FAQs — Apartment Lease Guarantors

By: ROS Team November 17, 2021

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It might be overwhelming for first-time renters in a highly competitive housing market to navigate the apartment application procedure. There usually are a few standards to meet to be considered a suitable renter. Such as a certain income threshold and a particular credit score. Which you may not be able to complete on your own.

But don’t be disturbed: just a tiny percentage of young professionals can sign an apartment contract on their own. If you can find a guarantor to assist you in securing the lease, you’ll be in good shape. Here is what you need to know about this critical position.

What is a Lease Guarantor?

In the case of an apartment lease, a guarantor is a person who will co-sign with a renter. Ensuring that the rent will be paid if the tenant fails to do so. It is customary for the guarantor to be a parent, family member, or close friend who wants to take on legal responsibility for leasing an apartment.

When renting an apartment, the phrases guarantor and co-signer are occasionally used interchangeably with one another. Both guarantors and co-signers are liable for the payment of the rent if the renters fail to make their payments on time.

Why Do I Need a Guarantor?

To become a tenant, you may need to pay a deposit. In New York City, landlords often demand 40 times the monthly rent. This condition is difficult or impossible for many first-time renters and young professionals. Especially in pricey places like San Francisco, where a studio apartment averages $2,300. If your income does not satisfy the landlord’s requirements, a financially secure guarantor may co-sign your lease.

You may need a guarantor if you have no rental or credit history or a low credit score. Landlords may not have proof of financial responsibility because recent grads haven’t built credit. A guarantor can help tenants with weak credit find landlords prepared to accept the risk.

How do Co-signer and Guarantor differ?

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same.  A co-signer typically signs a lease with the tenant and has a right to occupy the property.  On the other hand, a guarantor is someone who only takes on the financial responsibilities if the tenant is unable to do so.

Who Can Be a Lease Guarantor?

Someone close to you should serve as your guarantor, whether a family member or a close personal friend. You must also consider whether or not he or she is financially stable enough to pay the rent if you cannot make your payments.

It is possible for a work colleague, an acquaintance, or even a corporate organization to guarantee, though this is less usual these days. For example, when a company entity hires a contractor to come to town for a long-term work assignment. The business entity may function as the contractor’s guarantor. Moreover, government agencies can act as guarantors for low-income families. They would otherwise be unable to get an apartment on their own, albeit this is an uncommon occurrence.

Are Guarantors Entitled to a Copy of a Tenant’s Credit Report?

The tenant’s financial situation should be known to a guarantor, but the tenant’s credit report is not their property. Even if they request one from the tenant’s credit bureau. On the other hand, Landlords have the right to check both your credit report and the credit report of your guarantor to determine whether or not both parties have an excellent financial history.

Read Also: Tenant Background Checks

When is a Guarantor No Longer Financially Liable?

In most cases, unless otherwise stated, the guarantor’s financial responsibility ends only when the renter no longer occupies the flat in question. Typically, this type of agreement is referred to as an “open-ended guarantor agreement.”

Guarantor Requests Changes to the Lease Agreement

How to Convince Someone to Become a Guarantor?

You should be completely upfront with your partner about what it means to be a guarantor. You should also be completely honest with yourself about what it means to be a guarantee. Inform them why you require a guarantee in the first place and supply them with a copy of your financial records to prove your worth.

You’ll also need to let their guarantor know that they’ll be subjected to a credit and background check before signing the contract. A copy of their pay stubs or bank statements, as well as their signature on the lease agreement, will be required of them as well. Because it is such a significant obligation, you should be realistic and not take it personally if someone denies your offer to serve as a guarantor.

What to Do If the Guarantor Requests Changes to the Lease Agreement?

A tenant can find themselves in a scenario where the lease agreement provisions do not match. What the guarantor has pledged to do financially. If you find yourself in this scenario, think about whether there is anything else you could do to persuade the landlord to agree to amend the lease. You may need to provide additional assurance to the landlord in the form of a reference letter or a more significant down payment or security deposit to convince the landlord to do so.

Does the Guarantor Have to be Local?

The landlord is exclusively responsible for determining where the guarantor will reside. Sometimes landlords insist on guarantors living in the same city as the tenant, or at the very least in the same state as the tenant. The precaution appears to be necessary because the guarantee is required to make the payment when a renter cannot. Having a guarantor in the exact location may prove to be more advantageous for landlords when attempting to reclaim outstanding fees.

Final Takeaways

If you require a guarantor, having one available is a convenient answer; nevertheless, it is not the end of the world if you are unable to get one. In the majority of cities, some businesses will act as guarantors. Additionally, you might look into alternative options for finding an apartment. Such as getting a rental or living with a roommate, if you desire.


Read Also:
How to Get Out of an Apartment Lease Early
Rental Apartment Guarantor