Finding a sublet or short-term lease can be a pain.
You have to dig through Craigslist ads, navigate flaky Facebook groups, and hope the person you’re dealing with doesn’t end up being a scammer (or a serial killer).
Add to that the stress of moving and finding a new place to live, and hunting for a sublet can end up being one of the more unpleasant things you have to do as an adult.
However, recent technological innovations are making the process a lot easier.
Nowadays, you can use Airbnb to find a sublet.
This takes much of the uncertainty and risk out of the process, all while providing greater transparency and ease of searching.
In this guide, we’re going to show you how to use Airbnb to find the perfect sublet for your needs, as well as address some common questions about subletting with the popular short-term rental marketplace.
What Are Airbnb Sublets?
Most people associate Airbnb with vacation rentals or other travel accommodations.
While Airbnb is very useful for finding these kinds of rentals, the service can also help you find longer-term places to stay.
Calling these properties “sublets” is a bit of a misnomer.
Similar to traditional sublets, they do offer the opportunity to rent a place in a home or apartment for a couple of months.
However, most of these properties come from hosts who are looking to rent a room or even an entire place for an extended period of time.
Few come from individuals who are actually transferring their lease to another party for the duration of the original lease.
We’ll come back to why this is important later on.
What Airbnb sublets are, then, are just Airbnb properties that allow long-term stays.
Beyond that, the details can vary immensely.
You could be renting a multi-bedroom house or just a spare bedroom in someone’s condo.
The place could be luxurious, modest, or even outdated.
You have to do your own research to find all this out (don’t worry, we’ll show you how below).
Why You Should Consider an Airbnb Sublet
Let’s start with how Airbnb compares to places with long-term leases.
Getting a property on Airbnb means you aren’t committed to a contract for a year (or more).
Instead, you get to have a place for a few weeks or months as it suits your needs.
Where Airbnb sublets really shine is in comparison to other methods of finding a sublease.
To start, Airbnb carefully vets the hosts they allow onto their platform.
If guests complain that the host isn’t doing an adequate job, Airbnb will remove them.
When you’re messaging someone on Facebook or looking at an ad on Craigslist, it’s much harder to determine if the person is trustworthy.
Furthermore, Airbnb sublets carry great transparency in terms of pricing and fees.
Sure, you may pay more than you would for a long-term apartment, but you do know exactly how much you’ll pay and how the host will collect it.
All payments also occur through Airbnb, so you don’t have to worry about scams.
Additionally, Airbnb is an easy tool to use and navigate.
You can filter properties based on everything that matters to you, including price, size, and amenities.
You can even search based on the dates you want, which can help rule out places that might have slipped through the cracks on other platforms that don’t require all listings to be updated.
Another advantage of using Airbnb to find rentals is the process of booking a place.
You don’t have to deal with background checks, credit checks, rental applications, or any of the other details that you might need with a traditional sublet.
All of these are either irrelevant to or built in with the Airbnb platform.
This makes it much easier if you need a place to stay ASAP.
It’s also very helpful if you’re navigating an unfamiliar real estate market (both domestically and abroad).
Finally, using Airbnb adds a layer of safety and accountability that traditional subletting and rental platforms lack.
If someone you meet on Craigslist scams you, the best you can do is report it to local police.
Even if they catch the person who did it, it could be a long time before you get your money back (if you ever do).
With this option, in contrast, you have a 24/7 Airbnb customer service team to assist you with any issues that come up, no matter how big or small.
How to Find Airbnb Sublets
Airbnb has recognized the usefulness of their platform for finding sublets and created a special page of the site that allows you to search for extended accommodation.
To access this page, just visit airbnb.com/sublets.
Once you’ve gotten to the page, you’ll see a few options:
- Where do you want to stay? — Type your destination into this field.
- Start Date — Enter when you want your stay to start.
- Length of Stay — You can choose as few as 2 weeks or as many as 6 months, though you can request stays longer than 6 months as long as your prospective Airbnb host will allow it.
To see this in action, here’s a search we did for a theoretical extended stay in Portland, Oregon.
We’ll imagine that we want accommodation starting on June 6, 2019, and that we want to stay for 3 months.
To start seeing places, all we have to do is click “Search”:
Here are just the many results:
As you can see, each property includes a title, description of the property type, the monthly price, and the review of the host.
To find out more information, just click on the property.
Here’s a more detailed look at the property in the image above entitled “Perfectly Cozy Alberta Arts Room”:
Here, you can see a full breakdown of what you’ll pay.
Note that the final price includes a few things in addition to the monthly price, including a cleaning fee and service fee.
We should mention that you won’t be required to pay the total amount up front.
Instead, Airbnb will split it into three monthly payments.
The first payment will be due when you book the place, and then Airbnb will automatically charge the credit card you have on file at the beginning of each month of your stay (counting from the day your stay started, not the first day of the month).
In addition to the price, the listing will also show you photos and provide a description of the property and the house rules:
Be sure to read this information closely, as renting the property means you agree to all the terms that the host sets out (unless something happens to violate local laws or Airbnb’s terms of service).
In particular, pay attention to any requirements related to a security deposit or rental agreement.
Hosts may require these for extended stays to protect their property from damage that Airbnb insurance might not cover (or to protect themselves from litigation).
Finally, make sure you’re aware what kind of property you’re renting.
You may see photos of a gorgeous apartment, but reading closely will show you that only one room is yours, while the common areas are shared with your host or even other guests.
This may not be a big deal to you, but you should at least be aware of it before you book a place so that you don’t accidentally disturb your fellow guests (or vice versa).
Frequently Asked Questions About Airbnb Subletting
To conclude this guide, let’s answer some common questions related to Airbnb sublets.
1. Where are Airbnb sublets available?
You might imagine that Airbnb sublets are only available in travel hot spots.
Certainly, these sorts of properties will be most abundant in heavily populated, popular destinations such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Paris.
However, it would be a mistake to think that you can only use this service in the likes of NYC or California.
From Florida to French Polynesia, from Boston to Australia, you can likely find a sublet on Airbnb.
The only way to know for sure is to visit Airbnb and start searching.
2. How can I sublease my property on Airbnb?
This guide focuses on how prospective tenants can use Airbnb to find a sublet, but what if you’re in a situation where you want to list your property on Airbnb as a sublet?
There are a few things to keep in mind.
First, you should ensure that listing your home on Airbnb doesn’t violate the terms of your lease.
Many property management companies and apartment buildings don’t take kindly to the idea of you earning extra money behind their back while allowing strangers into their property.
This isn’t to say it’s impossible, but you should ideally get this written into your lease if you want to do it.
Failing to do so could mean, at worst, you get evicted from your place.
Even if this doesn’t happen, you still might have an awkward situation when you have to ask an Airbnb guest to leave midway during their stay.
If you’re the property owner, of course, then you don’t have to worry about getting your landlord’s permission.
But you should still check that having Airbnb guests doesn’t violate your HOA rules or any local laws.
Airbnb can assist you with this process as you’re setting up your listing.
Assuming that none of the above issues apply to your situation and your property meets the company’s requirements, Airbnb can be a great way for property managers or owners to fill vacancies in everything from a single family rental property to an entire apartment community.
To get started with your property, consult our guide to Airbnb hosting.
3. How much do Airbnb sublets cost?
This is a tricky question to answer.
The price of your Airbnb depends on what your host wants to charge.
This will vary based on the size of the property, its location, and its amenities.
Basically, all the factors that affect the price of a hotel or even a traditional long-term rental apply in this case.
You should be aware that Airbnb sublets tend to cost more than long-term leases.
There are a couple reasons for this.
One is that the property owner will tend to raise the price to account for the cost of managing vacancies.
You might rent a place for 3 months, but the owner has no guarantee that they’ll be able to fill the property once you leave.
To account for the potential vacancy, they’ll charge more for sublet situations.
The other reason is that hosts know they can get away with charging more for properties on Airbnb.
Because so many users of the platform are travelers, they’re generally not concerned with how the cost of their place compares to a long-term rental.
As long as it’s a better deal than a hotel (which it usually is), people are satisfied.
If you’re concerned about the price of a listing, you can negotiate.
The price you see on the listing is there because the host has to put something.
If you can make a compelling argument for why you should pay less, the host may be willing to agree to it.
After all, having one excellent guest who pays a bit less is better than having no guest at all.
Airbnb Makes Sublets Simple
We hope this guide has helped you understand all the benefits that come along with Airbnb sublets.
IF you have a comment or question, drop a comment below.