How to avoid headaches of summer sublease

When students leave Tallahassee for a few months because of a summer internship, family emergency or vacation, subleasing is an option to cover rent. But according to Apartment Seekers, it has its pros and cons.

Chuck Howell, the owner of Apartment Seekers, said advertising early is the key to getting an apartment subleased.

“Some people wait until the last minute to try to sublease,” Howell said. “If I know by April I need to be out, I need to start advertising by January, at least three months in advance.”

Howell said the way students advertise a sublease could determine how effective the outcome will be.

“You have to be creative and willing to swallow or lose money,” he said. “Some students are really in need of a sublease, so they give away months of rent. The key is to make your apartment more appealing than others.”

Felesha Thomas, 23, a senior English student from Miami, advertised her sublease four months in advance but did not get a response until the last month.

“I had to go out my way and pay the first month rent,” Thomas said. “I also paid $60 each month for the convenience of the renter, not to mention a $200 fee my apartment complex charged me for switching my lease to someone else.”

Subleasing can have its perks with possible incentives added in the lease by the resident.

Jessica Ceaugiis, 19, a freshman exercise science student at Florida State University, lives on campus. She decided to stay in Tallahassee for the summer because she received an attractive offer to sublease an apartment.

“I was going to go home because it’s way too expensive to stay on campus during the summer,” she said. “But my friend told me he’ll only charge me $395 for June and July and he’d pay the rest. His apartment includes everything – I was sold.”

Howell said the ideal way to sublease is to promote an apartment or home with clear benefits the person subleasing can understand.

There are various types of subleasing, such as posting ads at local venues, or dealing with the apartment complex management.

Jamir Robinson, a leasing agent at Campus Lodge Apartments, said subleasing from an apartment complex can be more challenging than subleasing from a renter.

“The apartment complex will try to lease our units first before we try to help tenants with subleases,” Robinson said. “We’d feel safer signing a lease with someone who knows they have to be responsible for their own rent.”

Howell said subleasing with a tenant is usually the easier route to take.

“Ninety percent of our business is people looking for their own lease, not someone else’s lease,” Howell said.