Tips for Advertising a Student Sublet 

Friday, November 21, 2014

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In an ideal world, the standard lease length would be flexible and match the school term for student renters. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in most rental markets.


Students often find themselves signing a twelve month lease, despite only needing a rental accommodation for eight or nine months of the year. When summertime rolls around, most of these students will return home for the summer, but will still be required to pay rent for the remainder of their lease. In order to try to recuperate some of this money spent on rent while not occupying the rental unit, many students will try to find a subletter. However, finding an ideal subletter isn’t always an easy task. We’ve compiled some helpful tips on how students can most effectively advertise their sublets and save some money!


When it comes to subletting, timing is everything. The most important piece of information to know is when students begin searching for accommodations. Typically, most student sublets are for the summer months, as most academic programs run from approximately September to April or May. If a student is looking for a subletter for summer months, it’s wise to figure out the approximate date of when students will be registering for summer classes. This will help to determine the ideal time to advertise sublets. Waiting until the end of the school year to advertise a summer sublet is usually too late, because summer programs start shortly thereafter. It’s wise to advertise sublets a few months in advance, at minimum. The same can be applied to sublets at different times of the year. The second peak time for student sublets is often for the winter term, which begins in January after Christmas break. Students seeking a subletter for the winter term should advertise their sublets shortly after the fall term start date.  


Second to timing is pricing. While many students will simply ask the rental rate they are currently paying, other students will price their sublets more competitively. This means that students will drop the price below what they are paying and absorb a small monthly difference.  It’s better to recuperate some money than no money at all. During peak sublet times, the rental market will be oversaturated with sublets, which is why dropping the rental price might be necessary. Before posting a sublet advertisement, it’s wise to see what other sublets are asking as a rental rate. Students should also be very careful, if they wish to charge more than the rental rate that they are paying. In some rent-controlled regions, it’s illegal for a tenant to charge more than what they are paying in rent to a subletter.


The next thing to consider is flexibility. While the original twelve month lease might not have been flexible, a sublet term should be more accommodating. Ideally, students typically want to find a subletter to take over the lease for the entire time they won’t need the rental accommodation. Unfortunately, this isn’t always practical. Students wishing to sublet may want to consider offering more flexible terms, as academic programs tend to vary in duration. For example, most summer programs will not span the entire three or four months of the summer break. Offering a month-by-month sublet option is typically a good way to maximize the amount of inquiries.

The final consideration is finding where students look for sublets. Many schools run an off-campus housing service that allows students to advertise their sublets. This will be the ideal platform to advertise a sublet, but it should not be the only platform. Students should also use their own social networks (i.e. Facebook) to share their sublet, in the event one of their friends happens to be looking for a place. Most schools also have their own dedicated Facebook groups where many students will post their sublets as well.


By following these recommendations, students will increase the likelihood of finding a subletter. Subletting can often save students hundreds or even thousands of dollars! 


SEE ALSO: What Students Need To Know About Subletting A Place

The Team