What is a Sublet?
A sublet is a house/bedroom/unit being leased at a property for a short period of time (generally 4 or 8 months) from someone who is leasing that property for a longer period of time (generally 12 months).
When going home for the summer, being placed in co-op outside of Waterloo, or simply moving while having signed a 12-month lease [which is more than you may need], it may become difficult financially to keep your student apartment/house. Subletting your place can eliminate these financial worries by having someone take over your lease for a specific amount of time. Although, sometimes you may have trouble finding a sub-lessee who is willing to pay the full amount of rent to cover your room, at least a good portion of the cost of your monthly rent will be paid by the new sublet tenant.
The Hassle With Leasing
It is almost impossible to find a place that allows for a short-term lease for people who need to constantly move in and out of their apartments due to co-op terms, work, a semester off, travel plans, etc. Finding a place that can accommodate for a 4 or 8 month term is difficult and an added stress when you should be focusing your time on your studies and work. Many students choose to sign a 12-month lease with plans to sublet during the months they don’t use it. This task can be challenging, because not only do you have to find a sub-lessee to occupy your place, but you also want to find someone who is reliable and responsible. Another headache with subletting is that you have to constantly move your personal belongings in and out of the space which will take up a lot of time.
How to Sublet?
Make sure to read your lease agreement thoroughly to determine whether or not it restricts you from subletting. If it does state that you cannot sublet, you must speak to your landlord who will have to provide you with written proof stating why it is not advisable for you to sublet. Also, you want to make sure your roommates are okay with you subletting your room; if they all agree, it’s a good idea to get their approval in writing so that if any problems occur, you have documentation to show they were in agreement.
Be aware of your tenant rights. There are certain laws that forbid landlords from rejecting sublet proposals without having a plausible reason. However, there are also laws that impose limits on who you can sublet to and for how long. We recommend that you submit a written request for your landlord’s approval to sublet your apartment. Make sure to include important information such as the length you want to sublet for and the written approval of your roommates.
There are many websites you can use to advertise your sublet including UW Off-Campus Student Housing, Places4Students.com, and Kijiji. You can also advertise on local bulletin boards or post on Facebook– really anywhere you think you might find the right person to sublet. Once you find people who are interested, interview them and ask a lot of questions sharing your roommates’ and your requirements. If someone doesn’t seem right, don’t be afraid consider someone else.
Once you have found a sublet tenant, draft a contract that includes details like the duration of the sublet, contact information, the monthly rent, the number of people living in the apartment/house, the maintenance necessities, etc. Make sure to have the sublet tenant and you sign the contract. Keep the original and make copies for the sublet tenant and your landlord. In your contract, make sure to also include a security deposit which you can use in case of repairs or maintenance that are needed while your place is being subleased. Sample sublet agreements can also be found online or ask your landlord for any recommendations.
Subletting Made Easy with Rez-One
Lucky for you Rez-One allows subletting and although we cannot guarantee that you will find a sub-lessee, we will assist you in any way we can. Rez-One will generally try to keep a waitlist of possible sublet tenants which is a great place to start and may make advertising unnecessary. Here are some tips on what you need to do to execute a sublet agreement with Rez-One:
- Contact us to obtain a copy of a sublet agreement.
- Fill out the sublet agreement.
- Ensure your roommates are aware and agree to you subletting.
- Add all necessary stipulations to the sublet agreement (security deposit, rent amounts and how and when they are to be paid, contact information, emergency contact information, damage and key deposit responsibilities, parking,- etc…).
- Make sure the sublet tenant signs the agreement and provides a copy of their photo ID
- Provide a copy of the sublet agreement to the landlord (property management) in person or by email.
- Set a date and method on how and when the sublet will obtain the necessary keys to access the property/building/unit etc.
Subletting can be a great way to offset the cost of maintaining a year long lease at school in Waterloo when you plan to be away. Ensure that you have taken the right steps to make it a positive experience for you, your roommates, and the sub-lessee.