Subleasing Your Apartment

A kitchen in University Houses.

Summer is a great time to entertain friends and family visiting Madison. For many of our residents, summer is also a time to vacation or travel outside of Madison and to possibly sublet their apartment to help offset the cost of rent while they are gone.
As you are making plans for the summer, please keep in mind that there are lease terms and conditions that apply to hosting guests, and/or subleasing your apartment. Knowing the difference between a “guest” and a “sub lessee” could prevent you from making arrangements that could be considered lease violations.

Under the terms on the University Apartments Leases, a “guest” is a person temporarily residing with a leaseholder, who does not meet the criteria for “family” (a spouse, partner or legal dependent), or “roommate.” A guest can stay with you for a maximum of 30 days in a one-year period, and they are typically friends and family.

A “sublessee” is an individual who makes financial arrangements to lease an apartment or room for any period of time from the lessee.
A family member coming to stay with a resident for the weekend would be considered a “guest.” A visitor paying a resident money to stay in an apartment or a room would be considered a “sub lessee,” or more importantly, they would be considered an “unapproved sublessee.” Hotel or hostel type arrangements for travelers or outside parties, such as accommodations arranged through Airbnb are also considered to be unapproved subleases. These arrangements are not allowed in University Apartments as they violate the lease conditions relating to both “Subleasing” and “Solicitation and Commercial Activities.”

In University Apartments, all sublets must be approved, in advance, by the Leasing Office. Sublets are only approved if the leaseholder is leaving Madison for a period of time, but will be returning to the apartment after the sublet period. For example, a resident might travel during the summer months, or leave Madison to do research during an academic semester.

Sublets are also not allowed if a resident has submitted a lease termination form.
Any potential sub lessee must have an affiliation with the University of Wisconsin that makes them eligible for University Apartments during the sublet period.

All sublets must also meet the occupancy limitations and household limitations for an apartment. For example, a family household may not sublease a bedroom in their apartment to another person or persons. Or, a single resident in a 1 bedroom apartment could not sublet the apartment to a family of 5.
The full sublease policy can be found on our website. The sublet policy and forms are also available from our office in the Community Center. Questions? Please contact leasing@housing.wisc.edu