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What Is a Guarantor? Everything You Need to Know as an OSU Student

By Bella

Many students near OSU are preparing to sign their first lease. At Rambler, our team has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the leasing process. 

We are often asked questions like, “What is a guarantor?” and “Do I need a guarantor to sign a lease?” To answer these common questions, we’re going to cover the following topics in this article:

What is a guarantor? 

2 students looking at a computer near osu

A guarantor is someone who consents to cover your rent in case you’re unable to do so. Guarantors commonly include parents, other relatives, friends, or other trusted acquaintances. When you sign a lease as a student, you form a legal agreement with the property’s landlord to pay the rent on a monthly basis. Given the substantial commitment involved in signing a lease, the landlord will evaluate your credentials, usually focusing on your income and credit score, to determine your eligibility for signing the lease.

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Living in a New Student Apartment in Columbus Near OSU

According to RentPrep landlords in Ohio typically require tenants to have a monthly income that is approximately three times the price of monthly rent, which is not practical for the majority of OSU students.

Since most students won’t have this type of income on their own, it is typical for student apartments to require a guarantor to sign the lease. A guarantor is someone who co-signs the lease agreement and is responsible for any rent payments that you cannot or do not make.

Is a guarantor a co-signer? What’s the difference?

While some people use the terms “co-signer” and “guarantor” interchangeably, they are different when it comes to responsibility.

A guarantor is only required to cover your rent if you are unable to do so, or fail to do so. However, a co-signer shares equal responsibility in a lease agreement, and is equally responsible for payments from the start.

What will my guarantor be responsible for?

By guaranteeing your lease, the guarantor is taking on the liability of rent for the entire duration of the lease, plus any damages. If you do not pay your rent, your guarantor will be responsible for payment.

For instance, If your rent is $500 per month and you sign a 6-month lease, your guarantor will be responsible for paying up to $3,000 in rent, plus any extra charges for amenities or damages.

Under an individual lease, both you and your guarantor are solely accountable for your designated bed space. This means that your guarantor isn’t responsible for any of your roommates’ bedrooms. Your roommates would each sign a separate lease and likely have their own guarantor. 

However, in the context of a traditional apartment, this changes. If students opt for a conventional joint lease, the guarantors will also be jointly responsible. In this scenario, all roommates and their respective guarantors will share liability for the entire rental cost of the space.

Read Next: 15 Questions You Should Ask When Touring a Student Housing Apartment in Columbus, Ohio

Do I need a guarantor?

Guarantors are very common in student housing apartments around Columbus. In fact, there is a good chance landlords in Columbus will not allow you to sign a lease as an undergraduate student without a guarantor.

Due to the income requirement, students typically need a guarantor, so it is crucial to understand their role in the housing process. 

This income requirement can be met and proven by showing pay stubs or bank statements. You and your guarantor will likely also have to provide your Social Security numbers so that the landlord can run a credit check.

We hope this article helped you gain a better understanding of what a guarantor is and whether or not you may need one. 

Read Next: 8 Ways to Save Money on Off-Campus Housing near OSU

four friends on a walk in Columbus near Rambler Columbus Student Apartments

If you have any questions about leasing a student housing apartment near OSU’s campus, feel free to contact our leasing team, who are happy to answer any questions you may have during your housing search.


Bella is the Leasing & Marketing Team Leader at Rambler Columbus. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University. She is a lover of concerts and iced matcha lattes from Daydreamer!

June 03, 2024


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