Whether you’re studying abroad, taking an internship in another city, or spending a semester at home, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to sublease or relet your apartment.
At Sweetwater, our leasing team has helped hundreds of students sign leases, and understand that finding someone to take over your lease can be challenging. While Sweetwater requires students to sign a 12-month lease, we allow you to relet your space if needed to meet this requirement.
To help simplify the process, we will be listing our top seven tips to help you sublet your apartment near the University of Florida.
Subletting vs. Reletting
Subletting is the process of finding another person to take over the finances of your lease for a given amount of time. You are still legally and financially obligated to the contract, so if the sublease fails to pay rent, that will fall back on you.
At Sweetwater, we offer the option to relet your apartment. Reletting is finding someone to take over the entire contract from you, freeing you of any legal or financial obligation. They will sign their own lease with the property and then you will be unbinded from the original contract agreement.
For simplicity, we’ll refer to subletting in this article. The process for finding both subleasers and relets is very similar, it just comes down to legal liability!
7 Tips for Finding Subletters near UF
1. Know the rules
Your first step in the subletting process is to confirm with your property their specific policy. They may have subleasing available, or they may require you to relet. This can usually be found in your original lease agreement, but don’t hesitate to contact the leasing team if you’re unsure!
Once you receive approval from your apartment complex, be sure to get the specific terms of subletting in writing, especially terms not specifically stated in your lease. You’ll want a record of all communication to avoid the risk of unexpected fees.
At Sweetwater, we do not allow subletting, but we do offer a relet process. If you are looking to get out of your lease for any reason, it is your responsibility to find someone to take over the lease agreement. You’ll also be responsible for the reletting fee, which is equivalent to 85% of one month’s rental installment, noted on page two in the lease.
2. Speak with your roommates
It is courteous to speak with your roommates about any plans you have to sublet your spot in the apartment. Though it’s important to be sure that your obligation is covered, it’s equally important to be honest and communicate your intentions to them as early as possible.
In student housing near UF, you typically do not have to get your roommates to approve a sublet or relet, but it’s respectful to do so for their living preferences. Be sure to involve your roommates in the process of finding a subletter from start to finish to avoid any potential issues or miscommunication.
3. Ask your friends
Before searching the internet for a potential sublet, ask around to see if anyone is looking for a place to sublease.
For those in Greek life or other student organizations at UF, it is common to send out a message if a friend is looking for housing or looking to sublet their apartment.
Finding a subletter through your network can save you time and energy, since you can skip certain steps like meeting them and asking for references. Also, you will not be subject to as much risk since you already have a certain level of trust established.
4. Utilize social media
If you’re unable to find someone through your network, social media is another excellent way to find subletters.
Facebook is the most popular platform used to find subletters at UF. Join a group for those looking to sublet or find a roommate! The best way to find success on the platform is to post consistently and in many groups.
From here, you will want to message the people who reach out to you and potentially meet them in person to be sure that they fit what you and your roommates are looking for in a subletter.
5. Know what you’re looking for
When searching for a subletter, you want to be sure that they are a good fit to take over your spot, especially if you have roommates. Before you meet them, make note of a few qualities you and your roommates would like them to have.
With these in mind, you can draft a social media post to attract potential subletters that might be a good fit. Be sure that what you’re looking for in a subletter aligns with what your roommates are looking for, and if not, you will need to come to an agreement.
If you are looking for this person to relet your apartment rather than sublet, be sure to communicate this early on so that you are on the same page about the liability they will be taking on.
6. Ask for references
Once you find potential subletters that you think would be a good fit, you want to be certain that they will hold up their end of the agreement.
If you find a subletter through your network, your mutual friend can serve as a reference. However, if you find a subletter on Facebook or another online platform, you may want to ask for a reference to get a feel for who your potential subletter is.
If you decide to ask for references, it is best to ask for two or more contacts, with at least one contact being a prior landlord.
7. Understand the risks
Subletting your apartment does not come without risks, especially if you are subletting to someone who you did not know prior to the arrangement.
If the person you allow to sublet is causing damage to the property, not paying the rent, or disrespecting property rules, the consequences can fall on you. To protect yourself from these risks, it is reasonable to write up a contract and/or ask for a deposit. This way, you can minimize your financial risk if anything were to go wrong.
If you would like to take it one step further, you may ask for permission to run a background check in addition to asking for references. A background check will search for any past criminal activity or evictions. You may also want to run a credit check.
Some student housing apartments will require you to run a background check or pay for the cost of them running one, so be sure to note whether or not this is required by your apartment.
One benefit of reletting is that, once you find someone to take over your lease, you will no longer be liable for any damages to the space.
Read Next: How to Find Roommates at UF
If you’re looking to sublet or relet your apartment, be sure to consider these tips to help the process go smoothly.
If you have any questions about Gainesville living or want to learn more about Sweetwater, contact our leasing staff! We are more than happy to answer any of your questions.
Please note: At Sweetwater, we only offer the option to relet. Subletting is not allowed.