start of school, and many of them will not yet be able to move into their apartments. That can be the case for some international and out-of-state students as well. Be on the lookout for posts during the summer because those students will be looking to sublease for the first two weeks of August. Your room will be cheaper than a hotel and more comfortable than couch-surfing for them, and it will give you back half of the rent for the month if your dates can jibe with theirs. Something is better than nothing, and everyone benefits.
If you want someone to take over your lease for the fall semester, try looking late in the preceding spring semester and during the summer. Many people sign a lease or have plans in place, only to find themselves unexpectedly needing to make a last-minute change. And don’t give up too soon! Those people looking for a new place all of a sudden will be –often desperately — looking for you and your available sublet. Be sure to continue to post and spread the word.
If you are looking for a spring sublease, this 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 that decide to take a semester off, go abroad, or participate in studies or internships with non-traditional scheduling; their apartment needs may be a perfect complement to yours. Finding one of these with roommates you will be happy to live with can get complicated, but it’s definitely possible.
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. 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 renters may be responsible if they cannot determine who caused the damage. My daughter and all her roommates were recently charged for a broken washing machine when she wasn’t even in the country, but with her name still on the lease, she was still on the hook.
Depending on how much you will be getting for the sublet, once the fees are paid, you may also want to consider the cost of storing your student’s belongings during the duration of the sublet. Check out our blog on storage here.
Another resource is SwampRentals.com, which is a guide to Gainesville apartments that meet your lifestyle and budget.