Sublet Guidelines

You must submit a sublet application for approval from the housing office before you ("Prime Tenant") allow anyone ("Subtenant") to occupy your apartment while you are away. Failure to do so violates your occupancy agreement/lease and is grounds for terminating your housing privileges. Please allow three business days for application processing.

Columbia is not a party to your agreement with your Subtenant and does not mediate disputes; your sublet agreement is subordinate to the terms of your occupancy agreement/lease with Columbia, a copy of which has been given by you to your Subtenant.


  • Rent Account: paid-in-full
  • Occupancy Agreement/Lease: active signed occupancy agreement/lease on file with housing office
  • Sublet Dates: approval of sublet dates beyond your occupancy agreement/lease expiration date is subject to receipt of your signed extension
  • Occupancy: students must return to apartment for a minimum of one semester following sublet
  • Rent You May Charge: subtenant rent must not exceed your Columbia base rent and Columbia Ethernet charge (if applicable)
  • Permissible Charges to Subtenant: optional fees for furniture usage (not to exceed 10% Columbia base rent) and for utility reimbursement (electricity, gas, cable, internet)


  • Minimum Age: 18 years 
  • Photo ID: copy of photo ID for self and any additional occupants
  • Gender: must be same gender as tenant if single gender apartment


  • Prime Tenant: maintain full time affiliation during sublet term. Cannot apply to be a subtenant during term of active Columbia occupancy agreement/lease. Student tenants cannot be on leave of absence or have withdrawn from the University 
  • Subtenant: need not be a Columbia affiliate. If current Columbia tenant, sublet cannot start until after you vacate Columbia housing


  • Vacation: summer or winter break only
  • Approved Leave: during the academic year, students may sublet with Housing Liaison approval for academic fieldwork or research. Faculty and post-docs may sublet with department chair/dean/director approval


  • Sublet Term: minimum of 30 days
  • Window Guards: if any occupants are 10 years or younger, landlord must be notified


  • You can contact your building’s superintendent with any questions about building access for your subtenant. Superintendents are provided a list of approved subtenants, which should allow your subtenant to move-in without issues.
  • Key exchange is to be arranged by Tenant to Subtenant.