Renting

Things to know about subletting

If you have an apartment to sublet, know your rights and responsibilities

Many students are looking for a place to live this summer.
Many students are looking for a place to live this summer.   Terra Tailleur

As the school term ends, many students are looking for apartments for next school year or sublets for the summer, while others are trying to find temporary renters for their places.

Regardless of what side you’re on, there are things you should know about the process before anything is official.

Nova Scotia has the Residential Tenancies Act, meaning there are laws for landlords and tenants. Know both sides.

The main things for tenants is to know the clauses specified in the lease, have rent payments in on time — there are different limits that determine when rent is late depending on your type of lease — and don’t disturb the peace. If you breach any of these, your landlord can give you an eviction notice.

Jacob Leger, a student at the University of King’s College, and his girlfriend are subletting their apartment on South Street this summer. This is their first time doing it, and Leger says the process started off stressful but is getting easier because they’re finally getting responses.

He offers these four tips.

Lower the price a little

“We’re paying $850 per month for our apartment, and we had to turn it down to $790,” Leger said. “It’s not too bad because we’re splitting it, so it’s only $30 each.

“It’s annoying that, even though we’re supplying all the furniture and stuff like that, we feel the need to turn down the price.”

He added, however, that lowering the price does help generate interest and a lot of people in the area do it.

“It’s kind of competitive that way,” he said.

Keep reposting your ad

If you’re posting an ad in a university Facebook group, or sites like Kijiji, other posts will push yours further down.

Because people, generally, only scroll down so far, your ad could get lost if you only post once. By reposting, you put it back near the top where people will see it.

“You always have to have it at the top of the list,” Leger said.

Wait it out

Don’t panic if you don’t get responses right away.

“At first, it was quite stressful because we didn’t have a lot of people really asking for a sublet,” Leger said.

“Now, it’s going a lot better, though. We’ve gotten six or seven responses in the past week, and we’ve had quite a few viewings.”

He says by the end of the school year, people start to get desperate, which helps generate interest.

Picking a good tenant

Leger says that, so far, they’ve only had good candidates. However, some looked into staying longer than September, or to take over their lease entirely.

“It’s hard because people will expect more out of you,” he said. “(Choose) somebody that won’t really expect too much.”

He finds that a good way to judge, personality-wise, is to watch how candidates act while they’re in your house.

Landlords have to approve of your tenant before anything happens, so they can act as a second opinion.