I'm studying abroad and want to sublease my room. What steps should I take?

Photo of Mercury 3100Mercury 3100 is a student apartment complex near the University of Central Florida. There is a UCF shuttle that picks up right at the doorstep of the main office, a great plus for many student subleases.

Studying abroad may sound like a foreign idea to everyone now that quarantine is our new normal. However, the situation is fluid, and hopefully, students will return to incredible overseas programs soon enough. While it may not be this Fall or even this Spring, it's never too early to educate yourself on steps you'll need to take to manage an apartment lease while living abroad. If you live off-campus, the primary question is typically how you're going to pay for an empty apartment while overseas. The answer is subleasing.  

Subleasing is when you and your leasing office have an agreement for another tenant to live in your apartment and be responsible for paying rent. Subleasing comes in many forms, and there are lots of requirements before you sign off. Here are a few things to consider before subletting your UCF apartment while you study abroad. 

Leasing office:  

Your first hurdle involves the leasing office. Some UCF apartments have clauses forbidding subleasing, so keep an eye out for that when signing your lease. For those that do allow it, be sure to check in with them as they might have a subleasing application for a future tenant. This is the most critical part of subleasing as it deals with legality, negotiation, and approval. After the approval of the tenant, you can set and negotiate a price.  

Advertising:  

Sooner than later, you will realize the power that Facebook holds in finding roommates, groups, and those looking to sublease. Find a Facebook group that is dedicated explicitly to UCF students, which helps to narrow down your audience and avoid scammers. Be sure to take photos of the bedroom, living room, kitchen, and any other areas you think are essential for a virtual tour of your UCF apartment. Also, take some photos of your room as it could increase the likelihood of someone clicking on your Facebook post. A good tip is to include amenities, price, and pictures all in the same post as the more detailed it is, the better.  

Finding someone to Sublease:  

Searching for someone to sublease your apartment takes time, as you want to make sure to get to know the person. Remember to establish a strong relationship with them from the get-go as they will be taking over your UCF apartment while you are away. If you have roommates, it's also essential to keep them in mind as they will have to live with this person and get along. Let your roommates know how long the subleasing agreement is beforehand so as not to catch anyone by surprise. Once you have found a good fit, you can proceed to make a contract of your own. This is essential as it sets down house rules for what is expected of each other. It will also ease any insecurities you may have while living in a different country.  

Moving out:  

Once the contracts and agreements are signed, everything moves relatively quickly. Now it is time to focus on leaving your UCF apartment in good condition. Some people who sublease consider moving things back home, such as a mini-fridge or personal belongings. It's a personal choice to decide what stays in the apartment. Keep in mind you're going to be studying abroad, so be sure not to leave behind any valuables. 

Subleasing may seem like tedious work, and it is. However, it is the perfect way to save some money while you study abroad. Subleasing is especially great for students who are bound in a 12-month lease and want to travel while at UCF. Be sure to check out more subleasing tips by Study Soup linked here. Now, get to researching for UCF study abroad programs in 2021 and beyond!

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