Credit impacts of renting a second apartment in another state
October 28, 2014 2:55 PM   Subscribe

How do I apply for an apartment as a student when I need my husband's income to be considered?

I am a 45-year-old married woman living in California. In a few months, I will be going back to school for a year, but that school is in Colorado. My husband will stay in our current apartment, where we are both on the lease. I will rent an apartment for a year in Colorado.

Because I will be a student, my husband's income will need to be considered by my new landlord. At one apartment complex, I was initially told that my husband would need to co-sign for me. Then I was told that spouses cannot co-sign for one another and that he would need to fill out a tenancy application in addition to me, even though he would not be living in the apartment.

Intuitively, it seems to me that my husband's *actual* role would be as co-signer for my apartment.

My questions:
1. Can a spouse co-sign for their spouse's lease?
2. Does co-signing a lease affect one's credit score?
3. Does appearing on the lease as a tenant of more than one apartment affect one's credit score?
4. Are there legal ramifications to appearing on the lease of an apartment that one will not be living in?
5. Would it be a better option to simply write a check for a year's worth of rent and not go through the credit hassle?
6. Would offering to pay cash for a year's worth of rent make me seem suspicious to a landlord?

Bonus question: any idea why a management company would change their minds about accepting a co-signer application and want a tenancy application instead? What benefit would they gain?

posted by MeFiElf to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Leases do not appear on credit reports and do not affect your credit score. So questions 2, 3, and 5 are really non-starters.

1. Yes. Just co-apply.
4. Not that I know of (though IANALawyer, just a Landlord).
6. Not really. It's definitely a thing that people do sometimes.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:27 PM on October 28, 2014

Best answer: As to why they'd want a tenancy application: in many (most? all?) jurisdictions, your tenancy rights extend to your immediate family (spouse and children). If your spouse has a legal right to live there, they want his deets.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:47 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had and apartment report on my credit. My current apartment doesn't. but there's no reason not to have him as a co-applicant.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:02 PM on October 28, 2014

Response by poster: I'm still unsure about the credit issue, since I got contradictory answers about that.

There also seems to be an idea that applying as a co-tenant and being a co-signer are the same thing, when I thought they were different. But melissasaurus pointed out a good reason why someone like a parent or friend could be a co-signer while that would not be an option for a spouse.

Thanks, everyone for the answers!
posted by MeFiElf at 9:09 PM on October 29, 2014

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