If you are considering having subletters, or people live in your house for a portion or all of the summer while you are away, it is important to work out all of the details before allowing them to move in. If possible, have them talk to your landlord directly so that you are not responsible for them and whether or not they pay the rent on time. If you are making the arrangements with them yourself, decide exactly how much they will pay for rent each month, whether they will send the check to you or to the landlord, who is responsible for utilities, what kind of yard maintenance needs to be done and exact move-in/out dates. Clear, proactive communication will save you a lot of stress and will ensure that you do not lose any friends in the process.
Before subletting, there are questions you should ask yourself to prepare. Some of the most important ones to remember are:
Landlord Permission & Procedures
Tenants with leases can sublet or assign without the landlord's permission unless the lease says otherwise. Check your lease to see if the landlord's permission is required. Some landlords have specific procedures you must follow in order to sublet. Your landlord may require you to show the apartment or screen potential subletters. Ask your landlord how he/she wants to handle subletting.
Because you and your roommates are ultimately responsible for the terms of your rental agreement, everyone should meet potential subletters. This is particularly important if one or more roommates will be living with the subletter(s).
Advertising Subletting Opportunities
Puget Sound students can advertise free of charge on the Off-Campus Student Services website. Submit a listing online.
In accordance with Union Board policies, flyers advertising off-campus housing may not be posted in Wheelock Student Center.
Setting a fair rent amount will g a long way toward securing subletters. During semesters abroad, subletters usually pay the full rent amount. Over the summer, subletters typically pay around half of the rent amount. These are only guidelines.
It is important to screen potential subletters, because you may be held responsible in the event of damage or outstanding rent payments. You will want to be assured that the subletter is able to pay the rent and has not had problems with past rental situations. You may ask potential subletters for landlord references. Your landlord may also decide to screen potential subletters.
If possible, you may want to consider collecting a security deposit from subletters. Some landlords require such a deposit. Any deposit will need to be managed according to the Landlord Tenant Act.
A written sublet agreement is critical to protect all parties involved. List all terms of the sublet clearly, adding any specific conditions. Include expectations about the following issues:
It is highly recommended that you do a move-in condition inspection with your subletter, so you both have accurate documentation in case problems occur.