Subletters can’t automatically take over a lease
If you’re the subtenant, don’t assume the cushy West Village apartment you found will eventually become yours -- even if the tenant offers to transfer the lease. Nothing is official until the landlord provides written approval of the reassignment. And unlike subleasing, the landlord can deny the arrangement either reasonably or unreasonably.
Only look for a place through highly trusted sources
If you’re searching for a place to stay, Facebook and other social media networks are a great place to start. You’re more likely to find a friend of a friend this way, making it easier to check personal references and avoid scams.
Alumni network’s interest-oriented groups are another great way to find a subtenant or a sublease. Try a closed group, like Gypsy Housing NYC, if you need to look outside your immediate network (chances are, you know someone who can send you an invitation to enter).
If all else fails, there are new lease marketplaces now, like Flip, which will help tenants find subtenants, and vice versa. And traditional sites for apartment hunting, such as RentHop, often have a sublet filter, too.