Terminate Lease For TravelThere are many reasons why you would want to terminate your lease and leave behind your apartment to travel the world:
1. You don’t know what’s coming nextIf you know that you will be gone for a few years and you have no idea when you will return and what you will do after your adventure, terminating your lease and selling most of your possessions might be a good alternative. Selling most of your things will also help you funding your trip even faster. It’s incredible how much stuff we collect over the years and are just collecting dust in a dark corner!
2. You want to be seriously freeNo possessions, no responsibility, simply free! If this is what you want, to have no responsibility toward anybody, selling all your stuff and terminating your lease will be the way to go. Pack your most valuable things into a box and ship it to your parents and pack your backpack, your backpack is everything you own now!
3. No Plan BMany keep their apartment etc. To have a plan B. Something to come back to. In my experience, no matter whether you are trying to travel the world or run a business, most of the time a plan B is always a bad idea because you will not give everything to make plan A work, because you always have the alternative to go back, either to your old apartment and old life or your old job!
Sublet Your Apartment For TravelYou might want to consider keeping your apartment when you are off traveling. Some of the reasons could be:
1. Awesome neighborhoodYou might be living in an awesome neighborhood where the prices are already rising and it’s difficult to find new apartments, keeping your apartment would mean that you could come back after traveling, still paying the old renting prices and wouldn’t have to go through weeks of apartment hunting.
2. Extra cash to fund your travelsSince you would sublet your apartment with all your furniture you can ask for some extra cash. If you are traveling in a cheaper country, you could use the extra cash to fund part of your travels.
3. Plan BI’m not a friend of alternatives but some people need this. If you aren’t sure that traveling for a long time is something you want to do and you want a place to come back to, you could simply sublet your apartment with a limited contract where you can cancel the subletting contract 4 weeks before moving back in. This way you can go back to your old life if you aren’t happy!
Tips on Terminating Your Lease
1. Check your leaseMake sure to check in the contract that you have a lease that has a specified term longer than one month. If you are on a month-to-month lease, you can actually cancel with a 30 days written notice to your landlord. You can do this anytime and don’t have to wait until the end of a month to give notice. If your contract doesn’t explicitly say that your lease is six month or a year or two, then it is legally considered to be a month-to-month lease.
2. Condition of the apartment an issue?If the condition of the apartment is an issue, let your landlord know about all the repairs that need to be made to the apartment in order to make it livable. If the landlord doesn’t make the repairs, you have the right to terminate the lease and vacate the apartment 30 days after giving notice. You will often even find that landlords prefer to terminate a lease ASAP and have you vacate the apartment rather than making the repairs themselves.
3. Check prices in the neighborhoodIf rents in your area have risen your landlord will be happy to terminate the lease and let you move out. It’s no problem to terminate a lease early if both parties agree. The landlord will be happy to see you go since he will be able to charge higher rents once you move out!
4. Clean up and leave the apartment in a good conditionThis should be normal, but when you move out, leave the apartment clean and free of your personal belongings. Let your landlord know in writing that you have left and return ALL keys. The apartment should be in such condition that the landlord can easily rent it to a new tenant again! Tipp: From my experience with landlords all over the world, I would recommend to do EVERYTHING in writing. Either by E-Mail or by Mail and always ask for a read confirmation.
Tips on Subletting Your Apartment
1. Ask for PermissionMake sure that your lease says explicitly that you can sublet your apartment. If it doesn’t make sure you have the written agreement of your landlord to do this!
2. Calculate the risks of sublettingSubletting is great but it’s not always safe. It opens your home to potential theft and damage, which at the end of the day, you will be responsible for. I’ve heard crazy stories but I’ve sublet my apartment a few times and most of the times things were good! There are ways to minimize these risks but not to eliminate them!
3. Act like a landlord because you are one!I acted like a friend first until tenants started to take advantage of me. I quickly changed the tone and the way of communication and things started to go the way I wanted. When you sublet your apartment you automatically become a landlord.
4. Take “before moving in” photos, have a move-in checklist signed and have a contact in the area!Before your new tenant moves in you should have before photos of everything this will help you should your tenant break something or leave the apartment in a bad condition when moving out. One of my tenants poured candle wachs and a glass of wine over my white walls and tried to paint it over with a different white. What was left, were grey stains all over the wall. With the pictures I could confront him and show him that it wasn’t this way when he moved in! Also have them sign a move-in checklist with all the things you will leave in the apartment! Just in case, since you will be traveling, leave a second key with a trusted friend or family member that should come and check regularly and maybe check the mail for you. Pay this person or offer them something else in return, since they are doing you a huge favor! Tip: You can check your mail from your travels. Simply set up an online mailbox with a company like Dropscan and let your national mail carrier forward your mail to your Dropscan address!
Want to make even more money with subletting your apartment?If you want to make even more money with subletting your apartment and you live in a really cool and popular city you should get on board with AirBnB or 9Flats. Simply register your apartment, have somebody come and take professional photos, leave your keys with a trusted friend and give him the rights to your AirBnB account and promise him a big commission on every person he rents out the apartment to. Your friend would have to take care that the apartment is always clean and that everything works as described in the online listing. Subletting your apartment via AirBnB or other peer to peer networks like 9Flats, Wimdu etc… is a great way to cash in much more than by simply subletting it for a few months. Travelers and tourists are willing to pay more for staying in a short time in a local neighborhood! For a 60 sqm apartment with 2 rooms in Berlin you can make between 1.300 and 2.000 € month if you rent it out on a regular basis!
[highlight color=75bfca ]– Register with AirBnB today and start subletting your apartment! – [/highlight]