Multiple renters in one unit is a great way for a group of friends or family members to afford a home – especially if rent is high in the area you want to live, or if your income isn’t big enough to afford to rent on your own.
Before signing the lease, as a group, you should come to an agreement on a couple of issues:
1. Whose name is on the lease? If you are going to put everyone’s name on the lease, all members of the party should probably check their rental history report first. The landlord will conduct a search of each person’s rental history report when reviewing your application. If he finds a report that has negative information on it, he could refuse to rent to your group. The group should decide if that individual be included in the lease agreement.
2. How rent and utilities will be paid. The landlord and utility companies will only want one payment (in full) each month. Some groups will establish an account where all individuals donate their part of the rent or utility bill into the account so it can be paid. Others will rotate each month who pays the bills. No matter what process your group agrees upon, remember, if the landlord doesn’t get paid, the entire group is responsible, not just one individual. This could result in an eviction of everyone from the apartment, and an eviction record going on everyone’s rental history report.
Be sure to have everyone review their rental history report before applying for the apartment, just to make certain no erroneous information appears in the report. One negative report could affect the entire group’s ability to rent an apartment.