The 4 Types of Subtenants

By Kaitlin Hurtado on March 2, 2017
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When it comes to college housing, the term “sublease” is often thrown around in conversation. You may have signed up for an apartment for a 12-month lease, but find that you won’t need to inhabit the apartment during summer, spring, or winter break.

Instead of paying for a space you aren’t even going to use, you can sublease the apartment to another in need of temporary housing and avoid paying for the unused housing in full. However, just like like any college scenario, there are the “horror stories” of subleasing and the subtenants you can sublease your living space to including the following.

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The “I temporarily live here so technically everything is temporarily mine” Subtenant

Depending on when you sublease your apartment, you may or may not have most — if not all — of your furniture and personal belongings in your apartment when you sublease it. While you want to be able to trust your subtenant and believe that they won’t do wrong to any of your belongings, you shouldn’t put full faith in your subtenants.

If you leave any of your belongings in the apartment, like cooking utensils, your subtenant can take it as a sign that they can use it freely as they are already using your living space as their own. Using your cooking utensils may not seem like a big deal for everyone, but they may mistreat your belongings, forgetting to wash them until days after using them.

You won’t be there to keep constant watch on your subtenant and to make sure that they don’t use your belongings without asking. Make sure to set guidelines on what the subtenant can and cannot use — if they can borrow bedding, cookware, etc. However, you cannot guarantee that they will adhere to all of the rules you set prior to the sublease.

The “I swear I’ll have the rent tomorrow” Subtenant

As trustworthy as a subtenant might be when you agree to sublease your apartment to them when it comes to actually collecting rent from them on a deadline, they may fail to get you the rent money in time. If it’s a one-time payment, this isn’t going to be an issue for you, but if you are subleasing over the course of several months, you’ll have to rely on your subtenant to give you rent money on time so that you can make timely payments.

While you aren’t necessarily living in the space, you are still responsible for making sure the rent is paid each month, so be ready to keep your subtenants in check when it comes to paying their share of the rent.

The “It’s just going to be a few people” Subtenant

You may be subletting your living space to a single person, but they may bring other people into your living space without letting you know about it. These extra guests may be a daily occurrence, if not nightly if you are not there to supervise the apartment. Instead, you might receive complaints from your other roommates about the subtenant’s tendency to have people over.

Likewise, some subtenants will take advantage of the living space they are in and throw a party. A party can lead to several things — broken furniture, ruined carpet or other flooring, and noise complaints. A subtenant may give you a heads-up prior to the actual party, but lie about what it will entail in order for you to agree to their plans.

If you know that your subtenant is planning on throwing a party, or several, going into the subleasing process, make sure to set guidelines on how the subtenant will pay for damages acquired through excessive partying by either raising the deposit or signing an agreement between you and the subtenant on paying for damages.

The “He doesn’t even shed” Subtenant

Whether it’s a small kitty or a large dog, having a furry friend in your living space seems enticing when you think of the comfort they can bring into your life. However, some people do not realize the true responsibilities that come with living with a pet full-time. Pets can shed all over furniture and flooring, chew or scratch at furniture, or use the apartment’s flooring as their personal bathroom if not trained or taken out regularly.

A subtenant may promise that their furry friend is fully house-trained and doesn’t shed, but more often than not, your subtenant can leave your apartment behind with damage done by their pet. When the subtenant hasn’t properly trained their pet, you can expect their pet to use your floor as a bathroom, leaving you to only hope that the subtenant is thorough in all of their cleaning.

If the pet doesn’t do well in confined places or gets bored easily, they can take out their stress or boredom on your furniture, if you left it behind during the sublease. The subtenant and their furry friend(s) can also leave behind an unwanted scent (for you or future renters) due to unattended litter boxes, pee pads, or other bathroom-related accidents.

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By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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