Housing Advice, Renting

Subletting Your Apartment for the Summer

If you are going home for the summer or taking that internship in New York, you may want to consider subletting your apartment.  That way you won’t be paying for an empty apartment you’re not staying in.  However, there are some things you may want to consider before you do.

1.    Check with your landlord to see if you can sublet.  Not all landlords like people subletting their units, and if you sublet without their permission both you and your tenant could be evicted.  However, if they do allow subletting and/or you have a good relationship with them, they may let you.  In an article we read on eHow.com, they explain that you should only be subletting what you have the right to sublet.  This means that, for example, if you have a month-to-month agreement with your landlord, you want to make sure that your are subletting on a month-to-month basis.

2.    Talk to your friends to see if they would be interested.  It will be significantly easier for you to sublet for a few months to a friend rather than a stranger.  That way you can leave some of your personal belongings behind and you don’t have to worry about it.  It may also be easier for you to address your concerns with them, and for them to address their concerns with you.

3.    If you can’t find a friend, you may want to post up your sublet.  At JumpOffCampus we post sublets for anyone looking to sublet their apartment.  You can also post up your sublet around your campus to see if anyone at your school would be interested.  There may be someone taking summer classes that needs a place to stay for a few months.

4.    Set a reasonable rental price.  In a blog post we read by Kathleen Corlett on HerCampus.com, you want to set a price that won’t scare off any potential renters.  You have to be aware that you probably won’t get the full rent, so you want to take that into consideration.  You will most likely get about 75% of the actual rental cost.

5.    Whether your roommates are staying for the summer or they aren’t, you want to be sure in considering their opinions.  If they are staying for the summer, you want to be sure that they have a hand in deciding whom you will sublet to.  As they are the one(s) who will be staying with this person, you want them to be just as happy with your decision as you are.  If they aren’t staying for the summer, you want to be sure that you set ground rules togehter for the renter that both of you will be happy with.

6.     Meet the prospective tenants.  This way you can see who you will be renting to.  According to Corlett, there are a lot of rental scams out there.  You want to be sure that the person who you are renting to is legitimate and someone you feel comfortable with.  You can think of this process as kind of like a job interview.

7.    You want to be sure to draw up a written and binding agreement between the renter and yourself.  You want to be sure that the tenant agrees to pay the agreed amount each month and that they abide by the terms of your lease that you and your landlord had agreed upon.  In this agreement you may want to consider including any ground rules that you have established for the tenant.  Be sure to check with your landlord to see if they too have any additions to this agreement, or any additional paperwork they may need you or the tenant to fill out.

8.    Get a security deposit from the tenant.  This will ensure that you’ll be covered if there is any damage done to your apartment while your tenant is there.  you’re not left with a hefty bill or lose out on your own security deposit.

9.    Arrange for the tenant to send you money.  This way you will make sure the rent is paid directly to your landlord.

10. Make sure to clean up your place before you leave.  Cleaning before you leave is considerate, and is a great way to make sure none of your possessions get damaged or lost.

11.  Take photos before you leave.  That way you can verify what the apartment looked like when you left before the subtenant moved in.  You want to be sure to date this photo if it is not already time-stamped.  This is just in case any problems arise with damages or other incidents.

Advertisements
Standard
Apartment Hunting, Housing Advice, Renting

Finding A Sublet For the Summer

If you are looking to sublet a place for the summer, there are some important things you need to consider.

1.    Know what you’re looking for.  When you start your search, you want to have an idea of what you would want in a sublet.  In a blog post we read by Kathleen Corlett at HerCampus.com, there are some important questions you want to ask yourself.  Is your ideal sublet furnished or unfurnished?  Is it in walking distance to your work or near a bus stop?  Do you have roommates?  Do you have your own bedroom?  Corlett even suggests putting together a checklist to compare them side-by-side.

2.    Be flexible.  In a blog post we read by Juliet O’Reilly on GradGuard.com, she suggests keeping an open mind when looking at sublets, as a place may not be exactly what you had envisioned, but it may offer you more opportunities than you had expected.

3.    Cover all ground.  O’Reilly advises that while you don’t want to get overwhelmed in your search, you want to be sure that you are looking at all of the opportunities and not limiting yourself.

4.    When you find an ad you like, make sure to get all the info.  Ask for more photos and more information on the rental first before you go to see it.  That way you won’t waste your time viewing a place that won’t fit your needs.

5.    Review crime statistics for the area.  If you don’t know the area very well, you want to be sure that you look at the crime rates for an area.  You want to be sure that the place you live is safe.

6.    Narrow it down.  Narrow your search down to a few places your like the most.  These will be the places that you want to tour.  You may also want to be sure to have a few backups just in case the places you see don’t work out or aren’t what you are looking for.

7.    Check out your top picks.  You don’t want to sign a lease before you’ve seen the place for yourself.

8.    Choosing a place.  Make sure you choose the place that fits your needs best and is somewhere you can see yourself living.

9.    Make sure you read the sublease carefully before signing.  You want to know what you are committing to, if there are any special rules, or if you need clarification on something.

10. When you move in, make sure to take time-stamped photos of the place.  This will prevent you from getting stuck with the bill if there are any damages.

11. Collect all the contact information for the person you are subletting from.  You want to be sure to get all this information before they leave so that you have some way of contacting them.


Standard
Housing Advice, Renting

How to protect yourself when you rent

Renting an off-campus property can be an overwhelming task, to say the least.  We try to help, but how do you know you’re making the right choice when you rent?

In a recent article by Jessica Hickok (http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/05/15/how-to-protect-yourself-as-renter/), she identified some very specific things renters can do to protect themselves when renting a property.  Here is the breakdown of that list:

  • Checking the state’s landlord/tenant laws
  • Watching for red flags on a lease, including changes to monthly charges within the time of the agreement, can you make repairs yourself if the landlord does not respond to repair requests, will you get reimbursed for making those repairs, how will your security deposit be settled once you leave, and are there any eviction procedures that could take place
  • Make sure the owner isn’t in the foreclosure process with the property
  • Be sure to have an exit plan just in case

A lot of the time students may often forget they too have rights as renters.  This is why it is so important to point out some things you can do to protect yourself when signing an agreement because you just never know.

To find your state’s Tenant Rights Handbook, go to http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/rental_assistance/tenantrights.

Standard
JumpOffCampus, Uncategorized

Sublets are blowin’ up!

We have some big news in the sublets department, and just in time for summer!  We know how stressful it can be to find summer housing, it’s always super competitive, and places that are willing to rent to students for just a couple of months are hard to come by.  Hopefully JumpOffCampus can help you with this and make your summer housing search faster, easier, and less stressful.  We have seen a lot of growth with our sublets and we have decided to make it even easier for students to find them.

For example, Brown University in Providence, RI has seen a huge amount of student response to sublets.  Over 160 sublet listings have been posted, and over 1000 messages have been sent through the site inquiring about them!  With this kind of growth, we wanted to make sure that any student could take advantage of our site, regardless of whether or not their school is affiliated with us.

We have now opened JumpOffCampus to allow any student to sign up to see sublets that are posted at any school.  This way you can look at any housing in an area you need.  What if you get a summer internship in Boston, but you are from Connecticut?  It can be really stressful to find housing in those types of situations, so we decided to make it better!  Now that you can see all sublets, you can simply find the perfect apartment in the area you are looking for!

Also, if you have an apartment that you are looking to sublet, we make it super easy to post and find the perfect students to fill your place!  What’s nice about JumpOffCampus is that the site is student centered, so if you have a place, you can easily find other students to fill it!  It’s easy, avoids wasting your time with the wrong types of people, and keeps your focus on things that are really important, oh yeah like finals!

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or feedback, let us know!  We are always looking to improve!  Good luck everyone on the end of the semester and let’s get those sublets rented!!

Standard