10 Last-Ditch Efforts to Sublet Your Apartment

By Christine Ascher on April 16, 2017

For most schools, summer is fast approaching in just a few weeks. If you’re not planning to stay at school for the summer, you might find yourself in a tricky situation: you have an apartment that you won’t be living in and therefore rent that you don’t want to pay, but no subtenant.

As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures; amp up your search for the perfect subtenant — or just a decent one, really — with some of the following tactics.

Image via http://pixabay.com

1. Negotiate

Instead of setting a specific price for your apartment, ask your subtenant first what they would be hoping to pay per month. If you feel the price they have in mind is too low, then you might need to negotiate to raise it. You might end up having to reduce the price you’re going to receive, but it will be better than having no subtenant at all.

Plus, even if you and your potential subtenant can’t come to an agreement and you decide to keep looking, you’ll at least have a better idea of what other potential subtenants might have in mind price-wise and can adjust your expectations accordingly.

2. Ask your building management or landlord for help

If your building is full or has no more availability for the type of apartment that you’re subletting, ask your building management or landlord if they can refer people interested in the building to you. They probably won’t want to miss the opportunity to rent out any empty apartments, but if they’re full and have a wait-list they might be able to help you find a subtenant who is just as eager for your apartment as you are to get rid of it.

3. Ask other property managers

If your own proves unsuccessful, ask some of the other property managers in your area if they could refer someone on their wait-list to you. You might have to beg, but if you try some popular places that have more demand than they can handle, they’ll probably be willing to help you out.

4. Try the study abroad office

For schools with study abroad exchange programs, there might be students coming to your school for a semester or the summer who need to find a place to stay. Talk to your school’s study abroad office to see if they can put you into contact with any exchange students. Since finding housing in a foreign country can be overwhelming, exchange students will probably be just as relieved to find an apartment as you are to sublet it.

5. Make flyers and hand them out on campus

A good old-fashioned way to attract attention — and hopefully interest — in your apartment is by handing out flyers as you go about your day on campus. Give some to your friends to hand out as well so you can cover more ground. You can also try posting them around campus if your school’s bookstore or coffee shops have bulletin boards.

Make your flyers colorful and include cool pictures and graphics so people will actually pause to read them. You can also put them on students’ cars and bikes; again, then they’ll be more likely to actually stop and consider your proposal.

6. Recruit help

Ask your friends and family — and even your professors, if there are some you know really well — to tell everyone they know that you’re looking for a subtenant. If you or your friends work a campus job that requires contact with a lot of students, use that to your advantage as well — you and/or your friends can let all of the students who you come across know that you’re looking for a subtenant and are willing to offer major benefits.

The more people you tell, the better your chances are of having some interest.

7. Take advantage of your school’s Facebook meme page

If your school has its own meme page on Facebook, as more and more universities now do, post on it to catch people’s attention. Given the popularity of these pages, you’ll reach a much broader audience than by simply using word-of-mouth.

8. Offer freebies beyond just the basics 

Sweeten the deal for your subtenant by offering to throw in some freebies, from basic apartment supplies to furniture, decorations, or other items like gift cards. That will grab more people’s attention as well as incentivizing them to choose your place over another.

9. Leave behind some cool furniture or décor

Especially if your apartment is well-decorated and inviting, offer to leave it furnished as it is. That way, your subtenants will know exactly what they’re getting out of the deal and won’t have to worry about moving all of their own stuff into the apartment. This is best if you’re subletting for a short amount of time as if it’s for a longer period, your subtenant may want to make the space their own.

10. Offer to have the apartment completely stocked when they move in

Leave fresh cleaning supplies, soap, toilet paper, and paper towels for your subtenants; the less they need to do work when they move in, the more attractive your offer will be. If you’re still not getting any interest, throw in other necessities like towels, bed linens, and dishes. You could even throw in their first week of groceries so that they’re all set up when they move in.

By Christine Ascher

Uloop Writer
Hi! I'm Christine and I'm currently a senior at the University of Southern California, where I study English Literature, Economics, and French.

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