Rental Basics in Fremont>Question Details

siaj_nad, Home Buyer in Fremont, CA

Risks on being a Cosigner or Guarantor on an Apartment lease and how to remove oneself from being Cosigner/Guarantor

Asked by siaj_nad, Fremont, CA Sun Dec 15, 2013

I was guarantor for a resident on a apartment lease where I was resident too. I moved out and I longer want to be the guarantor. The Apartment office and sent me an online lease renewal and expecting me to sign as guarantor for next lease . I have communicate via email about my reluctance. The office replied back stating as long as the resident in subject occupied the unit, I continue to remain the guarantor unless either the resident or rental office signs a new lease with new guarantor.

Is this true ? if that is true, what options do I have to remove myself as guarantor if resident in subject refuses to do it. Apartment office and no issues in changing if resident can find the guarantor.
PS: The resident been living in that community for 2 years or so but do not have credit history hence needs guarantor.

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

7
John Juarez’s answer
It appears that you signed a lease for yourself and also guaranteed the financial performance of your roommate.

Now…you have moved out…apparently prior to the expiration of the lease. However, the lease is up today. The landlord wants you to sign a new lease. You do not want to do so.

Your former roommate is still occupying the property. It is not clear to me whether your former roommate is willing to negotiate a lease in their own name. Would that person qualify on their own? If so, I think you would no longer be responsible as a guarantor. You say the resident has been there two years but has no credit history. Who has been making the lease payments? Does the resident have proof of paying their share of the lease?

If there is no lease renewal, what happens? What does the original lease say? If the lease converts automatically to a month-by-month rent and the resident does not move out I think you are still bond by the contact you signed. You cannot unilaterally change the conditions of the original lease. If your former roommate defaults on the lease you must remember that you name is still there as the guarantor.

Take Steve’s advice and contact the professionals for guidance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 16, 2013
Hi Firsttimehomebuyer:

Trevolyn has provided a key source in obtaining answers to your questions. The City of Fremont contracts with Project Sentinel's Fremont Fair Housing and Landlord / Tenant Services to provide information to landlords and tenants regarding their rights and responsibilities. No matter anyone posts your best FIRST MOVE is to contact Project Sentinel and if they are not able to help resolve the issue, an initial consultation with a Real Estate Lawyer.

Commenting on your post:

"I was guarantor for a resident on a apartment lease where I was resident too. I moved out and I longer want to be the guarantor. The Apartment office and sent me an online lease renewal and expecting me to sign as guarantor for next lease. I have communicate via email about my reluctance. The office replied back stating as long as the resident in subject occupied the unit, I continue to remain the guarantor unless either the resident or rental office signs a new lease with new guarantor."

First of all, it's a bit difficult to comment since we are not aware what the actual lease states. I assume you are aware you probably remain the Guarantor until the original lease terminates subject to any lease verbiage extending the timeline - which may or may not exist in your original lease.

Sounds like you vacated the leased property before the lease had expired, yes? Is so, I believe you would then still maintain the duty of guarantor nonetheless.


"The office replied back stating as long as the resident in subject occupied the unit, I continue to remain the guarantor unless either the resident or rental office signs a new lease with new guarantor."

It's typical for leases to convert to a month-to-month when a lease term expires. See page 65 of this Doc: http://docs.steven-anthony.com/Landlord-TenantGuideCA2012.pdf


"Is this true ? if that is true, what options do I have to remove myself as guarantor if resident in subject refuses to do it. Apartment office and no issues in changing if resident can find the guarantor. PS: The resident been living in that community for 2 years or so but do not have credit history hence needs guarantor."

Contact Project Sentinel for guidance! You clearly do not want to remain as Guarantor; however, the solution of vacating this duty might drastically affect the remaining resident.

-Steve
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 15, 2013
You need to speak with an attorney to get a legal opinion, but the likely answer is yes. Just like you can't get a mortgage and just decide to get off it, this applies to leases as well. When you sign (or guarantee) a lease, you are not just guaranteeing the monthly amount. Let's say your place rents for $2000 per month and you sign a year lease, You are guaranteeing the landlord $24000.

You should be able to get an inexpensive or even free consult with an attorney. Check with one before you make another move on this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 16, 2013
"Is this true?" Likely yes. As Dawn mentioned you might speak with an attorney.

However, you should continue talking with the current tenant and insist they make a new lease (without your name) with the apartment manager. Send a letter to the apartment office so you have proof of your request and past actions.

Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 15, 2013
I am assuming that the other person was named on the lease as well. If your lease is up & you gave notice to move out you should no longer be liable for the lease (that is probably why they were trying to get you to sign the new lease, otherwise there would be no need for them to have asked you).

Contact one of the tenant rights associations in your area for help & here a few links:

https://www.acgov.org/law/documents/Resources_for_Tenants.pdf

http://www.fremont.gov/index.aspx?NID=637

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 15, 2013
Additional note, the current lease ends 12/16/2013 and I have communicated that I am not going to be a guarantor anymore. In this scenario, do I stop being the guarantor on 12/16 , even though the resident may continue on a default month to month. or only in case resident brings a new guarantor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 15, 2013
Hi, I would speak to a lawyer about what your rights are. There is also a book you can get called Renters Rights you may find something in there. But if I were you I would not re-sign the lease they sent you. Dawn
Web Reference: http://DawnRivera4Homes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 15, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer