How to Remove a Co-Signer From an Apartment Lease If You Are the Primary Leaseholder

Landlords and property managers are not legally obligated to remove cosigners from leases.

Getting a cosigner, also known as a rent guarantor, sometimes is the only way a new renter or someone with poor credit can qualify to rent an apartment. Sometimes, however, tenants want to remove their cosigners, either because they are not truly necessary, or because the cosigner and tenant don't want to be connected financially. Removing a cosigner from an apartment lease is difficult to do because the landlord or property manager may take on more business risk if he consents, but it is possible.


Step 1

Gather any documentation that verifies your financial situation has improved since you applied with the help of your cosigner. Examples include bank statements, your credit report, pay stubs and similar data.

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Step 2

Contact your cosigner and discuss removing their name from your lease if he does not already know of your intent. You must do this, as your cosigner legally is attached to your rental agreement.


Step 3

Call your landlord and, working with your cosigner, make an appointment to discuss your lease where all parties can be present.

Step 4

Go to your lease appointment with your cosigner, dressed professionally. Present your documentation to the landlord or property manager and ask if she will consider letting your cosigner out of the lease. If your landlord is very understanding, she may draw up an addendum concordant with your request, releasing your cosigner from his obligation.



Step 5

Ask the landlord if she will consider running a new application for you to see if you qualify for a lease on your own. If she agrees, fill out any paperwork the landlord or property requires of you in order to run a new application -- you may have to pay the standard application fee for all tenants even though you already have a lease, as the application fee covers the cost of your new credit and background check.


Step 6

Sign the addendum or new lease that doesn't have your cosigner named. Request that the landlord or property manager make copies of the addendum or new lease for you and the cosigner so everyone has proof that the cosigner no longer is attached to the rental property through you.


It may be easier to remove your cosigner after you've paid your rent successfully in full on your own for several months, as this demonstrates to the landlord or property manager you're capable of meeting obligations and gives you the chance to show you've been a good tenant.

Check the landlord's occupancy rate and current lease rates as well as occupancy and rates at similar properties. You may have an easier time convincing your landlord to let you lease on your own if you can prove that the landlord or property manager can't easily replace you as a tenant.

If your landlord or property manager draws up a new lease, use the opportunity to negotiate new terms if necessary.



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