Are you in your teens and thinking of renting a house? You must wonder what’s the legal age for renting an apartment. So, can you rent a house at 18?
An 18-year-old can rent a house, but anyone younger might not. If you wish to, your monthly income should be 3x the rent. To find an affordable apartment, consider getting an apartment far from the main street, getting a roommate, not smoking or having pets, and prioritizing safety.
Beyond the cost of getting the apartment, you also need to consider utilities, internet, furniture, and the other additional expenses of moving to a new place. Here, we discuss what you should know when renting a house at 18.
Renting an Apartment at 18
Yes, you can rent a house at 18. The age of the majority in most states is 18, which means you can sign a lease or rental contract that’ll be legally binding at that age. Finding an apartment might require you to do the leg work yourself since you may not want to use a realtor in a bid to save some cash. You can easily use the internet to find vacant apartments. But you should also ask your friends and family to help you look.
How Much Do You Need to Rent an Apartment?
When it comes to renting an apartment, the ability to pay rent is more important than age. The skepticism of landlords comes from their fear that renters, especially young ones, won’t be able to pay. Thus, most landlords will require that you make at least 3x the cost of rent before they can consider you. With this income, they believe that you’ll be able to afford rent and still live a comfortable life. It’s also essential to have a high credit score because this is even more important than age and is a sign of financial responsibility.
How To Find the Right Apartment?
Even though renting to an 18-year-old is legal, it can still be challenging to find suitable accommodation due to the cost. Rents can be high, and outside your income gap in most areas, so you need to find a way to get affordable housing. As a young person, here are ways to find reasonable accommodation:
1. Go for Upstairs
Most people don’t like staying upstairs because it’s a bit inaccessible. This is especially true of homes without elevators. Many people want to avoid the stress of carrying groceries and heavy loads up a flight of stairs in such places. So, the landlord is usually more willing to remove a few dollars from the rent than apartments on the lower level. You can take advantage of this to get an affordable apartment.
2. Get an Apartment off the Main Street
The location is one of the major reasons behind the rents of most apartments. The closer the apartment is to amenities and conveniences, the more costly it would be. Thus, you should look for one that’s a bit far from the main street but not too far to become an issue. The sacrifice of not living close to your nearest Starbucks could save some bucks monthly, and you still get to walk a few minutes to the place.
3. Don’t Go for Special Need Apartments
When looking for an apartment as an 18-year-old, it’s best not to have pets or smoke. Landlords will usually charge you more for having a pet or smoking in the apartment due to the cost of cleaning. So, look for pet and smoke-free apartments which will usually charge less.
4. Safety is Paramount
No matter the cost-cutting mechanisms you might have to employ when getting an apartment, never sacrifice safety. You’ll find some cheap apartments which pose more risk to you and your property. Either the house is not structurally sound, and your items are at risk of being stolen. You should do your best to avoid such an apartment in such cases. The cost of replacing stolen items or treating any personal injury will usually be higher than what you save on rent.
5. Get a Roommate
If you can’t afford a low-budget apartment in a good area on your own, you should consider getting a roommate. Pooling your resources can help you afford a better apartment in a good neighborhood. Of course, having a roommate has its issues, so it’s vital to vet who’ll be your roommate. They should be employed and trustworthy and should be someone you know won’t bail on you when you need them. When you have a roommate, everyone’s name must be on the lease, as this is the only way to ensure that the person pays rent.
Can a 17-Year-Old Rent an Apartment
Most landlords won’t rent out their apartment to an underaged person, which means anyone below 18 will find it challenging to get an apartment. This refusal is that any contract signed by such a person won’t be legally binding. So, if an underaged should fail to pay rent, damage property, or disregard any of the provisions of the rental contract, the landlord may not be able to enforce the agreement. There are, however, instances where a 17-year-old might be able to rent a property. These includes:
- If the court legally emancipated you or you’re married or in the military service.
- If an adult cosigns the lease contract and guarantees to pay in case, then you can’t pay.
- Some landlords won’t mind taking on the risk of renting to a person below 18 years.
Documents You Need to Get an Apartment
If you’re trying to get an apartment, you’ll need the following documents:
- Proof of employment and proof of steady income in the form of pay stubs
- Personal and professional references
- Credit report, which the landlord will usually charge you for
- Bank records, in some cases
Getting an apartment as an 18-year-old is possible. But it can be tricky. That’s why it’s important to follow due process and ensure that you meet all the requirements for getting an apartment.