Making the move from dorm to the apartment is a big deal. And the apartment application process can be just as challenging for a grad student as their coursework.
Acquiring a first apartment isn’t as easy as choosing a floor plan, filling out a simple document, and paying the first month of rent. Property management companies have to consider such factors as credit scores and annual income for every resident to ensure that they can meet the monthly rent requirements and any additional fees. These factors put graduate students at a disadvantage as many do not have full-time jobs or robust credit history.
So how can grad students overcome these hurdles to acquire off-campus housing? They’ll need the help of a lease guarantor.
If you’re not familiar with the role of lease guarantors, we’ll explain in more detail below.
What is a Lease Guarantor?
As the name suggests, a lease guarantor is someone who guarantees that the property’s rent will be paid if the resident fails to do so. Sometimes called a “co-signer” (although a roommate or anyone who can legally occupy the apartment may also be referred to by this name), a lease guarantor gives the property owner peace of mind, knowing that they will receive their monthly payments regardless of the resident’s financial situation.
When is a Lease Guarantor Needed?
Many properties require additional money upfront before the application can be processed and the resident can occupy the apartment. Sometimes these additional funds are in the form of first and last month rent and/or application processing fees (which cover such factors as criminal background checks and credit history). Many students may not have immediate access to these funds upfront. A lease guarantor can help address these matters and supply the necessary finances.
Another reason students or first-time renters may need the assistance of a lease guarantor is if they have a bad credit score or no credit history at all. In those cases, students and first-time applicants can rely on a lease guarantor to vouch for their financial obligations.
What are the Requirements of a Lease Guarantor?
Unlike the applicant, a lease guarantor’s requirements are very different. In most cases, a lease guarantor must verify that they have the necessary finances to cover rent in the event that the resident fails to meet their financial obligations. In some cities, the guarantor’s annual income must be 80 to 100 greater than the monthly rent they are guaranteeing. To verify the guarantor’s income, the property owner will need to review a variety of financial information, including bank statements and pay stubs.
Who Can Preside as Lease Guarantor?
In most cases, graduate students rely on a family member to assume responsibility of the lease guarantor. Typically, it’s a parent, sibling or guardian. Friends may also be considered if they meet the financial criteria outlined in the previous paragraph.
Speak with a leasing agent at any of the Reinhold Residential Properties to learn more about our student and guarantor policies. If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student looking for off-campus housing options in Philadelphia, consider two conveniently located communities near UPenn, Drexel University, and the University of Sciences campuses — 3939 Chestnut or The Hub on Chestnut.