Credit is traditionally associated with a purchase of a home or car, but your credit also comes into play when renting an apartment. Most professionally managed apartment communities require a credit check as part of the application process. If you have significant damage to your credit from prior evictions, liens, bankruptcies or judgments, you could be denied the opportunity to rent the apartment you desire. If you do not have a well-established credit history, you could also face difficulty because you may be seen as a credit risk.
Renting an apartment is a substantial investment for many individuals, and most apartment managers seek to ensure the applicant is capable of meeting the responsibilities of the lease agreement. Typically, a good credit history is required to rent an apartment. A cosigner can improve your chances in certain instances, but you may also seek an apartment without credit or a cosigner.
A cosigner is someone who signs his name to your apartment lease. Although a cosigner need not be a resident of the unit with you, he serves as a guarantor should you find yourself unable to pay your rent. An apartment manager or landlord may request a cosigner if you are under the age of 21, if you have poor credit or if your credit is not yet well-established. In some cases, a cosigner may also be requested if your income is not sufficient to cover the rental payments.
Professional companies overseeing the management of apartment communities typically follow specific protocol involving credit checks and formal applications for tenant applications. There are alternatives, however. An apartment in a small community or within a private home could offer much greater flexibility. Private landlords may forgo traditional credit checks and allow you to rent without the benefit of a cosigner. You may also eliminate the need for credit by working out an arrangement to pay your rent in advance.
Another way you may avoid the need to have stellar credit or a cosigner is to sublet an apartment. With a sublet, you take over renting an apartment from someone who already has a lease with the apartment management company. You pay your rent directly to the leaseholder, and the leaseholder continues to make his rental payments according to the terms of his original lease agreement. This way, you may avoid the formal rental application and rental requirements set by the apartment management company.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images