There are many laws pertaining to rental agreements. Laws put into motion to protect both the renter and the landlord. One main area of rental laws pertains to underage tenants. These rules may vary from state to state, but generally underage tenants refer to anyone under the age of 18. Some states view underage tenants as anyone under the age of 17.
Who can enter into a rental agreement
Anyone can enter into a rental agreement, despite the age of the person. However, underage renters are not legally bound to the agreement. The law grants the option to the minor as to rather he/she wants to honor the agreement, or avoid payment responsibility.
What most landlords require
Most landlords will rent to an underage person, but will also protect themselves. This is where parental consent plays a part. By requiring an underage renter to provide a parent or guarding as a co-signer, the landlord can legally hold the co-signer to the lease, if the underage renter chooses not to pay or to stay for the required time period.
Rights that Underage Renters Have
Without a co-signer, underage renters have no rights. It is quite difficult to find a landlord that would rent to the underage. But, if permission for renting is granted with a parental consent, than the minor would have the same rights as any adult. It should all be lined out in the rental agreement. The rental agreement should outline time period that apartment is required to remain rented, amount of monthly rent, and deposit amount and return policies. While it is unlikely that the underage person has rented previously,it is always a good idea to have the parent read over the agreement, just to make sure all areas have been covered. Other rights that underage renters have with a co-signer include no increases in monthly rent for the duration of lease, and also the right to a 30 day in case of non-payment of rent.
What to know before entering into a rental agreement as a co-signer
While you may want the best for your child, and no matter how much faith you have in your child, once they are on their own, they could change in a heatbeat. While your responsible child goes to work and school daily, once he finds himself free of rules and punishment, there could be trouble. Parties, a job that becomes less of a priority, and the lack of knowlege pertaining to “real world” rules can all put the co-signer on the hook for big bucks. If the rent goes unpaid, the landlord won’t go after your child, he will take you to court. And, as an adult, you will be responsible for your child. However, if your child pays rent on time, doesn’t damage the unit, and is responsible, once he or she turns 18, it is likely that a new lease can be drawn up. The new lease would not require a co-signer, allowing your child to become an adult.