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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    22

    Default Understanding Cosigner vs Guarantor Lease with Multiple Cosigers

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: MA
    Sorry for long post.
    Daughter is going to be moving to Boston or nearby town. She just graduated college, accepted and started working remotely from home. The company is letting her do this until mid August. Fortunately she does have a relative to stay at for a few months if needed who is only a half hour from her job. But she wants to find an apartment with a roommate or 2 as soon as possible.

    She did find one she is interested in. Now, I'm hearing this second hand, but the other girls said that their parents are cosigning and she would need a cosigner too. I was kinda expecting she would need a cosigner since she has no rental history. Good credit, decent income, over 3 x's what rent will cost her but I'm guessing the no rental history and new job hurts. We trust her enough to cosign. Going to make sure she gets disability insurance and life insurance policy before either wife or I think about cosigning for her.

    While we trust her financially , we, or her either, wont know much about future roommate(s). Can a lease be setup so a cosigner is only responsible for just their own kids portion of the lease. I remember hearing the term guarantor in the past.

    I've never rented in my life. Always owned so I'm pretty clueless to the process and terms. I just want to make sure I don't screwed over if her roommate(s) bail out. Daughter may be trusting of roommates she will just meet, but I'm not and just want to protect myself if it all goes south. I dont mind taking a chance covering my own kids a$$ if really needed for her first year on her own, but nobody else's.

    I'm looking for clarification and any suggestions on how she should approach this with her search.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,340

    Default Re: Understanding Cosigner vs Guarantor Lease with Multiple Cosigers

    I typical lease would name all the tenants and they would be jointly and severally liable for the performance of each other. If you cosign you'll be guaranteeing to pay the rent (and anything else) if any of the tenants default.

    If separate leases are written on each tenant (your daughter on one lease) then each tenant will have a separate obligation to the landlord and not to each other. If you cosign you will only be obligated if your daughter defaults. This type of lease is not common and when I owned rentals I wouldn't allow it.

    There is a search box in the upper right hand corner of this page. Put in the word "roommate" and read all about the nightmares that roommate arrangements can become. Also search "roommate cosign."

    I strongly suggest you convince your daughter to find a studio or efficiency apartment that she (and you) can afford even if you have to subsidize her for a while.

    Wherever she decides to rent get a copy of the lease form in advance of handing over any money and make sure the place is thoroughly inspected and is turnkey before handing over any money. When she signs the lease make sure she gets a copy or photographs it with her camera phone. Make sure you both read it and thoroughly understand. Leases are written to protect the landlord, not the tenant.

    Meantime, you and your daughter should familiarize yourselves with the MA landlord/tenant statutes.

    https://law.justia.com/codes/massach...i/chapter-186/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Understanding Cosigner vs Guarantor Lease with Multiple Cosigers

    Rest assured that if your daughter becomes a party to a lease where there are multiple tenants she will be jointly and severally liable for the entire rent - not just a given percentage of that rent. The term joint and several liability meaning that in case of default the landlord/obligee has the option of pursue legal means of recovering delinquent rent from any individual tenant/obligor or all of them. The same applies to any other remedies inuring to the landlord due to breach of contract.

    Consequently your guaranteeing your daughter's performance of a lease regardless of which fashion would have the same result; i. e., rendering you personally liable to the landlord in the same degree.

    Instances of multiple tenants and multiple leases for the same property fractionalizing the tenants' separate liability would be rare indeed indicating a state of insanity on the part of the property owner.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Understanding Cosigner vs Guarantor Lease with Multiple Cosigers

    Thank you! It's what I figured, and I think she now she realizes that asking us to consign for a lease with roommates is a bad idea.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Understanding Cosigner vs Guarantor Lease with Multiple Cosigers

    Quote Quoting tiktek
    View Post
    Thank you! It's what I figured, and I think she now she realizes that asking us to consign for a lease with roommates is a bad idea.
    The real problem is that there is no way to know whether it will be a good roommate experience, or a horrible roommate experience or something in between. I agree though with the recommendation that she get a studio or efficiency apartment all by herself with your help.

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