Say you live in a Dayton apartment and get a new job in Baltimore, but you have 5 more months left on your current apartment lease. What do you do? Juggling an apartment lease that hasn't ended yet is tough. However, you do have options, and subleasing may be one of them.
Before you even start a hunt for a subtenant to sublease your apartment, read over your lease with your apartment manager or landlord to make sure this is okay. You have to obtain permission first. Also, your landlord/apartment manager may have their own list of steps that they want you to follow when finding a subtenant.
After you have gotten approval from your landlord, ask friends if they know anyone who needs a place to rent and put an ad online.
Once someone has contacted you, ask to meet for an interview. If you are not familiar with the person, choose a safe, public place to chat.
If you think you have found someone to sublease your apartment, have the person meet with your landlord or apartment manager. In fact, your landlord may require that the subtenant meet with them before you offer the apartment. This may be a good time to take the potential subtenant on a tour of the apartment with your landlord.
Draw up an agreement. Chances are your landlord or apartment manager has a contract like this written up that places responsibility of the apartment on the subtenant. This agreement will look similar to your lease and include the expected rent payments, deposit, term of sublease, paying utilities, apartment condition, abiding by the original lease agreement, etc. However, unexpected things can happen, and if your subtenant cannot pay their rent, you may still be responsible for this until the end of your original lease.
Before you move out and before your subtenant moves in, take pictures to document the condition of the apartment. Give a copy of them to your landlord. That way if major damage is done while you are away, your landlord will know that you are not at fault. You should also have the subtenant take a walk through the apartment with you, note any damages that you may have left behind and give a signed copy of the notes to the landlord.
Leave up-to-date contact information for your landlord or apartment manager. This way they can reach you if something were to go wrong with the apartment or sublease agreement.
Subleasing can seem like one of the best ways to leave an apartment before the lease has ended; however, some apartment managers do not allow it. In this case, reading through your lease and discussing your options with your landlord or manager is the best way to go about it. Just remember - in the end, a lease is a legal agreement and you are responsible for following it.