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Can I lease an apartment on behalf of my father whose applications keep getting rejected because of poor credit? My 67 year old father is a recovering alcoholic who needs to downsize in order to afford his medical care and treatment. I am looking for independent living options in New Jersey, but his credit score is standing in the way. He has declared bankruptcy in the past and has a tax lien against him. I am his power of attorney, and have taken control of all of his finances. Some places do not allow for co-signers. Is it possible to sign a lease on his behalf?



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Katie, too bad your Dad has these financial issues and tax liens. Otherwise, if someone has poor credit but has the cash available, some rental places will take 6 months paid in advance.
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Well my dad's income is his social security check, and he lives off an allowance that we give him, he does not have direct access to his bank account. So theoretically, his social security check will always be there to cover his rent. Does that change things?
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Independent living wants a guarantor. In the event that my inlaws cannot pay their rent anymore, my husband will. New Jersey is very expensive. That's why people are leaving in droves. Would you consider looking at independent living or assisted living in neighboring Pennsylvania?
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I assume your POA is a durable one and doesn't require a diagnosis of dementia for you to act on his behalf?

I think whether you could sign on his behalf really would depend on the individual facility; some may have different standards than others.

My concern, however, would be committing him to an obligation which he might not be able to pay, given his financial history (i.e., the bankruptcy and tax lien), even if you have assumed control of his finances.

It wouldn't surprise me if a facility asked you to guarantee payment for him, which is something you shouldn't consider doing.
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