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Subleasing: superb or subpar?


A student signs a lease. Many students sublease their homes during the academic year to study abroad or graduate early. IDS file photo and Alex Deryn

From study abroad to winter graduation, many IU students vacate their homes in the middle of the academic year to take on a new adventure. However, what happens to all of the empty rooms. More importantly, who is paying the bills?

One easy solution is subletting. This process allows students to rent out their apartments to other students, alumni or anyone for a short period of time when opportunity takes you elsewhere. 

How do I start?

The best way to start would be looking at your rental agreement to see if your property management allows subletting. Next contact your property management to understand any paperwork, feesor other steps surrounding subletting your space. It is always best to start this process as soon as possible. 

How do I choose the right tenant?

The perfect tenant may be closer than you think. The earlier you start, the more time you have to find a tenant who is a good fit. If you share a space with your roommates, make sure the new renter will not be a disruptive force within the home.

“Start as early as possible and let as many people know as possible, especially people you know personally,” IU junior Justin Freeman said. “I actually subleased from the guy above me because he was the only one to follow through.” 

What will make your apartment stand out?

The best way to find someone as quickly as possible is to offer discounts on rent, utilities or any other perks you can provide. If you can’t afford to help pay part of the rent, try covering the subleasing fee or being flexible with move-in dates.  

Do’s and Don'ts

Do make sure your roommates are OK with the person staying in your room.

Don’t wait too long to start your search.

 “Advertise in advance so in case you have someone who is flaky and backs out at the last minute, you have people who can take over the lease,” said Heidi Munoz, leasing manager of the Monroe Apartments.

Don’t forget to pay any associated fees or sign appropriate documents.

“We have two specific documents, first we make sure the resident who wants to sublease pays the $250 subleasing fee, we don’t start the paperwork until it is payed,” said Munoz. “The second document goes into how the damages and any other fees are allocated between the tenant and subleasee.”

Don’t forget to let close friends and classmates know you are subleasing. You never know who may need something. Try advertising on Facebook groups, organization group chats or IU Classifieds.

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