Subletting an Apartment

It often happens that we tend to make investments and take up apartments on rent. In most cases, it is seen that tenants have to pay a hefty amount which includes factors like a security deposit as well as an advance payment for a couple of months. 

However, what can one possibly do when their requirements change, and you have to let go of your rented apartment. 

We see that in most cases, the contract is legally binding, which ensures that the tenant has to pay for a certain number of months.

Do you think it makes sense in such cases to keep on paying the rent although one is not really using the apartment anymore? 

This is where the concept of subletting comes in. This is a steady solution for all those who have just rented an apartment but have to move out due to unavoidable circumstances. 

Not only that, these are great for even those who are in the real estate business and know exactly how much to quote for a particular property when it comes to subletting.

What Does Subletting an Apartment Mean?

Before we go deeper into what are the important dos and don’ts of subletting an apartment, it is crucial to understand what the concept of subletting is all about. 

Supposedly you take up a flat on rent. This essentially includes all the basic requirements that you need to follow, like paying for the security deposit, advance payments for a couple of months as well as signing the legal mandates.

If you choose to put the flat further on rent to someone, it is known to be subletting. 

In this case, the primary tenant puts up the flat on rent and shares the same relationship as the owner shares with him. 

Subletting an apartment is an extremely handy requirement, and it helps people to make the process more convenient in nature.

Major Dos of Subletting an Apartment

Because the entire process is legally binding, it is very important for an individual to plan the process and understand the dos of subletting an apartment. 

If you are not aware and make certain mistakes, it can easily invite a lot of legal troubles from the owner and the secondary tenant. 

Some of the most important factors that have to be considered under every circumstance are:

1. Check the area 

The foremost requirement when it comes to subletting is that you have to make sure that the area your property is located in allows for subletting. 

There are many residential locations that to date do not allow the concept of subletting, and hence it could invite one legal trouble if all other residents turn up against you. 

2. Make Sure The Owner Allows Subletting

This is one of the most important things whenever you think of subletting an apartment. Always seek legal or verbal confirmation from the owner that he will allow you to sublet the apartment. 

In case this is not possible, try to adhere to the rules. If you choose to sublet the apartment even if the actual owner prohibits it, it will automatically attract big legal trouble for the one who is subletting.

3. Do Background Checks About The Secondary tenant

Subletting an apartment comes with a few more risks than just renting your apartment in a regular fashion. 

Hence it is very important that you sublet the apartment only after doing the background screening of the individual who is choosing to rent an apartment. 

Try to first search for options within your family or friends because they are more trusted than those you have not met to date. 

4. Don’t Forget to Make a Legal Contract

This goes without saying that whenever you choose to sublet your apartment, you have to go forth with the legal contract. 

This contract will clearly state the responsibilities and assets of the person who is renting the apartment from you. 

Not only that, but it will also put forth as the one who is subletting the apartment, what your goals and requirements are. A legal contract will ensure that it is binding and lawful.

Don’ts for Subletting An Apartment

Just like we have discussed some of the most important requirements for subletting an apartment, it is also very important to analyze the don’ts that one should strictly adhere to. 

Some of the most important don’t that have to be considered before subletting an apartment includes:

1. You Cannot Quote Any Price

It can often happen that you have struck a very affordable deal with the landowner. However, this does not signify that you can charge an exorbitant amount to the one with whom you are subletting the apartment. 

Most cities and states have their own rules for subletting an apartment, and you have to adhere to that principle. This ensures that the percentage for subletting is set at a standard rate. 

2. Don’t Sublet if you are Not Sure

In most places, you have to sublet an apartment for at least 90 days, which is also legally administered. If you see a possibility of coming back before the stipulated time frame, do not sublet the apartment. This will invite unwanted complications which are not desired for. 

3. Don’t Select People Whom You Are Not Sure Of

Remember that subletting your apartment to those who are not easygoing and reliable could be a grave mistake. Hence try to interview thoroughly and don’t select the one you meet first. 

Be very sure and conduct detailed interview sessions to understand what the individual aspires for and whether they will be the right choice for the environment. 

Selecting the one who is not suitable for the position could be detrimental to the safety of your apartment, and even you are responsible for the implications to the original landowner.

4. Don’t Keep Valuables

In most cases, you will not know the person with whom you are subletting the apartment. Hence it is always the right option to not keep valuables lying around. This could include factors like expensive gadgets, cash, jewelry, as well as other decorative items. 

Hence always be sure that you have packed up the valuables to avoid any possibility of potent theft and damage. 

In case of any damage, you will be the one who is responsible for the same. It is best to keep the apartment free of any kind of valuables.

Also Read: Questions to Ask before Renting an Apartment


What do I need to know before subletting my apartment?

There are usually a host of things that play an important role in subletting your apartment. However, always make sure that you have a legally binding contract to sublet the apartment. 

Not only that but subletting an apartment is also not allowed in many localities and states, and hence you have to be very sure about the permission aspects of the same. 

Subletting an apartment without the owner’s prior knowledge may invite unwanted legal complications. 

Is it good to sublet an apartment?

Subletting your apartment is an entirely subjective choice, and it depends on your financial and personal criteria at the moment. 

If you think that your apartment has cost you quite an investment, then it is essential that you sublet the apartment if you are not using it. 

In most cases, we see that the primary tenant has paid a lot of security and advance payments, and hence subletting the apartment becomes vital to get the finances back on track. 

Is there any time frame to sublet an apartment?

Yes, when it comes to subletting an apartment, there is usually a stipulated time frame that has to be paid attention to. 

The time frame is set at a standard time of 90 days for most states; however, it is subject to change depending on the location and the lease, followed by the subletting and the secondary tenant. 

Try to mention the time frame very clearly in the contract.

Is Background Check Important Before I Sublet?

When you sublet an apartment, you technically rent the already rented apartment. 

Hence you are somewhere responsible for the mishaps that occur. You have to be very sure of the ones you incorporate in your contract and subletting the apartment. 

A background check will help you understand if the candidate is suitable and reliable enough to keep your house in perfect condition.

Do I have to Get Into a Legal Contract?

Yes, it is imperative to protect the subletting with the help of a legal contract. Ensure that all the important pillars of this agreement are mentioned in the contract clearly so that it does not become complicated for one to comprehend. 

Legal contracts are necessary when it comes to subletting the apartment as it also protects the rights of both the one who is subletting and the secondary tenant.

Also See: Consequences of Breaking a Lease | Breaking a Lease without Penalty | Rights and Obligations of Tenants and Landlords | How to be good Tenant

Written by

Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.