The age of maturity or legal adulthood as defined by most states comes at 18 years that also prevents a minor from entering into a property rental or lease contract. Therefore, apartment landlords have the right to refuse renting to underage tenants as chances of property damage, untimely or no rental payment and renounce of contract in between the term are more. This makes it challenging for landlords to enforce legal contract against a minor! But, serving in military, marriage or legal emancipation are few exceptions that may allow to rent an apartment on their own. In addition, co-signer may provide financial aid to secure a rental deal.
Why rent at 17 in the first place?
An emancipated minor usually takes on most of adult responsibilities due to several reasons and before the actual/legal adulthood. State laws on emancipation varies per state but still, there’re countries that allow a 17 years old or younger to become emancipated. Meanwhile, such individuals are only allowed to rent an apartment, not a full-size villa or bungalow. Landlords are free to make exceptions for 17 years old who might want to rent an apartment with parents’ approval. For instance, a college or university student who travels away from home to attend institution!
Basic screening & background requisites
Landlord may exercise strict screening standards for potential tenants and just with any other adult; a 17 year old should meet the following criteria:
- Sufficient credit in account
- Adequate income, no less that around three time the rental amount for standard living
- Zero criminal record with acceptable rental history; evictions won’t be entertained
Though, it’s possible a 17 year old living on his own might’ve no credit, this isn’t associated with bad credit. Nonetheless, limited credit and unstable rental history pose a much higher risk for landlord as tenant have nothing to prove his trustworthiness and how he’ll cope with financial obligations.
Compensation for insufficient credit
A 17 year old tenant must be able to cover rental and security deposit as well as bear monthly rent. Landlord is likely to ask for bank account and earnings statements like pay stubs and tax returns, proof of current employment status. A juvenile renter may find it difficult to meet tough rent-to-income requisites due to part-time, inconsistent, seasonal or limited employment history. Whereas with large amount of cash, letter of references from teachers, employers and responsible adults may come in handy! Final decision about whether to rent or not rests upon the owner or property management company!
Co-signer is deemed the best compensating source
A co-signer or guardian promises to pay the rent and to cover damage in-case the tenant is unable to! They play the role of an insurance policy for landlord’s protection. Parents and bloodlines are considered the best source of co-signer who can meet landlord’s minimum income and credit requisites. They also cater landlords with income, credit, asset and employment documentation while becoming equally liable for rental payments and maybe sued for outstanding delay on payment. Depends on landlord’s experience with the tenant, he will decide whether to renew the contract or simply renounce it.
If you’re 17 year and seeking an apartment for rent in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai or any other place for instance, do consider the above facts before entering any legal contract!