Living in East Lansing during the summer can be complicated. Nice student apartments are way too expensive for some of our non-existing budgets! Not to mention, there is almost no way to find a lease that will only last for a summer. The best option appears to be subleasing. This is a way to stay in an apartment under someone else’s name, for a fraction of the original price of the rent. I know, sounds ideal right? WRONG. For some people, this option may be beautiful, while for others like me, this was one of the worst decisions I ever made. Needless to say, I made it twice two summers in a row.
The first summer was approaching and I was in need of a place to stay. It was May and I was super last minute with everything, so I had to rely on someone to help me out. At this point, I was taking the first offer that came up. Once I had spoken with someone and decided that this was a good option, I moved in. I did not go through with any paperwork because I was told we didn’t have to (the real reason was that she didn’t want to go through the office). I paid the first month of rent, and everything was pretty much good. There was open communication and I felt like we had a good agreement going. Things all took a turn when I got offered a job and a room to stay in for free on campus. I moved out within a week of moving in and I decided to pay her for the whole first month so that she would not be blindsided. This, however, was not enough for her. She thought that it was fair for me to pay rent for two months and also help with the utility bill. Also, needless to say, I gave her first month’s rent and blocked her.
The second summer I thought I had everything together. I thought I was grown. This was my next mistake. I found someone to sublease from and she seemed nice in the beginning. I moved in and the transition was smooth, neglecting to sign any paperwork yet again (can you see the pattern here?). The first sign of this going wrong was when the air stopped working for a whole month and a half. This was the most heat I had ever sat in and it was not comfortable at all. If it weren’t for me wearing my hair curly, I would have looked horrible for most of my summer there. I moved out and transitioned into my new apartment and I thought everything was fine…until I got a call from the person I subleased from. She claimed that the utility bill was $1000.00 and that it was my fault. This would have been believable if I hadn’t been paying the bill every month. To save myself the time and unneeded stress, I followed the same solution as before and blocked their number.
Subleasing is supposed to be easy, cheap and reliable. None of which corresponds to my experiences. My advice, however, is to learn from my mistakes. When you are looking for a subleaser, make sure there is a contract, look ahead of time so that you can plan a smooth transition, and prepare to add to your block list if you get one of the horrible people that wants to continue to take money from you, even after you leave.
Treandra Thomas is a senior majoring in professional writing. Treandra’s imagination has always been huge, and she explores that through writing in her free time. She is shamelessly obsessed with reality television shows and also cooking. You can follow her on Instagram @treandras_world.