What is the Difference Between Subletting and Reletting an Apartment?

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If for some reason you play on moving out of town, whether permanently or just for a few months, you may be wondering what you can do to move someone you're your apartment. 

Subletting and reletting your apartment (or a room in your apartment) are two options to think about when looking to find someone to move in to your apartment quickly. However, both are two very different types of rental agreement, each with their own set of pros and cons. Before you make a decision, you should know the difference between the two, and which option is best for your needs as well as the needs of the apartment community. 

Subletting

Subletting, also known as subleasing, is a rental arrangement that allows a new resident to move into your apartment (or a room in the apartment) while you move out. Whoever rents this apartment or room will pay rent and utilities, and will adhere to the lease terms. As the original resident, you're still responsible for maintaining the lease and the overall upkeep of the apartment. If the new resident flakes on the rent, you're liable for the back rent and the apartment community can sue you to get what they're owed. 

You'll also be taking responsibility for all of this new renter's actions. If they throw a party and completely trashes the apartment, it's on you. 

Now, because of the aforementioned downsides, not all communities will allow a subleasing arrangement because of this. In fact, most apartments prohibit subleasing agreements. If you're even considering subleasing, check to see whether or not your apartment prohibits it before you sublet. If you sublet any part of your apartment without permission at an apartment where subleasing is strictly prohibited, you'll be breaking the conditions of your contract. 

Reletting?

If you want to relet your apartment, the apartment community will have the replacement resident sign a brand new lease, releasing you from all of your obligations as a renter of that apartment. If the new resident wants to throw a party and causes damage to the apartment, you won't have to worry about a thing. A reletting rental arrangement is a fresh contractual relationship between the community and the person renting out your former apartment, completely separate from the rental agreement you signed. 

Reletting is your best course of action if you need to terminate your lease agreement for any reason. Your apartment community will do what it can to find a suitable renter. During their search, however, you will still be responsible for paying your portion of rent and utilities, even if you've already moved out. 

Sublet or Relet?

Not all communities allow sublease agreements, so always check beforehand!Not all communities allow sublease agreements,
so always check beforehand!

Deciding whether you should sublet or relet your apartment boils down to 1) the circumstances of your move (whether it's temporary or permanent) and 2) whether your apartment will even allow you to sublet. 

If you only need to leave for a few months, maybe to go back home for the summer or to travel abroad, but fully intend to return to your apartment in the near future, subletting sounds like the best, short-term option for you. If you definitely don't see yourself moving back in to your apartment because you're moving out of town for a new job, then reletting your apartment is in your best interest.

Remember, each agreement comes with its own pros and cons. Here's a refresher: 

Pros of Subletting:

  • The overall process of finding a new renter is much quicker
  • You can choose who you rent out your apartment to 

Cons of Subletting:

  • Many apartments prohibit subleasing
  • You're responsible for all damage caused by the renter, as well as any rent or money they owe the apartment community

Pros of Reletting:

  • The new resident signs a fresh lease
  • You won't have to worry about being liable for damage or back rent

Cons of Reletting:

  • You have to pay rent up until the apartment community finds a new renter

Now that you know the difference between subletting and reletting, you should be ready to make your decision. Weigh the pros and cons of each, and decide whether you're looking for a short-term solution or a long-term solution. And, as always, contact your apartment community for more information about what rental agreements they allow as well as what they can do to help you out.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of SwampRentals.com or any of our advertising partners.