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I am considering being a guarantor for my brother (for his apartment in NYC) because he doesn't make enough money.

I'm also considering moving in the next 6 months or so.

If I am the guarantor for his apartment, could that affect my ability to sign my own lease? For example, would I then have to make 80x his rent plus 40x of my own?

Would my (new) landlord even be aware of the fact that I'm his guarantor? Does that show up on a credit report or would there be another indication of it somewhere?

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    If you do not disclose the guarantorship on your application for rental property and the landlord discovers this later, it could cause problems since the landlord would be entitled to claim that the application was fraudulent, and thus the lease is void. I doubt that "80X his rent plus 40X of my own" would be insisted upon as your income but I am no landlord and perhaps one of the several people on this forum who have experience from the landlord's side will likely answer this part. – Dilip Sarwate Aug 20 '13 at 18:46
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Would my (new) landlord even be aware of the fact that I'm his guarantor? Does that show up on a credit report or would there be another indication of it somewhere?

It may come up during background checks, and it may not come up. You're expected to disclose material information on the rental application, and withholding it may lead to voiding the rental contract and eviction.

But the problem is slightly different. Can you afford paying two rents? By being the guarantor you take the responsibility of paying the rent "in the case if...". You need to treat it as a real liability that you will be expected to pay. With all the respect to your brother, if something unexpected happens - you will be on the hook. You have to account for that.

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    +1 for the reality check....There really is a very, very slim likelihood that this would ever be discoverable by a new landlord. I don't have this stuff (or anything like it) in any application forms for my properties. If it did come up in casual conversation I would want to know the details but would personally be inclined to take it as a sign of your financial maturity. Overall, I think its nobody else's business but your brothers and yours. It wouldn't come up in an application process, and its your call on whether or not you can afford it (can trust your brother to pay his bills) – THEAO Aug 20 '13 at 19:31
  • Yes, there wouldn't be a problem paying both rents (at least until the end of the leases). Also for the sake of simplicity, I left this out, but my parents have offered to give me the full amount of his rent for the year (which I'd repay after his lease is up). They cannot be guarantors because they no longer have enough income, being retired. (And yes, they offered to pay the entire year's rent upfront, but the management company for my brother's building said no.) – Jer Aug 20 '13 at 19:45
  • @Jer if you have backup funding from your parents, this shouldn't be an issue then. I wouldn't worry. – littleadv Aug 20 '13 at 19:49
  • Thanks, @littleadv - I'm not worried about the finances of it at all. But I am a little worried about being able to sign a lease. Because of my savings (I could pay the whole year upfront if I want) and that of my parents, I figured this wouldn't be a problem. However the refusal of my brother's building to take a year's rent upfront and insist on a guarantor has got me worried. I want to save my brother the cost of a 3rd-party guarantor, but not if it impacts my ability to move. And unfortunately since I'm not moving yet, there's no way to know ahead of time if it will be a problem. – Jer Aug 20 '13 at 19:54
  • +1 for the warning. You would also be liable not only for all rents, but for any damages as well, so be sure to set something aside for this as well, especially if pets are involved. If your brother does not make enough to afford the apartment, he probably cannot save for these kinds of potential costs. Also, some landlords will only allow you to be a guarantor if you remain within a certain geographical area, so be sure to ask the landlord. – JAGAnalyst Aug 21 '13 at 20:32

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