Carter Grimes, a fifth-year in electrical and computer engineering, needed a place to stay while taking classes in summer 2017. He turned to Facebook to find a sublease.
Social media sites offer students platforms for finding a sublease, allowing people to post a listing of their room and wait for someone to jump at the chance. Subleasing can be a great option for students going home for the summer, studying abroad or needing a place for a shorter amount of time than a normal lease, including Facebook groups such as Ohio State University (OSU) Housing, Sublets & Roommates and Ohio State University Off-Campus Housing.
Grimes said he felt comfortable looking in a Facebook group because he knew some of the members. Luckily for Ohio State students, there are plenty of groups specifically for students looking to sublease. Some groups require approval from the group administrators, while others are free for anyone to post or view.
Grimes said he and his roommates have all used Facebook to find their subleasers.
“It really is a mixed bag,” Grimes said. “Some of them were good while others were terrible. One put a hole in our wall. Another was here from Spain and fit in surprisingly well.”
Grimes said he regrets not looking into the landlords before making subleasing decisions.
“Stories of things going wrong are everywhere, but not equally distributed amongst the various landlords,” Grimes said.
Grimes also said it is important to find places that have a renewed lease so students can move in as soon as the previous lease is up.
Most leases run until July 31 and start Aug. 14, leaving renters with a two-week period in which they cannot remain in their home or move in to their new one. However, if the lease is renewed for the next year, this issue is resolved, Grimes said.
Hailey Donatelli, a third-year in architecture and theatre, said she opted to sublease from a friend out of convenience, rather than look at other options.
“It was such an easy find for me, and it was so convenient that I just said yes without looking around and ended up spending way more on rent than I wanted to,” Donatelli said.
Students typically post a summary of their space with pictures, the dates available and the cost.
Aside from steep prices, Donatelli said she was alone in her subleased home most of the summer, but then one of the roommates — with whom she never spoke — returned and moved out weeks later without telling her, taking furniture and dishes with him.
“Don’t rush into something because it’s convenient,” Donatelli said. “Look around before making any fast decisions.”