Relocating short term? Avoid double rents with a sublet apartment

If work or life circumstances require you to move away for a couple of months, how do you avoid the thorny issue of paying double rent? Is there a way to make the most of your assets while you’re not there to enjoy them?

Thankfully, in an age where travel is easier than ever, the same is also true of temporary relocation. In the world of sublet rentals and beyond, there are several simple ways you can put your apartment to work for you while you’re away.

Barcelona - Read our three solutions to help you avoid paying double rent, including setting up a sublet apartment.

Sublet your apartment

It’s always a relief to have someone else take care of the whole process of subletting your apartment, whether you’re looking to rent it out for six months or for only a few weeks. One route is to contact a traditional letting agency to help you find a short-term tenant. As with any sublet apartment, there's a chance you’ll need to use a local storage facility to keep your belongings, presenting the apartment as a blank canvas for your new tenants. For this kind of arrangement, you’ll also need to check your lease and potentially ask permission from your current landlord. There's also the possibility of subletting it fully furnished, in which case you'll only have to take care of your personal belongings.

There are also increasingly popular ‘sharing economy’ solutions such as AirBnB, who provides an online service to handle sublet rentals all over the world. In this case, it’s more like using your sublet apartment as a hotel, and thus you wouldn’t need to clear it out.

Swap your home

One way to avoid the expense of double rent is to make sure you don’t pay any on your temporary new apartment. That’s easily done with a service such as Love Home Swap. With this type of online facility, you can upload photos and information about your apartment, explain what you’re looking for in return, and organise a home exchange through the site with someone who currently lives in the location you’re travelling to.

The result is that neither of you pays any extra rent, and you both get to stay exactly where you want to stay, providing they’re interested in your home too.

Get a house-sitter

A service such as Trusted Housesitters offers a more personal arrangement, whereby someone stays in your apartment for free in return for taking care of it. Although you won’t get an income from this (unlike the rent from a sublet apartment), it can actually save you money if you have pets: the house-sitter will look after them, so you don’t need to pay for boarding. You’ll also have a person to clean, act as security and even forward you your mail – all services you might otherwise need to pay for.

These kinds of services are arranged largely online. The platform vets your potential house-sitter beforehand, and handles any problems that might arise. You can sift through reviews and pick someone you think is suitable from those who apply to look after your apartment. You also get the satisfaction of knowing that someone is personally protecting your home while you’re away.

Whatever you decide to do with your apartment, gaining property insights and picking up tips for smarter renting and letting will ensure you get the most out of it, whether you're staying put or exploring the world.

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Engel & Völkers Real estate agent Maria Danilova
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