When you’re a tenant, your security deposit is the most precious thing to you. You don’t want to do anything that might give your landlord any cause to withhold your deposit. Most rental agreements come with a clause saying you can’t vacate the apartment for a set period of time (called the lock-in period) or you will have to forfeit your deposit.
However, sometimes life doesn’t always pan out according to your lock-in period. You might have to suddenly move away for work, or you might find that you cannot afford the rent on your own. You might even want to turn from a renter to a property-buyer.
When something like this happens, you have two options: either you move out of the apartment anyway and lose your deposit, or you find another tenant to sublet your apartment to. Subletting can be a very tricky process if you’re doing it for the first time. If it’s done wrong, you might find yourself in a tangle of legal and financial problems. So here are a few steps to help you sublet your apartment with zero complications.
Get everyone’s permission
When you decide to sublet your apartment, the first thing you need to do is check your rental or lease agreement. Most agreements will have a clause about subletting. Some expressly forbid it, while others say you can do it, but only with the landlord’s permission. If your agreement doesn’t allow for subletting, you can try your luck by explaining your situation to your landlord and asking for permission.
If he won’t budge, then you have no option but to lose your deposit. If your agreement says that you need to ask for permission first, ask your landlord in writing if you can sublet the apartment and get his consent also in writing. This prevents any legal hassles later on. Even if your agreement says nothing about subletting, you should still ask your landlord first.
If you live with roommates, then you also need to ask them for their permission before you sublet your share of the apartment. After all, they’re the ones who are going to live with the new tenant, so you need their consent before you proceed.
Find a trustworthy tenant
Finding a good tenant is crucial when you’re subletting because if they damage the apartment in any way, then the responsibility ultimately falls on you. The most reliable way to find a good tenant is to ask your immediate circle of friends and family if they know anyone who’s looking for an apartment.
You can also post a status on your social media account asking if anyone’s interested in moving in. If you find a tenant that’s a friend or recommended by a friend, then the chances of them being responsible and reliable are much higher.
If no one you know is interested in moving in, then you need to put up listings. You can use online classifieds or put up a post on special social media groups dedicated to apartment listings. Make sure you take good pictures and find ways to make the home look tenant-friendly. Clean up the whole apartment and make it look big and spacious to attract enquiries.
Do a background check
It’s not the best idea to sublet your apartment to the first person who enquires. You need to make sure that a prospective tenant is reliable, financially stable and isn’t looking to move out for a while. If your tenant ends up vanishing after a month without a trace, you will need to pay their rent along with the rent of the place you’re currently staying in. You also stand the chance of losing your security deposit if they damage the apartment.
Conduct interviews with every person who applies so you can ask them where they’re working and what their financial situation is. You need to make sure they earn enough money to be able to pay the rent on time every month. If you have roommates, ask them to meet the new tenant as well to ensure it’s a good fit.
Draw up an agreement
When you choose a tenant to sublet your apartment to, you need to draw up a written agreement to avoid legal hassles in the future. If you don’t have a lawyer to draw up an agreement for you, there are plenty of subletting agreement templates online that you can use. You also need to decide if you want to take a security deposit from your tenant. Doing so is always advisable in case the tenant leaves abruptly without notice or damages the property in any way. Make sure there’s a clause in the agreement about the lock-in period as well.
Move out of the apartment
Once all the formalities are out of the way, you can finally pack up your bags and move out. Make sure you leave the apartment in a good condition for your new tenant. If you want to leave some of your belongings behind because you don’t have space to carry it all with you, ask your tenant for permission first.
If you’re thinking of moving out of your rented apartment, then this is a great time to consider buying an apartment of your own. Investing in real estate is one of the best forms of investment and will finally give you freedom from the constraints of your landlord. Visit Malaysia Realtors for beautifully constructed apartments in convenient localities to make your transition from tenant to homeowner easier.