Important Things to Include in Your Sublet Agreement

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So, you've got a sublettor for the Spring Semester, but you aren't quite sure what to include in that sublet agreement. That's okay! A lot of first time sublettors don't know what needs to be said in this agreement. As a rule of thumb, it's best to have as much in writing as possible and not assume that anything goes without saying. Here are some things you definitely want to include:

  • Term of Sublet. Be specific! When is the move in date and when is move out. Are these days flexible at all. When they move in, who is their contact person, how do they get their keys. When they move out, who is there contact person, how do they return their keys.
  • Rent. How much rent are they paying? What method of payment should they use? Who are they paying it to? What day is it due? Keep in mind that if they are paying you and you are paying the landlord, you might want to build in some cushion time to make sure their check clears before you have to send yours.
  • If Rent Will be Prorated. As your sublettor for the spring semester will likely want to move in half way through January and move out halfway through May, it is not unlikely that they will ask to not pay the full rent for these months. Consider if you are willing to be flexible and prorate the rent. Include in your agreement how much rent will be charge for these half months.
  • Utilities. Utilities are often a cost overlooked. How are utilities split? How will your subtenant pay for them? If your subtenant is splitting the cost of utilities they should get a say in how they are used. Consider discussing this with the roommate staying behind- if they like a toasty apartment, they might not be happy with a subtenant who lowers the heat to save money.
  • Optional Utilities. You might have split the wifi and cable bill with your roommates, but what if your subtenant doesn't want or need these optional luxuries? Make sure that your subtenant is aware of all costs they are expected to pay and agrees to them to avoid future conflicts. 
  • Common Space Expectations. Does your subtenant have full use of the common spaces? Can they have guests over and use the common spaces? Do they need to ask permission from a certain roommate before using the TV or gaming system? Make sure any aspects of the house rules, spoken or unspoken, that you have established with your roommates are clear in the sublet agreement.
  • Furnishings. Are you leaving furniture behind? Can the subtenant use them? Are you charging rent for the use of your furniture? Are you selling them your furniture? Are you just letting them use your furniture? Keep in mind that if you are charging for your furniture, your subtenant might elect to bring their own. State your expectations for the treatment of your furniture and if it is the subtenant's responsibility to remove it from the space when they leave.
  • Storage Space. Are you storing your belongings in the apartment? This is not uncommon if you plan to return to the apartment before the lease expires. Keep in mind that if you are using the apartment as a storage space, your subtenant should not be completely covering your portion of the rent, as they are not fully renting the space. Set clear expectations of the items you have stored and let your subtenant know what is off limits.
  • Move Out Condition. Make sure the condition you want your subtenant to leave the apartment in when they move out is clear. Is the subtenant responsible for removing furniture or leaving the apartment broom swept? Is someone preforming a walk through with the subtenant to make sure any damage is noted?

You can view a sample sublet agreement here to help you as you create your own!

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