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Can a cosignor to a rental lease be held liable for unpaid rent if they are not named on the lease agreement

Annandale, NJ |

i rented a townhouse for three years.
i had a year to year lease.
each time i wouldrenew my lease i was required to have a cosigner because of my bad credit.
going into my fourth year i signed the lease and my cosigners name was not on it nor was he required to sign it.
to make a long story short i left the townhouse oweing $1300.00. THEY HAVE GONE AFTER MY FRIEND FOR THE MONEY.
WHEN I QUESTIONED THE PROPERTY MANAGER SHE STATED THAT ALTHOUGH HE DID NOT SIGN IT AND THAT HIS NAME IS NO WHERE ON THE LEASE HE IS AUTOMATICALLY "piggybacked" onto the new lease.
is this legal??

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

It is quite possible that the cosigner is liable, but it depends on the language used in the original document signed by the cosigner. Most co-signer forms have language stating that the co-signer is liable for all charges under the current lease, and all extensions or renewals of it. If that is not the case here, then the co-signer has a strong argument that the co-signer was released from liability when the landlord signed an extention of the lease.

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