Check the lease or rental agreement
Before you take any action, check your rental or lease agreement for clauses allowing or preventing you from subletting the rental property. If you sublet your apartment without your landlord's permission, you could lose your lease so be sure to talk it over with your landlord. Generally, if the reason for the sublet is reasonable (ex: you are going somewhere for the summer but will be back in the fall), landlords will have no problem signing off on a sublet for an approved subtenant.
Create a Sublease Agreement
While some states have laws to protect tenants and landlords from bad subtenants, many do not. It's your responsibility to find a suitable subtenant and have them sign a Sublease Agreement. Your landlord, as well as any roommates, will also have to approve of the terms of the Sublease Agreement.
You'll need to include:
- Your dates of absence
- The subtenant's responsibilities (ask your roommates what they would like to request)
- Consider adding a security deposit; it may be the best way to limit your liability.
- Take pictures of the apartment before you leave as a reference point.For the same reason, you may also wish to fill out a Renter's Inspection Worksheet.
Find a Subtenant
How you find your subtenant is completely up to you: you can use Craigslist, Facebook, local bulletin boards, or word of mouth through your social networks.
However you find your subtenant, you should do a background or credit check. Complete background checks may not be necessary, but since the lease is still under your name, you are liable for whatever damage or late payments your subtenant makes.
If you're ready now, create your Sublease Agreement online with Rocket Lawyer. You can also Find a Lawyer.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.