Childfreelife’s Weblog

{June 15, 2008}   Big Chunk 2-Downsizing Your Lease

As I covered in a previous post, the childfree can often downsize their housing more easily than the childed. Moving can be traumatizing for children, and kids tend to want their own rooms. However, a childfree person can lose the home-office or sewing room if they need or want to save some money by squishing into a smaller place.

I forgot to mention the other day when I wrote Big Chunk 1, that renters can often negotiate with their apartment complex managers for converting their lease to a smaller apartment in the same complex. Several of my friends have done this. The moved from three bedrooms to one or two bedroom apartments within the same complex, and the managers did not make them pay a penalty. However, their cleaning deposit was raided in both cases. If you can repay a cleaning deposit, but really need to save the extra bucks, you aren’t really trapped in your lease, if the managers will agree to move you down a size in their building.

When I up-sized into a house, I still had a fairly long lease on my apartment. It would have cost an $1800 penalty to end the lease! I had to be creative, and so I sublet my apartment. Now when you sublet you are still completely responsible for the apartment, and so you have to really trust the person you are subletting to. I sublet to a friend to help her get on her feet. She signed on as a roommate on the lease and I stayed on the lease with her until it was time to re-up the lease, then she did so on her own, we took ourselves off as roommates. For a while she paid me the rent and I paid the company. I sweetened the deal by giving her reduced rent the first few months.


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