How to Find Rooms for Rent Fast: Subletting Made Easy

Sometimes you just need a place to crash—fast. Maybe you’re moving to a new town quickly, you’re unsure how long you’ll stick around, or you just don’t have the cash or income to sign a yearlong lease on your own.

Whatever your reason, there are times in your life when you may want to know how to find rooms for rent. Here’s how to pull it off and find the best place for you.

What are the benefits of renting a room?

In most cases when you’re renting a room, you’re subletting from a tenant. With the exception of those cases in which you’re renting from the live-in owner, most room rentals don’t require a lease, defaulting instead to a month-to-month rental. For some, that flexibility can be a godsend.

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In addition, renters with poor credit, no savings, or a new job might have an easier time finding a room to sublet versus an entire apartment. While some subletters do require the standard first and last month’s rent plus security deposit, many do not—and most won’t run your credit.

Know what you need

Regardless of whether you’re renting in San Francisco or Duluth, IA, looking for a room can be stressful and fast-paced. You’re probably on a tight deadline—and so is everyone else. Before you start responding to ads, decide your primary requirements: Do you need your own bathroom or are you willing to share? Should the room come furnished, or do you have a king-size bed you need space for? Don’t compromise on your choices or pretend you don’t care.

“Room hunters should be completely themselves from the very beginning,” says Brian Davis, a personal finance expert with SparkRental. “Because if you act like someone you’re not, then your new roommate will be going in expecting a different roommate from the one they’re getting.”

Also ask yourself if you are OK with multiple roommates or just one, and which gender you prefer. If you aren’t picky, you’ll have a wider array of options—but spend time with potential roommates and make sure you can see yourself co-habiting with them.

Can you rent a room with pets?

Pets add an additional layer of difficulty. If you’re bringing along Fido or Meowth, some subletters might not want you to move in because of allergies, noise, pet messes, or otherwise. To sweeten the deal, offer to pay “pet rent”—typically around $25 per month. Or you can search specifically for “pet-friendly” rentals. And no matter what, make sure that the landlord is aware of your furry pals right away, otherwise you could be violating terms of the lease and find yourself unceremoniously kicked out.

Where to find rooms to rent

Keeping your requirements in mind, start scouring the internet for places. Our own rental search is a great place to find a lease, but here are other sites that offer rooms in other people’s homes:




Prepare to sign a sublease

Many people who accept you as a roommate will want you to sign a sublease—and even if they don’t, consider requesting one.

A sublease is similar to a full-term lease, but it’s signed between three parties: you, the sublessor, and the landlord. It provides some legal protections—like your not being liable for damages that occurred before you moved in. That way, you won’t get stuck coughing up more cash than you’d bargained for—better safe than sorry.

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