Finding a summer sublet can be tricky. There are a few online resources that can help, but each has its drawbacks. Ideally, you’re looking to find a student or an apartment owner who is away for the summer and needs someone to maintain the apartment physically and financially – the question is, how to find that?
Craigslist is the most widely known forum to post a sublet, so it has the most inventory. Unfortunately, lurking among the legitimate entries are hordes of scammers, along with brokers who are posting either fake apartments or sublets with expensive fees attached.
Here are 3 tips for a legitimate craigslist listings:
- Look for listings that have real (i.e. not professional) photos along with descriptions that sell the apartment itself, rather than generically describing the building itself.
- Avoid anything that says “no fee”. Subletting implies working directly with a property owner, so anyone who says “no fee” is likely a broker – owners tend not to use brokers’ terms.
- Look for a genuine voice in the writing. Run from all caps and exclamation marks. Instead, try to find someone who is looking for a nice person to fill the room/apartment.
Airbnb is very handy when you need a place to stay while traveling. When hotels are busy or outrageously expensive, Airbnb can save the day. Its review system deters scammers and other untrustworthy individuals from using the site to take advantage of subletters.
Airbnb’s verified reviews and online payments give a strong sense of security when looking for a sublet. Customize the city, how long your stay will be, and the apartment you’re staying in. Read the reviews just in case but in general finding a sublet couldn’t be simpler than it is with Airbnb.
When all else fails, social media sites, such as Facebook, can be very useful tools when searching for a sublet. Post about your search on your personal page to greatly increase your chances of finding a place to stay – everyone knows a friend of a friend looking for a subletter. Even better, if you don’t want to spam your personal connections, you can post in specific Facebook groups dedicated to matching subletters to renters. All it takes is diligence: keep posting and following up, and you might be lucky.
- Never Send Money Blindly – Be wary of anybody asking for money orders or wire transfers since these can’t be canceled or reversed.
- Always Look – The old saying “look before you leap” applies to subletting as well. Check out the interior of the potential apartment and meet with the subletter to ensure you know what you’re getting into.
- Don’t Break The Law – Is the owner allowed to sublet the apartment? While tedious, it is always best to check with the apartment renter and the landlord to ensure that subletting is allowed in the lease agreement.
Searching for an apartment for any length of time can be incredibly daunting and tiring. However, it shouldn’t be done without care. While your time in a sublet apartment may be short, make sure the unit is what you want. Be diligent, be cautious, and be glad when the process is over.