Housing manager warns students to be cautious

Douglas M. Kafury

The school year is nearly over, and it’s the time for warm weather, baseball and … subleasing?

A sublease is an agreement between a tenant and a sublessor that states the sublessor will take over a housing unit and the payments for a period of time.

Summer is the main time for subleasing, according to Clarissa Wiener, office manager of Buckeye Parks Housing Placement Center on Summit Street.

“A lot of kids, when they get out in May, just want to go home or take the summer off,” Wiener said.

Wiener said the best way to sublease a unit is by advertising through a notice in the housing placement office or taking an ad out in a local newspaper.

“We already have a lease with the tenant. Whoever they want to sublet to is completely up to them,” Wiener said. “We have never said no.”

Wiener said the sublessor should always obtain a security deposit from the new tenant no matter what.

“Your good buddy sublets from you, trashes the place, and then it comes out of your deposit,” Wiener said.

Wiener also said it is important to have the sublessee sign as much paperwork as possible. The original tenant — the sublessor — should write an agreement that is similar to the original lease and have that contract notarized. She said performing credit checks on the potential sublessee is also a good idea.

It is also very important to keep your roommates in mind when subleasing. Mitch Becker, senior chemistry major, is considering subleasing his room in a six-bedroom unit on South Willow Street.

Becker said he is confident that he will find a suitable sublessee who will please all parties involved.

“Preferably, it would be someone I know, so I wouldn’t have to mess around with getting the money from them,” Becker said. “I’m asking people I know, so they are already kind of friends. So that’s not really an issue.”

Adam McClarey, senior education major and one of Becker’s roommates, said he isn’t worried about the roommate Becker will choose.

“I’m sure a stranger wouldn’t just come in the house and cause problems,” McClarey said. “But it’s nice to know them ahead of time.”

However, that wasn’t the case for Christina Touarti, senior sociology major. Last year, one of her roommates subleased a room to a guy none of them knew, and sometimes their belongings would be broken or missing.

“We really couldn’t stop him because he was paying money to live here, so he had the right to have his friends over,” Touarti said.

Touarti said the sublessee stopped paying rent and moved out without telling them, even though he had signed an agreement. However, the agreement wasn’t notarized, so it was not legally binding.

Despite any contracts signed between the sublessor and the sublessee, the original tenant is responsible for all rent payments and any damage that may be caused.

Contact science reporter Douglas M. Kafury at [email protected].