Sunday, July 8, 2012

Subletting My Apartment To Travel

When my boyfriend and I decided to take a two-month trip this winter, one of our criteria was finding someone to rent our apartment while we were gone. The idea was to avoid paying for a trip and paying for a space we weren't going to be living in at the same time.

The skinny
Khao Sok National Park
Once we said a mutual, 'OK, let's do it,' I put an ad on Craigslist for our large, sunny one-bedroom in Toronto's west end. I actually got more responses than I thought I would (I was worried we wouldn't find anyone to take the place) and had tentatively chosen someone barring her somehow hating the space upon sight. But then I got another email from someone who was interested (I didn't want to take the ad down until I had a rock-solid confirmation). This other interested party turned out to be someone I had worked with about five years ago (so random). He came to see it  and said he'd take it and I was glad to give it to someone I knew.

What happened
After a few lapses in communication (and me stressing the deal would fall through), we got our two months of rent paid up-front and handed over a set of keys. We left on February 3rd and didn't hear from the people renting our place the whole time (other than once to tell us they were having trouble getting online), which I managed to rectify from a loner laptop in an eco-lodge on the outskirts of Khao Sok National Park. I was concerned they would have issues or be unhappy (because I'm a worrier like that), but all was well

Upon our return
The couple staying at our place (one, my former colleague) left the place looking fine, but definitely 'lived in.' They did put clean sheets on the bed, which was great and leave a nice thank-you note. However (and this one is kind of my fault) let their dog chew our coffee table. I say this is my fault because I said they could bring their dog, which they were originally going to leave with someone else. 

Would I do it again?
Yup. It's a great way to travel without worrying about the empty space sitting back home (eating up your hard earned money). This time I would say no pets and even try to see if I could find someone who wouldn't mind also feeding my cat, Arthur. This past trip my sister took the cat, but she will likely be heading to Korea to teach English this winter (when I want to be away). So we'll see what happens, but I would love to sublet again as a way to offset some of the cost of the trip.

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