4 roommates, aged 18,18,17,17 - how should they be handled?

7 Replies

Hi and thanks for any answers/advice in advance.

So this is my first rental property and my previous home (bought a new home and keeping the previous as a rental), a 2,800 sq ft 4 bd 2.5 bath home and the first tenant screen out of the gates is, from what I've read and understand, looking pretty bad already. This question is not focusing on the negatives of renting to roommates, but the ages of the roommates and how they should be handled, specifically the two that are 17 years old and the fact that none of the roommates are related. Again, there's too many red flags for me to move forward with this prospective tenant, but given this situation, how are they to be treated/handled?

A child under the age of 18 is considered a minor and is unable to sign a contract unless it is for essential items. Essential items include medicines, food, and medical services. Otherwise, the minor child must have a parent or guardian consent to the contract in order for it to be legally binding.

It would be interesting to know how you play this out 

Just say no.... Seriously for students get gaurantor or for 17 someone has to sign too but i would not consider it.

As already said, anyone under 18 can not sign a lease. You should pass on these people. And why roommates? Are you turning your home into a boarding house type situation or are you renting out the home in its entirety? Why not just rent to a couple or family?

If they've given you a completed application, then simply send them a letter/email stating that you unfortunately are not able to offer them a lease.

If they haven't given you a completed application, there is no action to take on your part, but if they reach out, you should inform them you can't rent to them.

Get to know your local rental laws now!! Google is a great starting point to research the laws in both your state as well as your county.

Why is this a question? 1st rental and 17 & 18yr olds. How were you at 18?

You inform them their application is declined, sorry.

Never give a reason. If you wanted you could screen them for credit scores and find they do not meet your base standard but that would be a waste of time. So landlords out of fear may take that route.

Thanks everyone. 

I absolutely agree that moving forward with them is a bad idea, and I have already informed them I can't rent to them based on minimal qualifications (their combined income is insufficient - among the other glaring red flags) within the hour after the initial phone screen. I was more interested in the what I guess you would call the case-study of the situation, being when you have someone under 18 trying to rent with others as a group.

Originally posted by @William Brock :

Thanks everyone. 

I was more interested in the what I guess you would call the case-study of the situation, being when you have someone under 18 trying to rent with others as a group.

I would call it playing at being a grown up or Animal House.

I once got a call about a vacancy from a very young sounding girl.  She and her boyfriend wanted to move from rural Idaho to the big city of Post Falls.  They didn't have jobs, she had no idea what their monthly income was, and no idea when this move was going to take place.

Something in her young voice made me take pity on her.  I explained how one rented an apartment, how much cash they would have to have, how they should present themselves  to potential LLs when the time was right.  How important it was to have marketable skills so one could get a good job .  How it would be wise for her to get a job while she was still living with her parents and save for a year,get some work experience, then get a job offer in the "city" .  Then she would be in a better place to rent an apartment.  She seemed to take this all in.  I hope I helped her.

This might be what your group of young men need to hear.

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