Roommate Rift: Subletting

Subletting often gets placed on the back burner for students. After all, aren't you busy enough with class and exams, subletting shouldn't be on your mind as soon as you move in. However before you know it exam week will be approaching and you'll want a summer sublettor secured. 

However, finding a sublettor isn't something that you want to take lightly. You are still responsible for your apartment and any damage that is caused. Also keep in mind that if your roommates are staying in the apartment, this sublettor will be sharing personal space with them.
Take it from me, a random group of roommates can easily create a very unhappy dynamic. One summer I subletted an apartment from a good friend. Going in, I thought I knew what I was getting into. One roommate was staying, one had found a sublettor, and the other was just going to leave.

It was important to my parents that all of my roommates be female and this was agreed upon by the current tenants. However, a few days before I moved in things changed. The fourth roommate had changed her mind and found a sublettor, a male sublettor. Due to her financial concerns the other tenants caved and allowed her to make the agreement.

He was very messy and didn't seem to understand some personal boundaries. The other sublettor was out of the apartment for over a month and refused to cover utility expenses for that time, leaving the rest of us with a greater expense. It wasn't terrible, but it was more than I bargained for.

The tenant that stayed enjoyed having guests over, late at night, especially on week days. If I hadn't been working this would have been fine by me, but having noisy guests until 2:00am isn't ideal when you have to be at work by 9:00am. I'm sure she wished that the sublettors had been more on her schedule and hadn't requested that guests leave earlier.

Recently, my roommate had to leave our lease early and needed to find a sublettor. She approached me and asked me what kind of person I wanted for a roommate. Next she made an ad and began emailing with possible sublettors. Finally she interviewed some and then I met with her top choice. I got along with her and gave my permission for her to continue. Now I get along well with my new roommate. We have common expectations for what our living situation will be and although we aren't best friends, we do live together well. 

From my experience with subletting it is clear that there is a right and wrong way to go about things. Doing your homework on a potential sublettor not only protects you (you're still responsible for rent and don't forget about that security deposit), but also will help protect your relationship with your roommates.

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