Subletting, or renting from a renter, is a common practice in the neighborhoods around the University of Chicago. It is often a mutually beneficial arrangement, but weigh your options before signing anything. Potential benefits include flexible move-in dates, subsidized rent, and an overall simpler experience, with no lease and no need to worry about furniture and appliances. Drawbacks–especially when living with strangers–range from discovering minor hang-ups you never knew you had to dealing with real lifestyle differences in organization, noise levels, and privacy, to collecting full-on horror stories of living in foreign territory (“they do what naked with their pet ferret?”). Ask the important questions before you agree to anything, and be honest about your perspective and way of life. But for UofC students returning from time off or study abroad, or anyone whose schedule doesn’t fit the pattern of regular leases, subletting is a convenient option, and is often a positive experience. Opportunities to sublet are usually plentiful, and during the summer months in Hyde Park and Kenwood, when many students leave for the summer, bargaining can make already moderate rents far cheaper. Uchicagoapartments.com and marketplace.uchicago.edu are good places to look, and so is Craigslist (with the usual disclaimers), but many successful subleases come from word-of-mouth research and personal recommendations.