Can Parents Sign Apartment Lease?

Finding and moving into a new apartment for the first time is a challenge of its own.

It’s one of the first big adult moves that all young professionals have to make.

Can Parents Sign Apartment Lease?

Leasing an apartment comes with a lot of responsibility and requires you to meet strict criteria.  

That is why asking your parents for help may ease your troubles and make the process go smoother.

It is also the reason why it’s not uncommon for people to seek help from their parents in this matter. Now, to answer the question: Yes! Your parents can sign your apartment lease.   

One of your parents can help you secure an apartment by signing on the lease as a rent guarantor.

Before you ask your parents for help, let’s first learn about the role and responsibilities of a guarantor below! 

What does becoming a guarantor entail?

A rent guarantor is someone who takes the responsibility of the rent payments legally, in case the tenant isn’t able to keep up with them.

When a guarantor signs on the lease, it’s important that both of you understand and agree to the terms and conditions of the lease. 

Since being a guarantor is a huge responsibility, it is usually taken up by parents, family members, or close friends.

The tenant and the guarantor need to have complete faith in each other for this arrangement to work. 

Guarantors are usually required to have excellent financial history and stable income sources.

In some cases, the landlords require the guarantor to be a homeowner just for extra insurance.

Since the guarantor doesn’t live in the apartment with you, some landlords might also insist on having a local or in-state guarantor.

When do you need a guarantor on your lease? 

There are several reasons you could need your parents to be guarantors on the lease.

Some common scenarios are mentioned below:

No Rental History

One of the common reasons why people have guarantors on their lease is because they don’t have a rental history to prove that they’ll make reliable and responsible tenants.

If you’re renting an apartment for the first time, you might have to ask your parents to sign on the lease as guarantors in order to secure your desired apartment. 

Unfavorable Rental History

Another reason for having a guarantor is if you don’t have a desirable rental history.

For instance, if you ended your previous lease on bad terms with your landlord, you’ll have a hard time securing a new apartment.

A landlord may consider you as a tenant only if there’s a guarantor on the lease. 

Lack of Credit History

Having little or no credit history is another common reason for a guarantor requirement on your lease.

Most landlords run a credit check on their prospective tenants to see if they have the ability to pay rent on time.

If you have a low or no credit history, the landlord may not accept your rental application. 

However, if you can get a person with excellent credit history to be a guarantor on your lease, the chances of your acceptance as a tenant will increase significantly. 

Low Income

If you have a low income and you’ll live paycheck to paycheck, it might decrease your chances of securing your desirable apartment.

In that case, getting a guarantor to sign on your lease will help you secure the deal.

The same is the case for people who are looking for work and currently have no stable income source.

Also read: 11 Tips to Get an Apartment If You Just Got a Job

What Will My Parents Need to Qualify as Guarantors?

For your parents to qualify as guarantors, they’ll have to meet a specific criterion. First, their annual income must be 80 times the amount of your monthly rent.

They are also required to have good to excellent credit score (750 and above).

These requirements are put in place to ensure that the guarantor can support the tenant while managing their own finances.  

What are the Paperwork Requirements for Guarantors? 

When your rental application gets processed, the landlord will provide you with a form to be filled out by the guarantor.

This form is basically an application for becoming a guarantor.

The landlord will assess the information in this form to determine if your parent is financially stable enough to become a guarantor on the lease. 

It’s up to the landlord to decide whether they want the guarantor to sign a separate agreement form in addition to signing on the lease or if the guarantor agreement will be a part of the rental agreement. 

Here are the common documents that guarantors required to submit:

  • A copy of an official ID such as a driver’s license
  • Copies of two most recent pay stubs of the guarantor
  • Copies of the two most recent tax returns
  • If the guarantor is self-employed, they will have to provide two most recent monthly bank statements
  • They might also have to provide a letter from their employer mentioning their position and duration of employment

Can you have multiple guarantors?

Most landlords only accept a single guarantor on your lease because it’s easier to manage.

Although you might want both your parents or a few close friends to collectively help you out, it may not be feasible, and the landlord is unlikely to accept such a setting. 

What will happen if you miss your rent payment?

If you are unable to make your monthly rent payments, your guarantor will be directly and legally responsible for paying on your behalf.

Moreover, their credit score might also take a hit, depending on how many payments you miss.  

What will happen if both the tenant and the guarantor fail to pay the rent?

If both you and your parents fail to pay the rent, it will damage both your credit scores.

Moreover, you’ll be charged with late fees, and the landlord can also take legal action. You might even be evicted, or the landlord can hire a collections company to get their rent from you.

Your guarantor will be named in all legal proceedings and collections until the issue is resolved.

What if you do not have a guarantor?

Sometimes, your parents or friends may be unwilling to sign the lease for your apartment. Or they might be willing but don’t need the criteria required for them to allow signing your lease.

In such a scenario, you can try using apartment guarantor services such as Insurent, which will take a fee and take care of the process. You may have to qualify for their internal checks, which will likely be a lot less strict.

Another option is to check with the landlord and offer him/her a higher deposit/security.

This can show your commitment and also ensures the landlord that a part of the rent is already paid upfront. May try and offer 3-6 months of rent as the upfront payment.

Also, try and show the landlord that you have a stable income and would easily be able to pay the rent in the coming months.

Conclusion 

Yes, your parents can sign on your apartment lease as guarantors.

Getting help from a parent to secure your first apartment is far from a bad thing because you do need support to get on your own. 

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