renting to underage


I’m new here so thanks for reading this. I have an opportunity here in Duluth MN to rent a one bedroom apt to 2 young girls. One turned 18 on 1/1/06 and one turns 18 on 6/14/06. Are there any laws and or concerns that I should be worried about? They seem like good kids. The underage girl’s mother is willing to sign a waiver but not co-sign on the lease. I’m still waiting to here back from the other girl’s dad.

Hmmm, if you have to ask…

Guess that means you don’t like the idea Jeff, hmm. I’m just having a tough time getting the unit rented. I’m showing it again tomorrow at 2p.

I apologize for that reply. Here’s my thought. At that age, if their own parents won’t go on the hook for them, why should you, a stranger?

Instead of being supportive parents they want you to take over where they failed.

Good luck with your next showing. Take some pictures of your rental unit and look at them later. You may find something unattractive to a better clientele.


No problem, I appreciate your thoughts. The unattractive thing to a better clientele is the neighborhood since it is downtown. I will take some pictures though following your suggestion. I put in new carpet in the living room and new vinyl floor tiles in the bathroom and kitchen with my maintenance guy. It’s a nice apt, just the area I think.

Check with your state laws. If you rent to a minor, they can easily get out of by citing their age. Basically the legal protection you would get if they were an adult isn’t there. Your lease would then be worth less than the paper it’s written on. But guess what? It’s legally binding to you, just not to them. That’s why you get an adult to sign the papers. Also did you get them to fill out an application and run a credit check? I’m sure there’s not much of a trail at 18.

Thanks for your thoughts. The 18 yr old’s dad said he was willing to co-sign for them. The mother said she’d sign a waiver. And yes I have an application from them but haven’t run a credit check yet. I did look them both up at the court house and they have no record at all, not even a driving ticket. I’ll look up the dad there too tomorrow.

I’ll check with the “Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities” office in the morning. See if I need to know anything.

My 2p showing yesterday was cancelled by the prospect. Doesn’t seem she is interested anymore. So I’m left with the best ones being the 2 young girls (who are still in high school by the way).

I guess I could run another ad in the newspaper. This would be the third one. I guess $50 a pop isn’t bad when you think about how bad it could get if I have to evict these two girls.


I think you should check with your local landlord association on renting to minors and having a parent co-sign especially with the girl under 18, you do not want to be held legally liable for anything she does in your unit till shes 18.
Also check with how you need to word the father in the lease. I know it sounds weird, but when you obtain a mortage, it doesnt say co-signer it say co-browwer…

Wording is very important in a contract to identify each party in a legal sense.

Ex, for years I worked in the car rental industry in FL and the additional renter has be classified as a co-driver to be held liable in court for damages to the car…any other title and they can beat you in court with the right questions or attorney…

Also I think you should be asking yourself, why are 2 highschool girls looking for rent, and how will it be paid?? Are the parents taking care of the rent or do they have jobs?? You want to know you will get paid each month on time?

isnt 18 a legal age?

18 is legal age, but one renter is under 18

Hell no!!! Think about it, if the parents are that quick to get rid of their kids (one while she is still 17) why do you want to deal with them? And the parents that are probably bad parents (see also letting their 17 yr old get her own place) are probably going to be a problem to deal with when you go after them for the rent that is probably going to be missing ALL THE TIME. At 18 how many people have good paying jobs that can afford rent, utils, car, etc? Most 18 yr olds are making minimum wage and are most likely part time. The only way those girls could afford that apartment is if they were hooking or stripping, either case you don’t want to deal with that mess.

Hey Rich…if they are hooking or stripping and hot…and well the property has low holding cost…maybe its worth paying the rent for them for services… 8)

Hmmm…maybe you should talk to the parents. It could be bad parenting or good parenting. I wanted out when I was 18 and my father tried to convince me I was’nt ready. Being the rebel I am, he gave me his blessing and said I love you,…out the door I went. Lots of partying I could’nt afford and suddenly found myself not being able to pay the rent. Went to Daddy for help and guess what,…TOUGH LOVE BABY! I was forced to stand on my own two feet and grow up!
I wouldn’t be so quick to blame the parenting (with the exception of the 17 year old) but dont count on your rent every month! That’s just 2 bits

I’m with Rich…not “no” but “Hell, no”…

Lots of landmines to step on here…and some liability issues, perhaps, too.


Hi Timbo:
I agree with everyone else, run another add and give some incentives to get a good renter. Some times is cheaper having a vacant unit than having to get some one evicted
Why can’t they live with the parents at least until they graduate and turn 18? think about it

It’s not the age I don’t rent to anybody, be they 15 or 50 if the last place they lived was mommy’s house. It is ALWAYS trouble. There is this entitlement mentality that people what live at home have. They don’t see themselves and head of household until some time out of the house. In other words they tend to want to pay the rent last. Just my 2cents.