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Leaving for a few months? Flatbook will pay your rent while you’re away, at no cost to you

If you’ve ever had to sublet your apartment before, you know firsthand just how much of a nightmare it can be. Posting ads and showcasing your space to a horde of potential sub-lessors can be extremely time-consuming, and if it doesn’t work out, you’re stuck paying the rent for a space you’re not going to use for a few months.

Flatbook aims to change that. To save you from spending a bunch of money on rent, or losing your mind trying to find a suitable sub-tenant, the company will actually pay your rent while you’re gone — at no cost to you.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not. Sign up for the service and Flatbook will legitimately pay your rent for you while you’re away. When you return, they’ll hand over the keys and give you your apartment back. But there’s a bit of a catch.

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Here’s how the service works. After you sign up and hand over your keys, Flatbook sends over a small team of designers and photographers to check out your space. Once they’ve spruced it up a bit, and furnished/decorated the place to their liking, they’ll take  photos and create some listings for it online. Basically, the company makes your place look amazing, and then puts it up for temporary, Airbnb-style rentals to cover the cost of your rent.

Let’s say you pay $2,500 per month for rent. With a few touch-ups, Flatbook might be able to rent your place for $250 a night. Once they book enough guests to cover your rent, they pocket everything above that. That’s how they can do the whole thing for “free.” You don’t pay a cent for the service, but the company profits from using the space while you’re away.

To sweeten the deal, Flatbook will even pay to store all your stuff while you’re away, and offers up to $10,000 in damage protection — all for the price of free-ninety-nine.