Ready to land that lease? That snazzy apartment in the community of your choice is there, waiting for you and all those Pinterest posts you've been bookmarking. But one thing might be standing in your way: Your credit.
If so, a co-signer agreement contract could be just what the real estate doctor ordered.
If you have credit issues (not enough credit history or a few missteps in the past), then a co-signer can vouch for your credit by signing the lease along with you, though he or she will not be living on the premises. The co-signer's signature lends credibility because they have solid credit and promise to pay the rent if you default in payment.
Finding someone to co-sign can be challenging. First and foremost, this person must be financially stable enough to serve in this capacity. Second, it should be someone with whom you are close, a relative or good friend who's willing to take on the responsibility of paying your rent if you can't.
Once you have a trusted co-signer on board, you'll need to draft an agreement to attach to the lease. Consider using the below template when drafting your co-signer agreement contract.
Read your lease carefully beforehand and do your best to try to match the wording in your letter and form, making it align with the lease and its requirements.
Simply fill in the information for sections in brackets [ ].
This CO-SIGNER AGREEMENT is incorporated into and made part of the lease between [Landlord/Apartment Community/Management Company Name] and [Co-signer's Name] and the Tenant, referring to and incorporating the Leased Premises at [Property street address, city, state, zip code].
The Co-signer acknowledges, has read and understands the Lease Agreement and agrees to accept full responsibility for the fulfillment of all the Terms and Conditions of the Lease Agreement, including the payment of rent and any other related charges.
The Co-signer will remain responsible for the entire term of the lease, including any renewal and will not be released without written consent of the [Landlord/Property Management Company].
The Co-signer agrees to payment of rent and any monetary damages suffered by the [Landlord/Property Management Company]. This may include but is not limited to unpaid rent or late charges, non-reimbursed utility expenses, damages to the Leased Premises, as well as any legal fees, where applicable, in enforcement of the Lease.
The Co-signer will not reside in the Leased Premises.
The Co-signer will receive notification of any Lease violations or non-payment of rent.
This agreement may terminate or be modified only upon completion of the Lease term, the end of the Lease or with the written consent of said changes from the [Landlord/Property Management Company]. This agreement is binding upon administrators, executors and assigns of both the Co-signer and the [Landlord/Property Management Company].
Co-signer Name (Print): [Print Co-signer's name]
Co-signer Signature: [Co-signer's signature]
Landlord or Property Management Company Name: [Print Landlord or Property Management Company's name]
Company Representative Signature: [Landlord or Property Manager's signature]
Remember, having a co-signer is nothing to be ashamed of. Not only are you taking steps to amend or improve your credit standing, but you've also got sign-on-the-dotted-line proof that someone trusts you enough to vouch for your credibility and responsibility.
Make sure you respect that trust and work hard to pay your rent on time. Be responsible. Remember your priorities. Do the right thing. And the next time you fill out a rental application, you won't need anyone's help getting that lease.