Know Before You Rent

What are the Ramifications of Having Multiple People on a Rental Agreement?

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Sharing an apartment or a rental house with friends is a great way to save money. Plus, some people love the social connection of always having friends around. But signing a lease agreement with multiple people can also create problems – especially if the friendships fall apart.

One person wants to leave prior to the lease agreement expiring

Change of life situations happen all the time. Maybe one tenant wants to get married and move into a new home. Another tenant may be offered a new job, warranting a move. Or maybe a relationship falls apart, and the situation is resolved if someone moves out. If all tenants in the house signed the lease agreement, the landlord is holding everyone responsible for the tenant portion of the contract. Even if everyone else stays, and covers the lease amount for the tenant who wants to leave, the landlord could hold the tenant responsible for breaking a lease early. This information could show up on the tenant’s rental history report, which could hinder him or her from being accepted for future apartment or rental home applications.

One person breaks the lease

If one person falls behind on rent payments, or breaks lease rules in other ways – like bringing in pets that aren’t allowed – the landlord can hold all tenants responsible because they’re all named on the lease agreement. The consequences could be minor (a warning letter or fine) or major (a notice of eviction). An eviction could force everyone in the rental to find a new place to live, and add an eviction record to their rental history reports. Friends who want to rent an apartment or house together need to encourage all members of the residence to abide by the rules, or everyone could be affected negatively.

If you’ve been in a situation where a landlord has provided you with a warning letter or eviction notice, check your rental history report to see if anything negative has been added to your report.