How to find a sublet in Chicago

Looking for a sublet in Chicago? Find everything you need to know about sublets in the Windy City.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

Chicago skylines

Sometimes standard one-year leases aren’t the best fit for your life plan. In these situations, a common solution is to take over a portion of another renter’s lease, typically referred to as a sublease or sublet.

If you’re looking for a Chicago sublet, you’re in luck. The Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance states that landlords are required to accept subleases from tenants, so supply is plentiful.

But where should you start your search? These resources will help you connect with short-term lease opportunities.

1. Check websites specific to Chicago sublets

Chicago has a huge market for sublets, and there are a few websites that exist specifically to help you find them. These platforms are typically set up so that renters looking to get out of a lease early can easily post their place.

This massive platform advertises listings for all types of rentals, including subleases, furnished apartments, vacation rentals, and roommates. To find a sublet, choose your ideal lease term from the search options and browse through the results. You’ll have to create a free account to contact the poster. The website’s interface can be a bit difficult to navigate, but you’re likely to find hundreds of potential options.


While many other sites are chaotic and overwhelming to use, Flip keeps things simple. This minimalist platform hosts only a curated selection of Chicago sublets. Leaseholders fill out a short form with details such as move-in date, sublease term, amenities, and their reason for leaving. Flip’s native messaging system allows you to contact the current tenant once you’ve created a free account.

2. Use a company that offers furnished rentals

Sublets are a great solution to finding short-term housing in Chicago, but they’re not the only option. There are also companies that offer furnished apartments for rental periods of one month or longer. One popular company in Chicago is Blueground, which specializes in mid to long-term furnished rentals. Blueground directly manages all of its apartments, so they’ll always be up to the same quality standards. The interior design team meticulously styles and outfits each property and ensures they are equipped with all the amenities for a move-in-ready, long-term experience. 

chicago sublet living room modern design

The flexible lease options mean that you can stick to one place for the entire duration of your stay or hop around to experience different areas of the city. You also won’t need to deal with all the time-consuming bureaucratic tasks that accompany subleasing, such as setting up Internet service and switching utilities to your name.

The Blueground Guest App allows you to schedule cleanings, request maintenance, contact tenant support, and even browse info about the neighborhood.

3. Browse classified ads for sublets

Who said classified ads were outdated? Your parents used newspaper ads to find subleases back in the day, and now you can do the same online. Craigslist is the most popular website for classified ads in Chicago, with a section specifically for sublets and temporary housing. You’ll find tons of options in every neighborhood and price range. It’s free to use and you don’t need to create an account. Remember that sublet listings in Chicago follow their own seasonality so be sure to check back regularly.

man sitting on a bench reading a newspaper

The only disadvantage? The posts aren’t moderated, so make sure you do your homework when browsing through the listings and watch out for potential scams, which unfortunately are common. If you’re going to visit an apartment, stay safe by bringing a friend or at the very least make sure someone knows where you’re going.

4. Search for long-term stays through a vacation rental site

You’ve probably used vacation rental sites as an alternative to hotels while traveling, but did you know you can find options for long-term stays on these platforms, too? The advantages of using vacation rental platforms are that most listings come furnished and dates are extremely flexible. However, prices tend to be high for what you get, so you’ll probably only want to consider this as an option only if you’re looking for a Chicago sublet for three months or less.


To find a sublease in Chicago on Airbnb, simply enter the dates you’d like to stay. If the total rental period is greater than 30 days, the platform will automatically show prices by the month. Most long-term options are rooms in shared apartments, although you’ll be able to find plenty of entire homes available, too.

You’ll have to use your free Airbnb account to contact the host; some hosts are selective about who they rent their home to, so try to accumulate a few good reviews. Pro tip: if you’re planning to stay for a while, you might be able to negotiate a deal with the host for a discounted rate.


Though it’s a very similar platform, HomeAway is different from Airbnb in a few key ways. Primarily, HomeAway only offers entire homes, so hosts can’t list rooms in their own residences. If you’re looking for a bit more privacy in your long-term vacation rental, this might be the site for you. Just be warned that, unlike Airbnb, HomeAway will only display nightly prices, so you’ll have to do a bit of math to figure out the cost per month.

5. Browse social media for Chicago sublets

Nearly everyone is on social media these days, and if you’re looking for a sublease in Chicago, that’s something you can use to your advantage. Facebook Marketplace has only been around since 2016, but it’s become a popular place for Chicago residents to list sublets.

man standing in his apartment looking at something he is holding

To find these short-term leases, navigate to the Housing section and type “sublease” or “sublet” in the search box. From there, you can use your existing Facebook account to get in touch with the poster.

What to look for in a Chicago sublet

Depending on the setup of the sublet, you have a few essential questions to ask:

  • Does the rent include all utilities and are they paid together?
  • Does my lifestyle fit with those of the other roommates (cleanliness, quiet hours, smoking, and sociability)?
  • Does the current tenant have an ideal sublet start and end date?
  • What is available nearby? Best parks, restaurants, and bars? Am I well connected to transit?
  • What is the procedure for moving in and out?
  • Is it worth the temporary splurge to upgrade from a private room in a shared apartment to a private studio?

Remember, sublets in Chicago are usually plentiful, so take your time when looking for the right place. Never be afraid to negotiate the price on a sublease – after all, you’re helping the leaseholder by taking over their financial commitment!

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.