How to find good quality sublets in Washington, DC

This guide to finding and securing short-term housing will help you target homes in the city’s best areas.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

national capitol, washington dc

It’s no secret that the US capital is an incredibly popular place to live. In fact, there are probably more people looking for good-quality sublets in Washington, DC then there are cozy short term apartments. In addition to being a seat of government, this charming city is home to world-class dining and entertainment as well as some of the best museums in the US. Relocating here means you can experience this energy for yourself. There’s also a great selection of housing stock in DC and the surrounding suburbs in Maryland and northern Virginia. Whether you want a condo, townhouse, duplex, or loft apartment, you will find an incredible selection.

However, when you’re searching for sublets in Washington, DC you’re limited to apartments and houses that are occupied by someone who is looking to end their lease early. This represents only a fraction of the total available rental housing. Of course, this means that it can be insanely stressful trying to find temporary housing in Washington, DC! (Unless you have a friend or a family member who happens to own a multi-unit apartment building, that is.) The reality is that the competition for short-term housing like sublets is fierce. This is especially true during the summer when thousands of ambitious college students descend on the capital for internships.

Luckily, there’s an alternative to sublets for students in Washington DC — Blueground’s brand-new Studentground program. It’s a student housing solution featuring discounted rates for fully furnished apartments, rent-free when you’re away, flexible durations, and a seamless rental experience close to campus.

pennsylvania avenue, washington dc

But don’t worry, there are some time-tested strategies that can help you streamline your search. You just need to get organized and dig in on research to secure an amazing new home! This guide will cover how to find good-quality sublets in Washington, DC. We have also included helpful websites as well as some questions to consider before you even begin your search.

Why choosing a sublet for temporary stays is a better idea

If you are moving to a city to start a new job or enroll in school, you may be looking to sign a lease for a year or even longer. But what if you don’t have a job lined up yet, or just want to see if DC is the right fit for you? There is a full range of temporary housing in Washington, DC, from hotels to short-term rental apartments to sublets from current renters.

wharf, washington dc

Looking for Washington DC sublets gives you flexibility over your stay – and your budget! After all, it’s much cheaper to agree to rent a room for three months than for a whole year.

The 3 best ways to search for a sublet

If you’re looking for short-term housing in Washington DC it’s important to do your research as early as possible. Happily, you can use your computer or phone to do most of the legwork. Remember, the more research and planning you do ahead of time, the less time you will spend running from one end of the city to the other to see apartments.

1. Online platforms and websites

Start your search for temporary housing in Washington, DC online with websites like Craigslist, SpareRoom, and All of these online databases let you use filters to narrow down results to only show you Washington, DC sublets. After all, you’re not looking to buy a house!

capitol, washington dc

2. Classified ads

If you’re on the hunt for a real bargain, don’t forget about old-fashioned classified ads! Most people use online databases to find short term housing in Washington, DC but neglect this low-tech approach. You will likely be able to view the classifieds section of major newspapers and alternative weeklies online. For bonus points, you can also look for fliers and handwritten ads. If you aren’t already in town, have a friend or even a stranger you hire scour local bars, cafes, student centers, and even laundromats for Washington, DC sublets for rent.

3. Social media listings

georgetown row houses

Facebook Marketplace is another great tool for finding sublets! In addition to people who have finally gotten around to selling their Beanie Baby collection, you will find rooms and apartments available for rent. The site is a great resource for sublets in Washington, DC from renters and property owners. You can even use Facebook Messenger to correspond with potential new landlords.


Furnished vs. unfurnished

Another key consideration when you’re looking for sublets is whether to limit your search to unfurnished units. The pros of an unfurnished sublet are that you can bring your own possessions along rather than having to store them and that you can express your own style.

apartment buildings, washington dc

However, there are fewer unfurnished Washington, DC sublets than furnished ones overall. That’s because many people who sublet their apartments are traveling and plan to resume their lease. If you want the widest selection, you will likely want to look at both furnished and unfurnished sublets.

A few things to consider before staying in a sublet

Finally, there are a few other aspects of temporary housing in Washington, DC to ponder. Even if you’re only staying for a short time, the location of the home matters. Be sure that the sublets you’re considering are in safe neighborhoods and near public transportation. Another important factor is the rental period. The dates may not align perfectly, but in general, you need to find a sublet that matches the amount of time you plan to be in the city. A Washington, DC sublet that is available from March to May won’t be a match for you if you want to stay in the city from April all the way through October, for example.

washington dc row houses

Be flexible but realistic about your occupation dates – and your budget. Amenities like coworking lounges, gardens, roof decks, and in-unit laundry are also important considerations in your search. Think about what your wants and needs are so that you can quickly scan through ads. Of course, it can be hard to find a Washington, DC sublet that ticks absolutely all of the boxes. This is why many people who look for sublets end up staying in short-term rentals instead. Furnished rentals from companies like Blueground let renters experience all of the amenities of a home without having to move in furniture or set up utilities.

We have hundreds of flexible-term rental apartments in Washington, DC where you can move in and move out on your terms. You will find everything you need to live well, from appliances and furnishings to pots and pans. We hope this guide to finding good sublets in Washington, DC will help you land your dream home. Remember, the more research you do, the less time you will spend looking at unsuitable units.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

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