Renting an apartment is a big responsibility and requires good credit, a good income, and usually some renter’s insurance.
Who rents the apartment, however, is just as important.
If you would like to rent an apartment for someone else, make sure you are working within the limits of the law to make it happen.
Here’s the Short Answer about Renting an Apartment for Someone Else:
You can rent an apartment without living there full time. You can have someone live there in your stead as a co-signer or a sub-letter. You can also co-sign for an apartment with a child over the age of eighteen and pay for an apartment that your parent lives in by themselves.
Can I Rent an Apartment and Let Someone Else Live There?
You can rent an apartment, sign the lease, and pay the rent without living there.
However, if someone will live there in your stead, usually over the age of eighteen, they need to be listed on the lease.
You don’t have to live at the apartment to lease or rent it full-time, and you can always find a sub-let for the apartment in case you will be gone for a long time and don’t want to lose it or if you need to finish out your lease.
In that case, you can technically “let someone else live there,” but in the end, they still need to be listed on the paperwork.
You wouldn’t legally rent an apartment for someone that wasn’t listed on the lease, because they would be considered living there unlawfully.
Does Everyone Living in an Apartment Need to Be on the Lease?
Everyone who lives in the apartment over the age of eighteen years old in the United States must be listed on the lease.
Anyone under the age of eighteen, or a minor, is not always legally required to be listed on the lease.
However, all tenants, such as dependants, children, minors, or otherwise, are almost always required to be listed on renter’s insurance policies.
It is usually legally required for tenants over the age of eighteen to be listed on the lease to protect the apartment complex in the event of damages, lawsuits, injuries, or other problems.
If, say, you had someone living in your apartment for months who wasn’t on the lease – basically staying there for free – and they set fire to your kitchen on accident, that can greatly affect how apartment buildings can go about their insurance claims.
Furthermore, apartment buildings do not want unlisted persons living in their buildings to protect other residents and prevent over-occupancy.
Having someone unlisted who could potentially harm or steal from other tenants in the building is dangerous, so most apartment complexes will require everyone to be listed and accounted for who lives in their building.
Finally, if you have several people staying illegally in your apartment, there could be occupancy problems or damages that are caused by a larger residency of people.
Do You Have to Live in an Apartment you Rent?
You don’t have to live in the apartment that you rent full time.
Often, individuals will rent themselves an apartment that they barely use. This can happen when renters are off on long business trips, use it as a second home or getaway, or even if they help their child or parent rent that apartment.
If this is the case, you can put your name on the lease and pay the rent, but you don’t have to live there.
Most of the time, the point of a lease is to contractually obligate the renter to pay rent and to hold them accountable for any damages that might be done to the apartment.
Leases are also used by apartment buildings to list tenants and make sure that everyone is accounted for in case of a lawsuit or injury on their property.
For example, if you had someone living there who was not a tenant on the lease, their role in a lawsuit would be different than a leased tenant who is legally listed.
It would often be illegal to have someone live there who was not listed on the lease.
Can I Rent an Apartment for my Mother?
When our parents grow older, we want to make sure that they are as cared for and as comfortable as possible.
This often manifests in helping them rent an apartment, or renting it for them.
For example, if you were to sign a lease and pay the rent on an apartment that you didn’t stay in, but that your parent stayed in, you would be able to rent them that apartment.
However, anyone over the age of eighteen almost always, legally, needs to be listed on the lease as a tenant or co-signer.
So while you can do all the work and pay all the rent, your parent must be listed, even if you are the primary renter of that apartment.
Furthermore, all tenants need to be listed on any renter’s insurance in case of damages, theft, or a fire.
Can I Rent an Apartment for my Child?
Parents often put their names on the lease for a new apartment for their children above the age of eighteen.
This is usually for college-aged children who want to strike out on their own for the first time.
Often, young people won’t have very good credit, as they have never owned a credit card and are only just beginning to make payments on loans, cars, phone bills, or other expenses.
Therefore, young adults without credit lines will find it very difficult to be approved to rent an apartment.
This is where parents come in.
Guarantor, Co-Signer & Signing a Lease:
If you are renting an apartment for your child, they have to be on the lease as a tenant if they are over the age of eighteen.
Parents can become the “guarantor” or the “co-signer” on their child’s leasing agreement.
The difference between a guarantor and a co-signer comes down to liability.
A co-signer could be anyone that lives in the apartment, such as your roommate, while a guarantor is someone who accepts financial responsibility if you do not or cannot pay your rent.
A parent will often become the guarantor in order to prevent their child – and themselves – from worsening their credit scores.
It is entirely possible to help your child rent an apartment, pay for it, and help them sign for it, but ultimately, if they are over the age of eighteen, they will need to be listed as a tenant on the property.
Can Others Live in an Apartment You’ve Rented?
You can rent an apartment and share it with your friends, living there together as co-signers who help pay the rent.
You would all be considered “tenants” on your lease and would be listed accordingly.
If you rent an apartment and allow someone to live there who is not on the lease, this would be considered illegal. However, other people can live in an apartment with you if you are all listed as tenants.
These would be your roommates.
You can also rent an apartment with other people, but not live there full-time yourself.
If you are all listed on the paperwork, you could technically pay the rent for other people to live in an apartment without living there yourself.
What Can Happen if you Sign for Someone Else?
If you sign for someone else to live in an apartment, you are usually either their legal guardian or their proxy.
This means that the law acknowledges your authority to sign for someone either underage or who is no longer within their own power to make financial decisions.
If that is the case, this is completely fine.
However, if you were to forge a signature, pretend to be someone else, or sign for someone to live there without their permission or legal authority, you could be held liable for fraud.
This is a serious crime and should be avoided at all costs.
Unless you are legally given authority to sign for someone else, don’t.
How Can Minors Rent an Apartment?
Minors cannot rent an apartment legally, as they are not allowed to sign a legally binding contract.
They also don’t have credit scores usually, so they often will not be approved for an apartment rental even if they were to try and cheat the system.
Therefore, a legal guardian, parent, or legally appointed proxy must be there to sign as either a co-signer or as a guarantor, as we’ve mentioned before.
You must be eighteen to sign a legally binding contract. Otherwise, you will need parental or legal permission from an adult.
Can you Have Someone Else Pay Your Rent?
Anyone can pay the rent on an apartment, as long as it gets paid.
Usually, apartment buildings will use online payments instead of sending a check. While that’s perfectly fine, you will need to give whoever is making the payments your account information that you have set up with the apartment complex.
However, if you were making the payments yourself, but someone else was supplying the money, that would work, too.
The apartment complex doesn’t really care where the money comes from, but if it doesn’t get paid, then they will look to you, the tenant on the lease, for payment, regardless of who was paying it before.