Renting

Thinking of Subletting your Apartment? 6 Ways to Convince your Landlord

Story Highlights
  • 1. Get organized
  • 2. Deal with the subletting process on your own 
  • 3. Involve your landlord in the subletting screening process
  • 4. Regularly communicate with your landlord
  • 5. Draw up a subletting agreement
  • 6. Do regular checks on the subtenant

Subletting is a surprisingly common alternative that many tenants turn to while renting a property.

It often happens that tenants need to be away from their rental unit for a prolonged period of time. Other times, they simply cannot afford the rent they are paying and need a roommate to help alleviate the financial burden. 

Whichever the case, many renters do not want to contravene their rental agreement or give up the rental unit altogether. Instead, they will try to find another tenant (called a “subtenant”) to take over or contribute towards their monthly payments until they are ready to take up the responsibility again. 

This, however, is easier said than done. Most landlords are apprehensive when it comes to subletting, mainly because they have less control over the letting of their unit. Tenants might lack both experience and knowledge about rental laws or worse, they might sublet to irresponsible tenants who default on payments or damage the property – every landlord’s nightmare!

Ultimately, though, the landlord will have the final say as to whether the apartment can be sublet or not.

Here are six ways to help navigate the process;

1. Get organized

The adage is true: failing to prepare is preparing to fail. The more organized you are, the more receptive landlords will be to the suggestion of subletting.

Reading up on rental laws and understanding the existing rental agreement is a vital first step of the process. This will arm you with enough knowledge to handle the subletting of the apartment and it will also give you a good understanding of what your rights are when dealing with the subtenant. It will empower you to handle certain situations as they arise.

In short, preparation is key! This will show the landlord that you are capable of managing another tenant and that they can trust you.

2. Deal with the subletting process on your own 

Another common concern that landlords have when subletting is that it might lead to extra work. Life is demanding by nature. Many landlords often don’t have the necessary time to manage the subletting process on behalf of the current tenant.

When you deal with the subletting process on your own, it demonstrates that you are responsible and that the landlord doesn’t have to worry about the process.

This way, you can prove that you have everything under control, which might just convince the landlord into subletting the apartment. 

Related Reading: Simple Mistakes All Renters Must Avoid

3. Involve your landlord in the subletting screening process

As with any rental agreement, screening is essential when looking for the perfect candidate. A good relationship between a landlord and a tenant can turn sour very quickly if they choose the wrong subtenant.

Ensuring that the landlord is part of the screening process will solidify the landlord-tenant relationship. They will feel more involved in the process and they can give their own insights, too. It gives the landlord peace of mind knowing that they have played a part in deciding who the subtenant will be.

You should, however, still play an active role in the screening process. Ask the applicant for any documentation that might help make the decision. The applicants’ financial and rental history, for example, will give you and the landlord a better idea of the type of subtenant they will be.

You should also not be afraid to phone the references they have provided. Previous landlords will be very honest about their dealings with the applicant. When the applicant is being interviewed, both parties should ask as many questions as possible. Even if you know the applicant personally, they should still go through an intensive screening process.

You and your landlord must consider all the information when making your final decision. 

4. Regularly communicate with your landlord

Communication is the key ingredient to a healthy relationship and it is no different when it comes to tenants and landlords.

You must keep your landlord updated about the situation between you and the subtenant at all times!

Ensuring landlords that they will be kept in the loop, will prevent any misunderstanding or confusion that might arise going forward. Landlords can provide support when and where it is needed especially if the subtenant turns out to be irresponsible.

If something goes wrong, you must report this to the landlord as soon as it happens. 

Related Reading: Your Guide to Safely Cancelling Your Lease Agreement

5. Draw up a subletting agreement

Even though the subtenant will be taking over or sharing the current lease agreement, it is better to draw up a separate subletting agreement.

In this agreement, you and the landlord should state very explicitly what is expected of the subtenant. Be clear about the roles that you will assume and stipulate your responsibilities in clear terms.

It can also state the amount of rent that the subtenant has to pay and the length of the lease before it expires.

Ensure that you, the subtenant and the landlord have copies of the signed subletting agreement.

6. Do regular checks on the subtenant

If possible, you should do regular checks on the subtenant to ensure that they are maintaining their end of the lease agreement.

As with any regular lease agreement, you should ask for a security deposit when the subtenant moves in. This way any damages can be covered and neither you nor the landlord will have to pay for repairs or maintenance. The subtenant’s security deposit will cover this when they decide to move out. 

Convincing a landlord to sublet is daunting because the property is their investment, after all. Approaching the situation with sensitivity and staying organized should make for smooth sailing.


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