Subletting an Apartment and How it Works

by iROOMit Team
December 20, 2023
6 min read

Subleasing and subletting are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the world of renting, but they actually have different meanings. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between subleasing and subletting and help you understand which option may be right for you.

What is subleasing?

Subleasing occurs when a tenant who is currently renting a property from a landlord decides to rent out the property to another person, known as the subtenant. The subtenant pays rent to the original tenant, who in turn pays rent to the landlord. The original tenant is still responsible for the terms of their lease with the landlord, including paying rent and maintaining the property.

What is subletting?

Subletting is similar to subleasing in that it involves a tenant renting out a property to another person. However, there is one key difference: the tenant who is subletting the property is not responsible for the terms of their lease with the landlord. Instead, the subtenant enters into a new lease agreement directly with the landlord. Let’s get the basics out of the way. Put simply, to sublet means to rent out the room or apartment that you’re currently renting to another person. That person (the sublessee) essentially takes over the remainder of your lease and agrees to pay you (the sublettor) for all bills and payments moving forward. To sublet can also mean that you personally rent out someone else’s room, but we’re going to walk you through what it means to sublet your own room or apartment.

Let’s say you’ve signed a 1-year lease and, with 6 months left, suddenly find that you need to move out of the state or to a new city for a job or personal reasons. Breaking your lease is one option, but it can be costly for myriad reasons. That’s where subletting comes in. Renting your apartment to someone else for those 6 months is a great alternative and one that can save you a bundle of money.


Pros of Subletting


Whether you are thinking about going backpacking through Europe or have another job opportunity in a different city, being allowed to sublet your entire apartment lets you avoid worrying about your apartment lease term or your move-out date.


By subletting your apartment, you can save yourself bundles if you have to move. Otherwise, you might end up stuck paying rent when you’re living in a new apartment. This can be a significant financial burden, especially in expensive cities like San Francisco or New York City.

You won’t break your lease. Breaking your lease is not a viable option. Doing so can follow for years. That is an especially important thing to remember as a young person who will likely need good credit and a reputable history many times in the future.

Cons of Subletting an Apartment

Your reputation is on the line. When you sublet your apartment, you are putting your reputation on the line both with your landlord and potentially your old roommate. No one wants to live with a difficult new person or, worse, face eviction due to an irresponsible companion.

You can lose money. A subtenant can break your agreement and leave you out in the cold. There are legal actions you can take, but they are sometimes more trouble than they are worth—and are certainly better off avoided if and whenever possible. This is why it is so important to take the time to choose honest, trustworthy subtenants from the start.

Market Your Sublet

After getting landlord approval and checking with your renter’s insurance, the next step is finding a subtenant. In order to do this, you will need to do some marketing. There are several sites where you can post a sublet apartment. These days most people find their future homes on the internet, so you should be able to handle finding a subtenant yourself. But, if you are having problems or do not have the time, you can always hire an experienced realtor.If you decide to market your sublet yourself, you can post your sublet on iROOMit.

Other than going online, you may also want to talk to your friends and family about subletting your apartment. They may know someone or know someone who knows someone. When possible, it is always better to have some sort of connection with someone rather than meeting a new person, completely “cold.”

If you’re considering subletting or subleasing your apartment, here are five steps you should take:

  • Review your lease and speak to your landlord: The first step is to review your lease agreement to determine whether subletting or subleasing is allowed. Some landlords do not allow either option, while others may require written permission before you can proceed.
  • Find a subtenant: Once you have permission to sublet or sublease, the next step is to find a subtenant. You can advertise your apartment on various platforms, such as social media, online classifieds, and word-of-mouth.
  • Screen potential subtenants: Before choosing a subtenant, it’s essential to screen potential candidates. Interview all candidates and get a feel for who they are. You may even want to ask for references or proof of employment if entering into a subleasing agreement where you are still responsible for the rent payments to the landlord.
  • Sign a sublet/sublease agreement: Once you’ve found a suitable subtenant, it’s time to sign a sublet/sublease agreement. This document should outline the terms of the agreement, including the rent amount, the duration of the sublet/sublease, and any other conditions.
  • Notify your landlord: Finally, it’s important to notify your landlord about the sublet/sublease agreement. You should provide them with a copy of the signed agreement and ensure that the subtenant is aware of their responsibilities under the lease agreement.

By following these five steps, you can sublet or sublease your apartment in a legal and responsible manner. Remember to always review your lease agreement carefully and seek permission from your landlord before proceeding with either option.

Know that you know what subletting is and how you stand to benefit, you can decide how to move forward with renting out your apartment or becoming a subtenant yourself. Just remember to do your research, make sure that subletting is allowed at your apartment, get to know your new subtenant, and sign an explicit contract, and everything should go perfectly!