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What is a Guarantor?

By Nicole

As a student at UF, I know the process of figuring out where to live each year can be challenging. At Sweetwater, our leasing staff has helped many students and families navigate the leasing process.

Read Next: How to Sign a Lease at an Apartment near UF

In the process of picking an apartment, many people ask us “What is a guarantor?” and “Do I need a guarantor for my lease?” We know the guarantor process can be a little bit confusing, especially if this is your first time signing a lease for student housing. That’s why in this article we will be answering some frequently asked questions about guarantors, including:

exterior of sweetwater

Sweetwater is located at 1225 W University Avenue, just one block from the UF campus.

What is a guarantor?

To qualify for a lease, landlords will evaluate your income and credit score, and by signing a lease, you are agreeing to pay rent each month. To determine if you are qualified to sign the lease, your landlord will look at your income and credit score to see if you can be held financially liable for rent payments.

Typically, college students need a guarantor because they do not have enough income to qualify to sign a lease on their own. Most landlords want candidates to make about three times the price of monthly rent in monthly income, which is not practical for most UF students.

Read Next: What’s Typically Included in Student Housing Rent in Gainesville?

For this reason, most student housing apartments require students to have a guarantor sign their lease. A guarantor is a person who co-signs on a lease agreement and is equally responsible for any payments that cannot or do not get paid. For students, this is usually a parent or guardian.

Students walking on campus

Student housing apartments enable residents to meet other students at UF.

What will my guarantor be responsible for?

A guarantor is responsible for any rent that the student does not or cannot pay, and they are ultimately liable for the entire rental rate for the duration of the lease, including any damages. If you do not pay your rent, your guarantor is responsible for it.

For example, if your rent is $1,000 per month, and you sign a 12-month lease, your guarantor will be held accountable for the entire sum of $12,000, plus any additional costs or damages, should you fail to pay.

Many student housing properties offer individual leases. For individual leases, you and your guarantor are only responsible for your bed space and common areas. So, if you have other roommates in your unit, they would not be covered by your guarantor. Your roommates would sign separate leases and have their own guarantors. This means that if one of your roommates fails to pay, you and your guarantor are not liable for that payment.

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease at an Apartment near UF

On the flip side, if you are looking to sign at a traditional apartment, you may have to sign a joint lease with your roommates. In this case, the guarantors will be joint too. In joint leases, all roommates and guarantor(s) will be responsible for the entire price of the entire apartment.

23West Apartments

23West Apartment, located on NW 24th Ln., is a traditional apartment complex in Gainesville. Photo courtesy of 23West.

Read Next: Benefits of Apartments Built for Students vs. Traditional Apartments

Do I need a Guarantor?

Considering the amount of income that students would need to have in order to qualify for a lease on their own, it is very common to have a guarantor in Gainesville. This is why it is important to understand the role and responsibility of a guarantor in the housing process.

To prove that the income requirement is met, guarantors can show pay stubs or bank statements. It’s also likely that you and your guarantor will have to provide your Social Security numbers so the landlord can run a credit check.


Guarantors are extremely important in the lease signing process. We hope that this article helped you better understand how they work and what they are responsible for. If you have any questions about signing a lease at a student housing apartment in Gainesville, please contact the Sweetwater leasing team, who would be happy to answer any questions you have.


Nicole is the Community Manager at Sweetwater. She has worked in Property Management for 10 years. She have two little boys and a little girl on the way!

July 05, 2022

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