Winter Term Subletting
Are you an incoming or outgoing exchange student for this upcoming winter term? (January to April) If you have not yet found a sublet, the Off-Campus Living Advisor is happy to help you. There are some things that you must know before subletting a unit:
- Differentiate a sublet from a lease assignment - A sublet is a short term rental that the original tenant remains responsible for the rent and lease agreement. Normally a sublet is used when the original tenant intends to come back to the unit after the sublet ends. A lease assignment is used when the original tenant does not plan to return to the unit and the new tenant takes over the lease agreement
- The landlord of the property must be made aware of the sublet and must approve any applicant
- You should confirm compatibility with the current housemates - whether you are moving or are renting out your space, you should always make sure you talk about expectations for house cleanliness, chores, quiet hours, and general rules of the household
- Show/View the unit - Whether you are offering up your rental for subletting or looking for a place yourself, it is always important to show or view the unit. Even a virtual walk through of the house is better than nothing! You should never send money or rent a property based on pictures/video alone. Scammers will always make up excuses why they cannot show the unit.
- Where to post/look for sublets - unlike the normal housing search process, there are only so many websites where sublets are posted. Most property management websites will not be posting sublets, so you will need to look elsewhere:
- Social Media Listing Services such as Queen's University -Off-Campus Housing (Not affiliated to Queen's University)
- Kijiji - Room Rentals
- Queen's University Community Housing Accommodations Listing Service
- Always use a sublet agreement - If you would like a template for a sublet agreement, please contact the Off-Campus Living Advisor
- If you have additional questions or would like some guidance, please contact your Off-Campus Living Advisor
Preparing your home for winter and the holidays
With the holiday closure coming up this December and many students going home for the holidays, it is important to know how to leave your home in the best shape that you can.
- If you plan to be away, your first step should be to notify your landlord that you will be away
- Create a check in plan - depending how long you are gone, it may be worthwhile or required by insurance to have someone check in on the property. This could be your landlord, their agent, or a friend. Footsteps in the snow around the house also make it look as though someone is home. Did you know that the AMS offers a Holiday House Check?
- Temperature control - although it is tempting to turn off your heat while you are away, this can put your home and belongings at risk. It is important to leave your heating system on to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting while you away. Your lease agreement may indicate a required temperature to maintain in the unit whilst you are away
- Tidy up the inside and outside- a tidied yard and home makes it look as though someone is still home maintaining it and it makes life easier when you get back
- Turn off outside taps - if you have any outside taps or hoses, turn them off as soon as the weather starts to turn cold
- Make sure the house is secure- Bring in all items from outside, ensure all windows and doors are locked before leaving
- Consider leaving a couple of lights on or setting timers - having a few lights on in around the property will make it look as though someone is home
- Look into recent maintenance issues - if your roof has been leaking or there have been similar issues to this recently, investigate to make sure they have been properly resolved. You do not want something to leak while you are away!