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17 Last-Ditch (and Somewhat Wacky) Ideas to Sublet Your Apartment

17 Last-Ditch (and Somewhat Wacky) Ideas to Sublet Your Apartment

Let’s face it: you’re in trouble. You’re leaving town and you need a subletter. NOW. If you haven’t been able to sublet your apartment, these 17 last-ditch sublet ideas deserve your immediate attention.

IT’S CRUNCH TIME! No matter how hard you’ve tried, you’re stuck with an apartment lease and no subletter. It’s not time to panic. It’s time to get creative.

These outside-the-box ideas may be a bit on the wild side, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures:

1. Revisit the people who’ve checked out your place.

Go through the list of people who have inquired or toured your apartment, but then declined. Offer them one of the special incentives we’ve listed below.

2. Hold up a “NEED SUBLETTER” sign at a Badgers game.

Go to a Badger football game or an event at the Kohl Center. Look sad and walk through the crowds holding a “Need Subletter” sign with your phone number!

3. Call UW Housing and local property managers.

Ask if anyone has a renter on their waitlist who needs a place.

4. Run an ad on social media – particularly Facebook.

Take it one step further than Craigslist. Buy an ad on Facebook and target people who would be an ideal fit in terms of age and students status. You can spend as little or as much as you want on Facebook.

5. Get a sandwich board and go walk down State Street or the Union.

Create a makeshift sandwich board and walk up and down State Street.

6. Call your alderperson.

We don’t want to set off a deluge of calls to the local alders, but they may be able to link you to some resources. And some alders send out emails to their constituents – maybe they can mention your sublet?

7. Design a better subletting sign.

Maybe your subletting ad is lacking curb appeal. Jazz it up at It’s a FREE, easy-to-use design website that can add some style into your posters. Check out some of their real-estate ideas.

8. Offer an incentive to your friends to find a subletter.

It’s one thing to ask friends for help. It’s another to get them off their butts to really help you. Incentivize them with some cash – and offer a bonus if they actually get it rented.

9. Put up a “Sublet” sign in your window. But don’t stop there.

Post a “NEED SUBLETTER” sign, but add something crazy. People. Will. Look!

10. Put up a sign in your car.

Will brake for subletters?

11. Post signs in highly trafficked businesses.

Visit some nearby businesses, and ask if you can tack up a sign in their entry way.

12. Contact the place where you’re going – see if an exchange is possible.

If you’re transferring to a different school, do they have a housing department that needs some housing options for their students? They might be eager to help.

13. Offer to move your subletter in to your apartment as part of the deal.

This may be excruciating, but what a perk!

14. Offer to clean the apartment the subletter is moving from.

Desperate times, remember?

15. Provide a unique “perk” – $100 in Food Fight gift cards.

Sometimes you can get discounts when you buy gift cards in bulk. Food Fight, which owns a number of Madison restaurants, will give you a $25 gift certificate when you buy $100 in gift certificates. So you “spend” only $75 on the gifts cards (providing you eat at Food Fight restaurants, and who doesn’t?).

16. Throw in furnishings.

Got a flat screen TV? Throw it in for free. (It will most likely be obsolete in a couple years anyway.) Or maybe the couch? The Lazy Boy?

17. Slash your rent.

No one wants to do this, but it may be the reason your place won’t move.

Subletting is not easy, and when you’re under pressure, it’s twice as hard. So use these ideas, or get creative with a few of your own. Copying what everyone else does hasn’t worked so far. Get outside the box, and get your place subletted!

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