Co-Signing Rent: Moving In Together Can Cause Big Debts

The Fatal Mistake When Moving In Together
So your perfectly reliable and awesome friend got turned down for an apartment
what an outrage! Who does that landlord think he is, basing your friend’s
ability to pay rent on nothing more than a few statistics? Come on, it’s not
like he does it for a living it’s not like his entire livelihood depends upon
keeping paying tenants and kicking out the rest. He’s the idiot. You’ve known
your friend for years, they wouldn’t leave you high and dry right? Ah…
famous last words.
Cold Hard Facts About Co-Signing Rent
It doesn’t matter if you’re co-signing with your brother or your soul mate
– the landlord has a very strong case against renting an apartment to them, and
that case is based in facts. It is the landlord’s job, day in and day out, to
find people who can pay rent reliably. Sure he’s desperate to fill that
apartment, but he would rather place a
tenant in it that will stay more than a few months because re-cleaning and re-listing
the apartment is not exactly top on his list of favorite things to do. Not to
mention all the costs and losses associated with evictions or a lease default.
No, the landlord doesn’t want to take a chance on your friend but if someone
else is willing to cough up the dough (that’s you) when Mr. Proven Unreliable
doesn’t come through, well then by all means have the apartment. The landlord
doesn’t care where the money comes from, just that the money comes.
Video: What you need to know about co-signing a loan
How Could It Go Wrong?
Not only has the
landlord determined that your friend, brother, sister, or third cousin’s former step
brother isn’t reliable enough to come up with rent, but you are also entering
into a brand spanking new living relationship with this person. You know how
they say money problems usually mean the end of relationships? Well, that
applies to non-romantic relationships too. Of course, if the relationship goes
awry for any other reason you better believe they will move themselves out and
leave you stuck with the bill. Living with someone new isn’t easy, even if you
have known them for years and co-signing on rent is a very bad foot to start
living together. You may think of it as a debt, or someone could get ungrateful.
Either way, this just has disaster written all over the lease.
Video: Whose debt is it, anyway?
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
If you don’t value your
credit score now, you certainly will once your friend skips out on the rent. Not only will
it leave an ugly scar on your credit report, but you could also end up with an
eviction on your record or owing a lot of money to your former landlord. Don’t
forget you’re not just paying rent, you also have utility bills and luxury bills
like television and Internet services if your friend defaults on the rent,
what are the chances those bills got paid? You could end up owing a lot of money
to a lot of different people, all the while unable to get any more utilities or
apartments in your name all because you thought you knew better than the
landlord’s tried and true tenant screening system. The worst that could happen
is you lose your roommate but gain lots of his debt.
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