Apartment Guarantors - Frequently Asked Questions

Lease guarantor
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Guarantors can make the difference between getting you the rental you want or having you look elsewhere. But not every prospective tenant knows about this option or understands what's involved.

Here are answers to commonly asked questions about guarantors and why you might need one when you're looking to rent an apartment.

Q: What's a guarantor?
A: A guarantor is someone who signs the lease with you and takes on your financial obligations under the lease... Read more

Q: Who usually signs a lease as a guarantor?
A: Very often, a renter's parent acts as a guarantor, assuming the parent is in a sound financial situation and want... Read more

Q: Is a co-signer the same thing as a guarantor?
A: Landlords and brokers often use the terms "co-signer"... Read more

Q: What should I tell someone who's considering being my guarantor?
A: You should tell a potential guarantor that you need someone else to sign the lease in order to rent the apartment you want... Read more

Q: What documentation do landlords require from guarantors?
A: Landlords vary as to their requirements, but if a relative or friend is considering being your guarantor, that person should expect...

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Q: Will my guarantor get a copy of my credit report?
A: Probably only if you provide it. Landlords who accept guarantors are concerned about making sure that the guarantor is someone who is in a financial position to step up to the plate if the tenant doesn't pay the rent. As for convincing a particular person to be a... Read more

Q: Can a landlord accept only guarantors who live in a certain area?
A: Many landlords limit guarantors to the state or metropolitan area (such as California or the New York City tri-state area). They can do this because... Read more

Q: What will my lease say about a guarantor?
A: Some landlords just include a short clause in their lease with an added signature line for a guarantor... Read more

Q: How will I know if I need a guarantor?
A: Your landlord will tell you if you need a guarantor. Some landlords are quick to require guarantors... Read more

Q: What if I can't find a guarantor?
A: If a landlord requires a guarantor but you can't find one, you'll probably need to look for an apartment elsewhere...

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Q: Can I suggest to a landlord that I get a guarantor?
A: Yes. If you found your dream apartment but the landlord is hesitant to rent it to you because he believes... Read more

Q: What if my guarantor changes his mind after the lease begins?
A: Once you sign your lease, you're on the hook for rent for the remainder of your lease term. In similar fashion, someone who signs as guarantor becomes committed to fulfilling that duty for the same period. So, if you just signed a one-year... Read more

Q: Can I be a guarantor for another tenant if I've signed a lease of my own?
A: The fact that you've signed a lease for an apartment as a tenant doesn't bar you from serving as a guarantor for a relative or friend. This is true even if the relative or friend wants to rent an apartment in the same building... Read more