I am a Realtor as well as a Certified Property Manager. We manage over 200 properties in Tracy, Mountain House, Livermore Dublin and Pleasanton. If you have other questions regarding a rental property please feel free to call me.
The best protection is a large security deposit, but make sure you check local regulations. Some California counties and cities put a cap on the amount of security deposit you collect and may allow you to collect only the first rent and deposit, no "first and last" rents.
When your tenant has no credit that is better then bad credit. However the co-signer would be the Guarantor of the lease and if something would go wrong, then the Guarantor would be responsible for the lease. Same as a renter would be responsible.
You need a well written lease that covers above. You can have your attorney draft a lease or just hire a realtor and their office and or MLS would have a good lease application for you. It is worth he peace of mind.
Hope this helps.
Call me with any further questions that you may have.
1. Damage to property
2. Late with Rent or non payment at all
Nothing is 100% certain, however, there are steps you can take to help guard against this situation.
1. Be sure the co signer has excellent credit on all levels
2. Be sure to get First month, Last month AND Security deposit
These steps will help protect you against the risks. Hope this helps.