Is a guarantor liable for unpaid rent?
A guarantor for renting a residential lease is someone who acts as a guarantee by legally agreeing to assume the financial obligations of the lease if the tenant defaults. This often means that a guarantor is liable for rental or property damage that the tenant has not covered. A guarantor for a housing lease agreement agrees to pay the rent if the tenant is unable to do so. If the guarantor is unable to pay, the consequences for both the tenant and the guarantor can be severe.
The landlord can drive out the tenant and initiate debt collection measures against the guarantor. This may include a lawsuit that has a negative impact on the guarantor’s loan. Until the courts reopen, a guarantor cannot be sued for failing to pay the rent. It depends on what is in the agreement.
In many cases, a guarantee agreement also extends to other conditions within the framework of the lease – for example damage to the property. For this reason, the role is a serious responsibility and should not be taken lightly, nor without being clear on exactly what is being signed. There are many stories of guarantors who are surprised and stressed that they are being asked to pay their relative’s rent. The tenant may struggle to rent another apartment as landlords and property management companies often have access to reports that contain information about the previous eviction.
Either the landlord or the tenant can decide to terminate the lease by terminating the other party either 30 days or one month before the next rent payment due date, whichever is longer. Guarantors may find out too late that tenants are not paying rent on time, especially in a roommate situation, says Adjina Dekidjiev, Citi Habitats rental manager. Generally, a landlord cannot take possession of the rental property, physically remove the tenant or their personal property, or change locks without going through court. You may be responsible for covering rent arrears for the duration of the lease and for any rent increases.
This includes rent payments, utilities that are owed directly to the landlord, and the cost of repairing damage to the rental unit. He points out that the whole idea of the guarantor is that there is an unconditional payment obligation if the tenant defaults on the rent. If the landlord accepts multiple guarantors, you still need to take a few steps to protect yourself legally. It may be possible to negotiate a change to the warranty agreement so that the guarantor’s liability is limited.
If the rental guarantor refuses or does not cover unpaid costs, the landlord can take legal action against the guarantor. Many landlords only allow one guarantor per rental contract. So if you agree to be the guarantor for your child or another relative, you guarantee the rent for the entire apartment and yes, that includes roommates. Regardless of where you want to rent an apartment, ask the landlord to clarify the rental language if a guarantor or co-signer is mentioned. Insurent points out that using its services does not change your contract with your landlord. In fact, you need to take legal action over unpaid rent that the insurer is making to the landlord on your behalf.
At least 30 percent of Insurent’s applications are for apartments shared by students, unmarried partners, or friends, Geller adds. He notes that the number of applicants who have roommates has risen steadily in recent years, which can be expected to see NYC rents rise. If you’re a landlord who isn’t sure a potential tenant can pay rent — or if you’re a student or a new graduate and it’s hard to prove you can afford the rent, or if you can’t pay a whopping 12 months rent upfront — you should consider a rental guarantor pulling.