Thinking of Subletting Your Apartment? Here’s What You Need to Know

With peak rental season upon us, many of you may be contemplating whether or not you should rent out your home. Here are some basic things that you need to consider before you decide to try to become a landlord (or sublessor, as the case may be).

For Owners

  • Find out your co-op or condo’s rules on subletting
    • What’s the minimum lease term?
    • For co-op owners – what’s the maximum lease term?
    • For co-op owners – is there a residency requirement before you’re allowed to sublet?
    • If you have a mortgage, does the building require you to get your bank’s approval prior to subletting?
    • Do you need to submit a formal request to the board prior to listing your apartment?
    • Each condo and co-op will have their own specific rules for subletting their apartment, so it is imperative for you to contact them first before attempting to list your apartment for rent.
  • Find out what fees would be associated with your sublet
    • What will the owner have to pay? A percentage of the monthly maintenance? A flat fee per month or per year?
    • What will the tenant have to pay?
    • Is any portion of the fees refundable?
  • Familiarize yourself with the sublet application and tenant rules
    • What kind of information or forms will the board require from you, the owner? What about the prospective tenant?
    • How long does the approval process usually take? This one is especially important, as it will help you determine possible lease start dates.
    • For co-op owners – is a board interview required?
    • If your building has amenities, will the tenant be able to use them? Will they have to pay a fee to do so?
    • Would your tenant be able to have a pet? This assumes that you would be okay with pets in your apartment, of course.

For Tenants

  • First and foremost – always, ALWAYS ask your landlord’s permission to sublet your apartment.
  • Find out what your landlord requires to sublet an apartment
    • Will the new sub-tenant be required to fill out an application similar to the one you did?
    • Are there any associated fees for the rental (i.e. application fee, administrative fees, background check fee, etc)?  
    • What will be the financial requirements for the new sub-tenant?
    • Will the landlord permit the new sub-tenant to have a pet? If so, what fees would be associated with this?
    • If your building has amenities, will the new sub-tenant have access to them also? Will there be any additional fees for access?
    • How are you going to handle the payment of utilities while you’re subletting?

Have more questions about subletting your apartment or looking for someone to help you rent your place? Feel free to contact me – I’ve handled many rentals for condo and co-op owners, and I’ve also assisted tenants with lease assumptions and sublets. I’d be happy to use that experience to help you!  

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