Rent your place out by putting in some TLC

Are you thinking of renting out your apartment for the summer? If so, there are a few tips, tricks, and legal obligations you need to know about beforehand.

Whether you’re a university student who is heading home for the summer or somebody who wants to earn a little extra money through Airbnb or a similar service, subletting your apartment takes a bit more effort than simply posting an ad online. Below we will look at what steps you should take before you rent out your apartment or condo this summer.

Legal obligations

Legalities surrounding subletting vary province to province and often from one municipality to another. Generally, you will need to get your landlord’s consent before you sublet your place. In some provinces, such as British Columbia, you will need to get that consent in writing. Also, in some provinces, including Ontario, it is illegal to sublet your apartment for more than what you actually pay in rent. Most importantly, remember that the lease is still in your name, meaning you are ultimately the one responsible for paying the rent.

Securing valuables

If you are renting out your apartment fully furnished then you will want to take steps to ensure valuables and fragile items are secure. A good idea is to buy a lock for a spare closet and keep your valuable items in there. For really valuable items, like your laptop, family heirlooms, and expensive jewellery, it may be a better idea to take them with you. Keep in mind that most insurance policies will not cover damage to your apartment or theft if you are renting out your apartment as a commercial enterprise (which includes listing it on Airbnb).

Decluttering and cleaning

You want to be on the best possible terms with your subtenant, which is why you should make sure your apartment is as clean and uncluttered as possible. Cleaning is not only common courtesy, but it could even protect your valuables. Your subtenant is going to need a place to put his or her things, after all. If he or she needs to move your stuff in order to do that then there is a greater likelihood that your items will get lost or damaged in the process.

Safety precautions

Be aware that most insurance policies will also not cover you if your guest or subtenant is injured while staying at your property. In some cases, you could be held liable for their injuries. In some jurisdictions you may be able to sign a rental agreement with your subtenant specifying your liability exposure. Whether or not you are liable for third-party injuries, the best thing you can do is ensure your apartment is safe to live in and visit. That means making sure all fire and carbon monoxide detectors are working, that railings are securely fastened, and all steps and stairs are even and safe to use.

Renting out your apartment for the summer is an excellent way to save money. While you have probably heard a few horror stories about subletting, the truth is that most subletting experiences go off without a hitch. By simply following the above advice you can minimize your own risks and enjoy the benefits that come from renting out your apartment temporarily.