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What is a Guarantor?

By Jatu

As a student getting ready to sign your first or even second lease for an apartment in Midtown Atlanta, you may have many questions.

At Whistler, some of the most common questions we hear are “What is a guarantor?” and “Do I need a guarantor to sign a lease?”

Our goal is to help students like yourself navigate the leasing process and make the right housing decision for the year. To ease this process, we will be answering some of the most commonly asked questions about guarantors, including:

What is a Guarantor and Why Do I Need One?

Students conversing at a table in Ponce City Market in Midtown Atlanta.

What is a guarantor?

Entering a lease with a property’s landlord is a contractual agreement to pay your rent each month. To determine if you are qualified to sign the lease, the landlord will look at your income and credit score to see if you can be held financially liable for rent payments.

Read Next: How to Sign a Lease at a Student Apartment in Midtown

To be qualified, a landlord typically requires the monthly income to be around three times as much as the monthly rent, which is likely unattainable for the typical college student.

Because of this, almost all students will need to have a guarantor co-sign their lease. When a guarantor co-signs your lease, they are agreeing to pay for any rent that the student does not or cannot pay. The guarantor is equally responsible for the lease, so most students have a parent or guardian be their co-signer.

What will my guarantor be responsible for?

As previously stated, a guarantor is responsible for any rent the student does not or cannot pay. They have agreed to take on the liability of the entire rental rate for the entire duration of the lease, including any damages.

For example, if you sign a 12-month lease agreeing to pay a rental rate of $1,000 per month, your guarantor will be held accountable for the entire sum of $12,000 plus any additional fees or extras for damages should you fail to pay.

Student housing properties typically offer individual leases. This means you and your roommates would sign separate leases and would need separate guarantors. The benefit of this is that you and your guarantor are not accountable for your roommates’ leases, only your bed space and the common areas.

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease Near Georgia Tech 

On the other hand, a traditional apartment complex typically requires you and your roommates to sign a joint lease. This holds all roommates and guarantor(s) responsible for the entire rental price of the apartment as a whole.

Do I need a guarantor?

Considering the steep income requirements needed to sign a lease on your own, most college students will need a guarantor to co-sign their lease. It is important to understand a guarantor’s role and why you need one before signing your first lease.

To prove your guarantor meets income requirements, guarantors will need to provide the leasing office with bank statements or pay stubs. You and your guarantor will also likely have to provide your Social Security numbers so the landlord can run a credit check.

We hope that this article helps you better understand why a guarantor is important and what they are responsible for. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please reach out to our leasing team. We are happy to help you with your housing search in any way we can!


Jatu is a Leasing & Marketing Assistant at Whistler. She is a junior Psychology major with a Mental Health concentration at Spelman College.

July 04, 2022

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