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 Rambler, our leasing team has helped hundreds of students sign leases, and understand that finding someone to take over your lease can be challenging. While Rambler 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 7 tips to help you sublet your apartment near the University of Texas at Austin.
Subletting vs. Reletting
Subletting refers to finding someone to take over the financial obligation of your lease for a certain period of time. However, you are still financially and legally obligated to your original contract. If the subletter were to move out or stop paying rent, the obligation falls back on you.
This is why, at Rambler, we offer the option to relet your apartment. Reletting refers to finding someone to take over your contract in its entirety. They sign their own lease and once they take occupancy of the unit, you will be released of your obligation to your signed contract. So, if the reletter were to move out or stop paying rent, the obligation of the contract is on them and you will not be liable.
To keep it simple, we’ll refer to subletting in this article, but remember whether you’re looking to find someone to sublet or relet your space, the process of finding a good fit will be very similar – the main difference comes down to liability.
7 Tips for Finding Subletters near UT Austin
1. Know the rules
The first and most important step is to be sure that subletting is permitted at your apartment complex, or if they require you to relet. Your lease contract should specify the apartment’s policy, but if you are at all unsure, it is best to ask.
If your apartment gives you the go ahead, be sure to note the specific terms of subletting, especially those not noted in your lease. You will want to get all terms in writing to avoid the risk of a miscommunication, which could lead to unexpected fees.
At Rambler, we do not allow subletting, but we do offer a relet process. If you are looking to get out of your lease, you will be responsible for finding someone to take over your contract and sign for your spot. You will then pay the reletting fee, outlined in your lease contract on page two. The relet fee is equivalent to 85% of one month’s rental installment.
2. Speak with your roommates
If you live with other people, be sure to discuss your plans with them before finalizing your sublet; preferably as early as possible. While it is important to be sure your rent is being covered each month, it is also key to communicate your intentions to your roommates.
In student housing near UT, you typically do not have to get your roommates to approve a sublet or relet, but it is nice to do so out of respect 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 UT Austin, 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, as 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 UT Austin, as there are many groups 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. Eventually, you will find people reaching out.
From here, you will want to message them 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. You likely have a few qualities in mind that you’d like your subletter to have – if not, you’ll want to think of a few and jot them down.
With these in mind, you can better craft a social media post to attract potential subletters. Plus, with a better understanding of what you’re looking for, you will be able to better communicate this to both your roommates and potential subletters. 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.
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 UT Austin
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 West Campus living or want to learn more about Rambler, contact our leasing staff, who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have during your student housing search.
Please note: At Rambler, we only offer the option to relet. Subletting is not allowed.