Subletting  FAQ’s

I want to sublet my apartment for the summer. How do I get started?

First, you’ll need to find your own subtenant. You can advertise on the OCHA Housing Registry to find a subtenant.

Is there any paperwork required to sublet?

Once you’ve selected a subtenant, together you fill out and sign a Sublet Application. The application can be printed from online, filled out and signed, then scanned and emailed to subletting@columbia.edu. You can pick up a sublet application form or drop off a completed form in the OCHA office, which is located at 401 West 119th Street (corner of Morningside Drive) on the ground floor, within the UAH office.

Is every page of the sublet application required?

The pages that are required are pages 2 – 4. Please remember to include a copy of the subtenant’s photo ID. Page 5 is optional and not required, and page 6 must be filled out and signed by your school’s Housing Liaison for sublets during the academic year.

Can I sublet to someone who is not a Columbia student?

Yes, you can sublet to someone who is not affiliated with Columbia. Be advised that the CU-Managed Sublets tab in the OCHA Registry does not require a login and is searchable by the general public, so you may be contacted by someone who is not affiliated with Columbia.

How long does it take to get the sublet application approved?

It may take up to 7 business days for the application to be processed and approved.

Will we be contacted when the sublet application is approved?

No, we do not contact you with the approval. We will contact you only if we have a problem with or a question about your sublet application. You can track the approval process online on the Subletting page by clicking on “Check Application Status”.

How does my subtenant pay me?

Your subtenant can either pay you or they can pay your rent for you directly to the University (but only if you live in a building where you pay monthly.) To have the subtenant pay the University, you must both sign and include the Direct Payment Form (page 5 of the Sublet Application) when you submit the application. You are still the tenant-of-record and the lease remains in your name, even when you are subletting. The rent bills will continue to be in your name, not the subtenant’s. You may charge your subtenant up to 10% more than your rent. If they are paying the University directly, any additional funds will be credited to your account. If you want to pre-pay your rent for the summer, the additional amount will be credited to your account.

Should I ask for a security deposit?

Yes, we strongly suggest that you request a security deposit from your subtenant, but managing the security deposit and choosing the amount of the deposit is up to you. Columbia does not get involved with your subtenant’s deposit. The amount of the security deposit for sublets ranges from a few hundred dollars to one month’s rent. The security deposit is your protection in case of damage, unpaid utilities, cleaning, etc. You are expected to give back the security deposit at the end of the sublet.

What do we do after the sublet is approved?

Your building superintendent will have a list of approved subtenants on file, so your subtenant can just move in. You make your own arrangements to get the keys to your subtenant and make your own payment arrangements.