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Desperately seeking a subletter

by Karen on March 2, 2010

One of the big things on my “to-do before we move” list — the thing I’m dreading most — is figuring out what to do about our apartment. We’re moving at the beginning of May, but our lease isn’t up until the end of July. This means we could end up paying three months’ rent for an empty apartment unless we can find someone who wants to live there until the end of the lease.

According to my landlord, in North Carolina, we have two options for avoiding this. The first is to give the landlord 30 days’ notice that we want to terminate our lease early. They’ll put the apartment back on the market, and if they can find a renter, they’ll let us out of our lease. This is ideal, but it’s also unlikely. Unfortunately, there are two other 2-bedroom apartments that will be vacant as of April 30, which means those two will be rented out first.

The other option is finding a subletter. This is a lot more work on our part. Not only do we need to find someone who is interested in renting the apartment, but we have to stay on the lease for those three months while a stranger lives in the apartment. We remind liable for rent if they default.

From what I can tell, here’s the process we’re facing for finding a subletter.

  1. Find someone who is interested in renting the apartment from May until July.
  2. The subletter must fill out the rental application and pass a credit check and background check in order to be approved.
  3. We sign a new lease with the subletter. If the subletter defaults on the lease, we are responsible for paying the rent.

I hate the idea of doing it this way, but I really want to avoid paying rent for those three months when we’re not living here.

We live extremely close to Tony’s university, so I’m really hoping we’ll find a college student (or two) who needs a place to stay for the summer. I posted a listing on Craigslist, but no one has responded to it. After spring break, we’ll be posting some flyers around campus advertising the opening. Beyond that, I’m not really sure how to go about finding a subletter.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to find a reliable subletter?

Photo by jessandcolin

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1 The Non-Student March 2, 2010 at 9:11 am

Will you still have your furniture there? I’m guessing you won’t since you’re moving. If not, I actually think getting a new renter might be easier. Students who need a place in the summer will probably need something furnished and will need it through August before moving back to the dorms.

If you still go with the subletter idea, I wouldn’t worry about not having a response yet on Craig’s list. A college student probably wouldn’t be thinking about that just yet, especially because their plans probably aren’t in place yet.

Good luck. Sending good subletter/new renter vibes your way.
.-= The Non-Student´s last blog ..Partners, but not (financial) equals? =-.

2 Karen March 2, 2010 at 10:08 am

Oh yeah, I am absolutely hoping for a new renter. But I’m still looking for a subletter just in case that doesn’t work out. Since there are going to be two vacant 2-bedrooms in my complex around the same time, it’s highly likely that they won’t find a new renter for my place.

3 Brittany March 2, 2010 at 10:57 am

Good luck. Geez, I know that feeling, having had to sublet 3 times!
The last time, when I moved from NYC, was a heart attack-inducer too. I don’t think the girl who ended up subletting from me agreed to it for sure until like two days before I was supposed to leave. Had me quite worried!
Sadly, a lot of people don’t actually start thinking about looking for a new place to rent until a few weeks before they actually have to find the place (esp college kids!). Here’s hoping something will work out for you guys asap!
.-= Brittany´s last blog ..Happy Lantern Festival! (The fireworks are finally over) =-.

4 Megan March 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

I would echo Non-Student’s comment – college students are just starting to think about summer plans, so hardly any of them have finalized their plans. I know it’s cutting it close, but it might be April or so before they’re starting to look at housing options. Don’t lose heart!! Keep refreshing your Craigslist posting. It will all work out the way it’s supposed to.
.-= Megan´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday, 2/28-3/6 =-.

5 Mrs. Money March 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Craigslist would be my idea. :) How about putting up ads at the university?
.-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..How Much Money are we Spending? =-.

6 Abigail March 2, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Yep, university is the key. Go ahead and put up ads now, though it may take awhile. Most schools have a housing program that will help you put up ads for available rentals.

You could also consider a service like roommate.com/roommatefinder.com. Can’t remember which but I used one when I was a landlord and it helped. You can choose a one-month membership for about $10 I think. It’s a good way to connect with people who are considering moving into the area or who are just looking around at available spots. Obviously, paid stuff should be a last resort. But it’s a relatively affordable last resort.

Don’t forget, if the apartment place finds a renter before May, you’ll get SOME money back of whatever rent you paid. At least that’s something…
.-= Abigail´s last blog ..What would you do? =-.

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