Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartment Lease Takeover

August 11, 2012

Chris asks…

Sublet or Lease Takeover in San Francisco?

My friend is moving out of her rent-controlled San Francisco apartment and I want to take over her lease or sublet from her and pay the same amount of rent that she is currently paying. Does anyone have any experience with this? Do I sublet from her or completely take over the lease? Is this legal? What if there is nothing in the lease that says she can’t sublet?

Thanks for your help.

Administrator answers:

Be careful, it is a violation of the lease to sub-let. It is cause for immediate eviction.

John asks…

How to find a someone to takeover a lease for a room?

I’m trying to find someone to take over my room at my apartment. I’ve tried various sites and no results yet. Anyone know effective methods of finding potential tenants?

Administrator answers:

Place tons of ads, hang fliers, let friends know about it…and pray it helps you find the right person. Sometimes it helps to make the ad more attractive-bold facing/script, etc. But sometimes you need to make the offer jucier. Think like a business man if you have to and offer to let them keep the (pay none and then they get the refund) deposit for them or maybe offer to pay a portion of their rent every month so it’s cheaper for them (and it gets you out of most of the cost though not all). Maybe throw furniture into the deal or something else depending on the apartment. Think outside the box.

Ken asks…

I can’t find someone to sublet my apartment.. questions?

So I signed a lease in March for the apartment I currently live in. I moved in mid-May. I anticipated on staying here until next July but something came up and I need to move. The current lease ends on July 31st and the next one starts on August 1st (but move-in isn’t until the 15th).

Since there is no way to get out of the lease, I have been searching for someone to takeover my lease for the past 3 weeks (yes, I have permission from the landlord). I’ve put out numerous ads on Craigslist, posted on the local housing websites, posted on my Facebook, and asked many of my friends if they knew anyone. I am paying the security deposit ($475) and have offered to pay 1st months rent. That’s all I can afford because there is also a $500 lease takeover fee. I may be able to give them some more for signing but I won’t know until later.

Is it appropriate to ask the leasing office for help? I know it depends on the office as to whether or not they’ll help me and they do know that I have been searching for someone.
Should I move-out when the current lease ends on July 31st or stay until I find someone?
Whoever sublets from me has a $250 community fee and $60 application.. should I offer to pay those instead of first month rent?
Is there some secret to finding a subletter? If so, please tell me!

Thank you.
Oh, I’ve been searching for 3 weeks now! My lease is for an entire year.

Administrator answers:

Christ. Your lease is terrible. I’ve NEVER heard of an application fee more than $15, nor have I ever heard of a community fee. These people are ripping you off.
I don’t think you’ll have luck finding somebody for only a three week period; its just not going to be worth all of those fees! You could ask for help, but they are in no way obligated to assist you in finding somebody.

Mary asks…

Lease trouble for two 1st year college students?

Me and my friend both signed a lease for a 3 bedroom apartment and our other friend was suppose to live with us but backed out. We don’t know what to do we have looked for other roommates but can’t find anyone because it is a pretty expensive place. We have tried to find someone else to takeover the lease but can’t find anyone even when we offered money to those who took it. I know its our fault for signing the lease without our other friend there but what can we do? Me and my friend are both 18 in our first year of college and can’t afford the place on our own. My one friend is afraid of bankruptcy if we can’t take care of this. We gave them a notice of our problem but they didn’t help us. We haven’t given any bank info and the lease doesn’t start for another 2 months. What can we do?

Administrator answers:

My friend and I

You’ve written all this but haven’t even bothered to tell us what state you are in, so there isn’t much help we can offer you. Perhaps you need to delete this post and repost your question with less fanfare and including your state, or just take my generalized advice.

Short answer is that most states say that the second a lease is signed, it is binding. However, there are a few states that say that your lease isn’t valid until your receive your keys.

If you are in a state where this lease is considered binding, then your options are to find a way to pay the rent (they wouldn’t have approved you if your incomes didn’t cover it or without a co-signer), you find a way to assign the lease to someone else, or you break the lease, get sued, and have a judgement found against you.

This doesn’t cause bankruptcy. If your friend chooses to file for bankruptcy, then that’s his choice. Bankruptcy is HIS choice.

Linda asks…

Can I sublease without permission from the leasing office?

There are 5 months on my lease and want to leave for studying purposes. The leasing office refused to let another tenant to takeover or sublease my apartment. And they asked me to pay $1200 although the rent is only $500!!

Administrator answers:

Rent may only be $500, but 5 month’s rent is $2500, so they’re asking for only half of what you owe because you are responsible for paying the rent the entire duration of the lease or until they find someone to replace you.

If you’re under a lease, then just read your lease contract – most will spell it right out there that you need their permission to sublet (or in some cases that subletting is never allowed)

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