How to quickly find a subleaser/next tenant?
November 17, 2016 9:29 AM   Subscribe

I need someone to take over my apartment so I can move out. Quick. Help, please?

I live in Switzerland and have a housing contract with a minimum one-year lease that can only be broken by providing an appropriate new tenant, or by subletting to set off financial loss.

I have finally decided to quit my awful job and go back to grad school in Japan and marry my fiancé. Grad school starts in April and my work contract ends in mid January, but they're probably expecting me to renew - and might ask that anytime now - so I need to decide this really soon. Unfortunately, the first permitted cancellation date for my apartment is July 31. I have to find someone really quickly to take over my contract or to sublet it to until July, but so far, I haven't had any luck. I was assured by the previous tenant (whose contract I took over) and other people that Berne has a housing shortage and thus always people looking for apartments, but so far, no one has replies to my ad at three major websites and I am starting to get incredibly anxious. I don't want to stay here just for the apartment which I don't even like (administration is kind of bad and doesn't respond to my noise complaints or complaints about people abusing the shared washing machine times) just because I can't afford to pay double rent. I would hate to lose my spot in grad school, stay in my job (or lose it because I can't make up my mind!) and spend even more time apart from my fiancé just because of this, and the thought alone makes me want to sob.

I am willing to make sacrifices like people moving in a month after I leave, and even gifting them the nice furniture I bought from the previous tenant for 2.500 swiss francs, but that's the most I can afford.

Other than posting to every housing site and asking people to keep their ears open for me, what can I do to find someone? Someone suggested flyers at the local supermarkets, which I will do this weekend. Should I use supermarkets in the vicinity or will that only reach people who live here anyway?
posted by LoonyLovegood to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could look into any study abroad programs or internship groups in the area that would have people coming from far away wanting a fully finished place.
posted by raccoon409 at 9:36 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might try posting a long term listing on AirBnB. It's been a few years, but I used to use the site heavily for 2-4 month sublets in Europe and it worked out very well.
posted by Tiny Bungalow at 9:40 AM on November 17, 2016

You're looking for someone to take over in mid-January or February- it's still on the early side, no? Talk with local sources about when the local rental market picks up, you might have to hold tight for awhile until people really start looking.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:50 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Make a non-friends-restricted post on Facebook. That's where everyone I know in Berne has picked up their sublets.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:54 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have admittedly not listed in Switzerland, but I will say that every time I've arranged a sublet (either as subletter or sublettee) in the U.S. it's been arranged about 1-3 weeks before move in time. By their nature, many sublets are last minute things people turn to when other options have not worked out. So, although that timeline is stressful, I would not freak out! :)
posted by rainbowbrite at 11:10 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I succeeded at a similar thing, but in the US.

I listed on Craigslist as a rental, NOT a sublet (I wasted a month doing that tbh) and I offered a decent discount (basically a subsidy from me) for the months that they’d be subletting from me, and was clear about how the rent went back after whatever date. I ate a small loss, but it was way less than the loss of paying ALL the rent for those months. And I was very up front whenever someone visited about the circumstances.

That said my eventual subletter/tenant didn’t happen until literally the day I was moving out all my furnishings, so it might take you a while. But there’s always a bargain hunter somewhere, IMO. Especially a place as expensive as Switzerland ...
posted by aperturescientist at 1:50 PM on November 17, 2016

Thank you, everyone! I'm just so worried about not finding anyone after I quit my job and having to eat the rent cost without an income...
posted by LoonyLovegood at 9:29 PM on November 17, 2016

Found one, thank you!
posted by LoonyLovegood at 12:26 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

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