Young America Blog » January 2014
What is a Joint Lease & How Does It Work?
When you sign onto a lease it is considered a "Joint Lease" unless all Parent / Guardian Guarantee of Lease forms are turned in, but I will explain that a little later on. A joint lease means that all residents signed onto the lease are jointly and severally liable for all rental payments and any other obligations pursuant to their lease. If one of your roommates did not pay their rent, everyone else on the lease would be responsible for the rent since it is joint responsibility. Any bills that are unpaid are all of the residents’ responsibility. If your apartment was to go over the utility allowance, everyone on the lease will be responsible for paying the extra charge. In addition to rent all residents are jointly responsible for any damage to the property or the furnishings and appliances within the unit they are renting. Any other charges, such as pet fees, common area damage, or other lease violations can be assessed to all residents on a joint responsibility basis.
How Can We Individualize a lease?
Earlier I mentioned that the lease could become individualized if all Parent/Guardian Guarantee of lease forms were turned in. If all of the people on the lease were to turn in this form, it will insulate you from a financial situation that you do not want to be stuck in. The PG Form benefits you by helping to separate the liability of a joint lease. If you and all of your roommates were to turn in these forms, you would be safe from having to deal with your roommate’s portion of the lease. For example, if roommate A did not make his rent payments then roommate B would not have to be worried that it would fall back on he or she because they all had the forms turned in. Damages and utility overages would be split equally among the residents, but your responsibility would only extend to your portion of these charges. For more information on the Parent/Guardian Guarantee Form please refer to Kelsey Whalen’s Blog Post!