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Sometimes, after you’ve rented an apartment and signed a lease intended to last for the duration of the year, you find your circumstances have changed. As a college student, your roommate might drop out or turn out to be a terrible fit, necessitating a roommate change. You might drop out due to unforeseen circumstances and need to move back home, leaving you needing to do a roommate change in your apartment. Do you need to make a mid-lease change to your living situation? Consider these important elements. 

Step One: Consult Your Lease

Your lease lays out the legal actions you can take with regards to your apartment. Many leases contain information about subletting your apartment–that is, letting out the entire property to someone else, who will either take over your lease or how to change roommates mid-lease. If your lease includes that information, follow its instructions carefully. Your lease may prevent you from subletting your apartment altogether, in which case, you will need to consult with your landlord about how to proceed. It may also contain specific terms regarding your apartment and how to handle roommate changes, subleasing, and more. 

Step Two: Notify Your Boulder, Colorado Landlord as Soon as Possible

If you need to change your living circumstances for any reason, whether you plan to change your roommate or you need to sublease your apartment, you should notify your landlord as soon as possible. You need to notify your landlord if:

One of your roommates moves out. If you have several roommates, you may simply assume that you can carry on paying your rent as intended without changing the lease or notifying your landlord. The roommate who moves out, however, needs to remove their name from the lease and ensure that they will not be held financially liable if the rest of you fall behind on your rent or fail to pay it. Removing the missing roommate from the lease can also help prevent that roommate from entering your apartment or making changes to your lease later. 

You move a new roommate in. Some apartment leases have clauses that indicate how many people can live in a specific unit at a time. If you move a new roommate into the apartment, you need to check the terms of your lease and ensure that you have room for that roommate according to the terms of the lease–even if a boyfriend or girlfriend of an existing roommate moves in. You should also put the new roommate on the lease to ensure that they have legal financial liability for paying their portion of the rent. 

You need to sublease the apartment. If you and all of your roommates plan to move out of the apartment altogether and sublease it to someone else, make sure you notify your landlord of your plans and provide information about the new renters. Your landlord may need to approve or deny those renters based on the criteria already established for the apartment complex. 

Your landlord, under Colorado law, can take time to look over your request to add or remove tenants and either approve or deny additions to your apartment, as long as they fit the terms of the lease. Unless your lease specifically prohibits subleasing, a landlord cannot deny a reasonable request to sublease your apartment; however, the landlord can deny the person who wants to sublease the apartment if they do not fit the criteria already established for the property. 

Step Three: If Subletting or Roommate Change, Review the Contracts

You have a contract with your landlord through your lease. When you decide to sublease or do a roommate change in your apartment, you will need to create a new contract–a sublease–that covers the terms of your agreement with the tenant in your apartment. This might include:

The duration of the sublease. You might, for example, choose to sublease your apartment that is close to UC Boulder so that you can go home for the summer without having to worry about your rent payments. In this case, you might want to come back to your apartment at the beginning of the next school year. The sublease, therefore, will designate that the person leasing the apartment must move out by a certain date to allow you to move back in. 

Whether a damage deposit is required and the amount of that deposit. As the primary individual leasing your Boulder, Colorado apartment, you may want a damage deposit from the new renter. Since you hold the primary lease, you will be responsible for any damage that occurs to the apartment because of the actions of any party subletting the apartment. You could lose the damage deposit you have on file with the landlord if any damage occurs during the sublease. Taking a damage deposit from the new renter can help prevent you from being on the line for that money. 

Whether the individual subletting the apartment needs to carry renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance can help protect the other party’s possessions. It can also help protect any possessions that you leave in the apartment. 

If there are any areas of the apartment or property that are not included in the sublease. If, for example, you are only subletting a single room of a larger apartment, you might include those terms in the sublease. 

Your landlord will need to approve and sign the sublease before it becomes official. Keep in mind that even if you sublease your apartment, if the renter chooses not to pay their rent, you may still be liable for any missing rent. You may also be liable for rent if the new renter chooses to move out before the lease ends. While you can seek compensation under the terms of your sublease, you should be prepared for the possibility that you will need to pay that rent. Are you looking for an ideal property in the Boulder, Colorado area that fits your needs? Contact us! We can help you find a property convenient to UC Boulder that fits your requirements for an apartment, whether you’re moving in for college or moving to the area for another purpose.