By this point, it isn’t even news anymore that rent prices in major cities are through the roof. Over the last ten years, the number of young adults who live by themselves has decreased significantly to a measly 9%. Plus, almost half of millennials say that they plan to move again the upcoming year. All of this combined makes for an interesting rental market, specifically in the realm of subleasing (PS – if you’re trying to rent out a room, find a new roommate, or sub-lease your place, you can do that on PadMapper now).
Whether you’re a first time sub-leaser or trying to find your fourth place in two years, you can never be too careful when making your move. Here are a few things to remember while going through the process.
Check the over-lease
This refers to the lease that was signed by the tenant from whom you’re sub-leasing. Make sure, first and foremost, that sub-leasing is allowed under the original lease. Next, take a look at the rest of the lease to ensure your understanding of the terms. Even though your name isn’t on the least officially, when you sign a sub-lease, you become a legal occupant of the apartment and are held to the original lease terms. Finally, note the amount of time that’s remaining on the lease. If there are only a few months left, it’ll be possible for the landlord to increase the rent (unless the unit is rent stabilized) and further, the landlord is not legally obligated to issue a renewal to the original tenants.
Note the condition of your room
It’s likely that the original tenants inspected and documented the condition of the rooms when they moved in, but this can be easily forgotten when someone new takes over. Make sure to take photos of anything that could have been damaged by the previous tenant to ensure that you won’t be finding yourself responsible when the lease ends and you’re the current occupant.
Get in touch with the management company
Although you may not be required to do this in order to get set up with your sublet, it’s still a good idea to make sure they know who you are and that you’ll be living in their building. This will also serve as backup confirmation that sub-leasing is in fact allowed on the property and you won’t have any surprises in the future.
Make all payments in person
While it should go without saying, it’s easy to get excited over a great deal and feel pressure to secure it. No matter how legitimate the person you’re speaking with seems to be, make sure that you meet them “in real life” and take all of the above precautions before giving them any amount of money.
Ask for a deposit receipt
When you’ve found your place and made your deposit, it is completely acceptable – recommended, even – to ask your new roommate for a deposit receipt. This can be something as low-key as a printed piece of paper stating the date on which you paid the deposit and signed by the two of you. Since you’re likely not working directly with the landlord, your transactions may be taking place in a less-than-official way, and having a record of having spent a large sum of money can never hurt.