How Old do you have to be to Rent an Apartment? [Updated Guide]

How Old do you have to be to Rent an Apartment? -If you’re a young adult who wants to rent an apartment, you might be curious whether you can legally do so.

It might not be easy to find an apartment to rent and move into for the first time, especially for students. Yes, this is because of all the rules and regulations surrounding making a legal agreement.

According to most United States laws, an individual of the legal age of 18 is considered an adult. Since a lease (binding rental agreement) is legally classified as a contract, a juvenile cannot legally sign one.

In other words, one must be of legal age to rent an apartment, and landlords may have age restrictions of their own, but it is against the law for a landlord to discriminate against a potential tenant because of their age.

How Old do you have to be to Rent an Apartment?

The majority of states in the US have made 18 the minimum age for entering into a binding contract. For instance, filling out a lease agreement when renting an apartment.

The age of a potential tenant is not always a major consideration for some landlords. However, some may have age restrictions.

What are the Required Documents for Renting an Apartment?

  1. Contact information of previous landlords
  2. Financial information (bank statement, proof of support, etc.)
  3. Passport
  4. Proof of employment (letter from your employer, employment contract, etc.)
  5. Social Security Number (if already obtained)

What can I Expect from a Rental Agreement?

The following details should be included in your rental agreement:

  1. End-of-contract responsibilities (for both the landlord and tenant)
  2. In the event of a late payment clause
  3. Duration of contract
  4. Maintenance and repairs clause
  5. Procedure of payment
  6. Rent due date
  7. Security deposit amount, along with how and when it should be returned
  8. Termination clause
  9. Utility bills payments

Reasons why Landlords won’t Rent to Young People

For valid reasons, students and young adults may be discouraged from renting from some property management firms and landlords.

For example, most people between 18 and 22 do not have a lengthy credit history. Many landlords check the applicant’s credit report when deciding who is accepted to rent an apartment.

A checking and savings account may be required as well. Younger people or those still in their formative years may not have this. Potential landlords will also want to know about tenant work experience.

Those under 18 typically have no experience speaking in the workforce. Some may have recently started working for the first time or at a new place of employment.

Guidelines for Minors Renting an Apartment

We have already mentioned that the law prohibits minors from engaging in legally binding contracts. That’s why most landlords insist that adults co-sign the lease, usually a guardian or parent.

The legal guardian or parent will be held liable if the youngster causes property damage or fails to pay rent.

It is typical when a student is underage and renting a private residence. Their parents typically co-sign the lease and handle the monthly rent payments.

Further, a solid credit score of 620 or better is typically required by landlords to show that you are financially responsible and can be trusted to pay your rent on time.

If you’re applying to a rental property as a minor and don’t yet have a long enough rental history or a solid employment record, offering to pay a greater rental deposit/security deposit and a larger sum upfront to cover many months’ rent could sway the landlord in your favor.

Renting an Apartment as an Emancipated Minor

For those of you who are under 18 years old, you do have some choices. Emancipation is one choice, but you can also co-sign the lease if you don’t want to live with your parents.

A landlord may be more willing to rent to a minor or younger renter if they are assured that an adult will be responsible for rent payment if the minor or younger tenant cannot.

Risks of Co-Signing when Renting an Apartment

As a guardian or parent, you should know the risks associated with co-signing. From the moment the lease begins until its conclusion, rent must be paid monthly in advance.

Furthermore, until the conclusion of the lease, you are financially responsible for any apartment damages.

Age Discrimination in Apartment Renting Laws

Landlords cannot treat tenants differently based on their race, religion, nationality, or any other protected characteristic under the Fair Housing Act.

Discrimination based on a person’s handicap or family situation is also prohibited, thanks to an amendment added in 1988.

To comply with the law, landlords may not discriminate against prospective tenants because of the presence of children.

Despite this, a landlord can legally refuse to rent to a younger applicant because of their rental or credit history issues, even if the legislation does not explicitly address age discrimination.

Making a Case to Rent an Apartment

Tenants of any age are expected to provide evidence that they can afford the monthly rent. Tenant screening services typically include a credit check, questions about your employment history, and requests for pay stubs or bank accounts.

Before moving in, landlords will typically ask for at least the first month’s rent and a security deposit. In addition, the final month’s rent might be expected from you by some landlords.

Asking for a Trial Period for Renting an Apartment

Most landlords would rather not deal with minors when renting out their properties. Finding a garage apartment on private property may therefore be preferable.

For this reason, you should be ready to request a trial period of one to three months. Be careful to keep up with your monthly rent payments throughout this time.

Also, don’t act like you’re visiting your grandparents’ house; instead, treat the property and the people there with the same level of respect you would want to be shown to your parents.

Such seemingly insignificant details may ultimately decide whether or not you are offered the rental.

In the event a Minor turns 18

When a renter under the age of 18 turns 18, what happens to their lease? The decision to withdraw the guarantor rests with the landlord in such a circumstance.

For security purposes, however, a landlord may insist that the parents or guardians remain on the lease.

Regardless of the tenant’s age, it is not uncommon for a landlord to request a guarantor if the prospective renter cannot provide proof of rental compliance.

Sources of Aid for Young Renters

Government and non-profit organizations, such as Accommodation Authorities, can support a young person who needs subsidizing or a free apartment.

For young people who are in danger of homelessness, some states and municipalities provide financial aid for permanent or short-term housing. Most programs, however, have a minimum age requirement of 18 for renters to participate.

Tips for First-Time Renters on Setting a Budget

Your monthly wage isn’t enough to support your needs and wants now that you’re an adult.

Finding methods to save costs is a good strategy for building a sizable emergency fund after meeting all other financial obligations.

If you’re renting an apartment for the first time, here are some ways to cut costs:

1. Get yourself a Roommate

It is possible to cut housing costs by sharing an apartment. If you can find a roommate willing to pay half the rent each month, you’ll save a lot of money.

The cost of a security deposit, first month’s rent, and pet fee (if any) might be substantial; sharing an apartment with another person can be a great way to split these costs.

2. Seek Rent Specials

Most modern apartment buildings provide rent reductions to prospective tenants. Find such rentals in the vicinity of your preferred location to cut costs.

3. Do your Apartment Hunting during Winter

During the winter, rent for apartments tends to be lower because fewer people want to move. Nobody wants to replace the joy of the holiday season with the hassle of moving out in the winter.

4. Utilize 50-30-20 Practice

According to this guideline, 50% of your paycheck should cover basic living expenses. It’s recommended that you save 20% of your income and spend the other 30% on gratifying cravings like trips.

Following this guideline can help you avoid financial trouble caused by living over your means.

However, you can find apartments within your price range by using an online rent calculator. Enter your monthly income, and the tool will provide a list of affordable apartment options in your area.

Can I get an apartment at 17?

No, according to the law. There is a high likelihood that most youngsters will fail when looking for an apartment to rent.

In most states in the United States, the legal “age of majority” is 18. However, emancipation is the only exception to that rule.

Lastly, military duty, marriage, and court-ordered emancipation are exceptions to renting an apartment under 18; if not, renting your first apartment will be difficult. However, a landlord may rent to a young adult without money or work.

We hope you find this information helpful. Please use any of the share buttons below to share this information.

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