A guarantor willingly steps in to take over rent payments when a renter fails to make them. Guarantors are co-signers on the lease, and they generally don't occupy the rental unit. Instead, they act as a type of insurance for the rent payment. Landlords and property management companies that accept guarantors may ask you to write a letter vouching for your ability to cover payments should the renter face hard times. Ensure you understand and accept the terms of the rental agreement and the guarantorship before writing the letter or guaranteeing a rental.
Ask the landlord for a copy of the lease agreement you're being asked to guarantee. Consult an attorney or landlord-tenant advocacy service to help you understand any unclear terms or conditions and to explain the risks involved with guaranteeing a rental. Also review the landlord's policy for guarantors to make sure you meet the income and credit eligibility requirements.
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Use a word processor to clearly and efficiently draft the letter. Begin with the date and identify the rental property by full address, including the unit number if available. State the landlord or property manager's name, your full name and relationship to the rental applicant. Also, include the applicant's full name.
Outline the financial and credit eligibility that qualifies you to guarantee the renter's lease. For example, landlords often require that a guarantor's income equal 80 times the rent amount. State your annual income and other factors mentioned by the landord's policy that qualify you for the responsibility, such as your assets, or bank reserves, and credit score.
Identify any co-signing terms you don't agree with, as certain terms may be negotiable, depending on the landlord. For example, as a basic premise, guarantors agree to cover missed rent payments for a certain amount of time, such as one year. However, other fees may apply when the rent is late. Landlords can add late fees, attorney fees and court fees to a renter's tab. Also, the tenant may face property damage costs due to negligence or other misconduct. If you don't plan to pay for these additional fees, you must say so in writing and the landlord may use discretion.
End the letter by stating your willingness to submit certain financial documents, such as a credit report, income statement or bank statement, if required. Sign the letter and ask your attorney to review the letter before you submit it to the landlord. Also provide the renter with a copy of the letter for their file.