Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Badge - Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forums
Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers
Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2020
Badge - Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

June 2017 - Cosigning a Lease for Your Teen: What’s the Risk?

For Rent Your teen wants to rent a house at the Jersey shore to celebrate graduation or move to an off-campus apartment next semester with roommates. Should you cosign the lease?

The answer to that is a very personal decision. Only you know your child well enough to judge the risk. Before you decide, however, understand the facts.

Common leases hold all signers “jointly and severally liable.” That means everyone who signs the lease, including cosigners, is responsible for satisfying the full terms of the lease – paying rent, making restitution for damages, etc. It’s one thing to take on this responsibility for your child, but what about the roommates? You’re responsible whether or not they hold up their end of the bargain. Do you know them – and their financial situations – well enough to take that risk?

Short of saying no to your child, there may be ways to protect your liability.

  • Ask if there is an option for a ‘several liability only’ lease, which holds each signer (and their cosigner) liable only for their share of the total financial obligation.
  • Inquire about the possibility of limiting the terms of the lease that you as cosigner are guaranteeing, primarily the rent. This precludes you from being liable for damages.

Cosigning a lease has no direct effect on your credit score; however, if the rent doesn’t get paid in full and on time – no matter who is to blame – you risk a black mark on your credit rating and you could expose yourself to a lawsuit as well.

While we’re on the topic, consider getting renters’ insurance. The landlord’s insurance does not cover your child’s personal possessions. Also, renters’ insurance offers added protection should someone get hurt in your child’s apartment.

And one final thought, courtesy of William Shakespeare: “It is a wise father that knows his own child.”

What Our Clients are Saying

The absolute BEST!!! I have a family of attorneys but needed someone local. Victor was recommended to me and words cannot describe how pleased I was with his firm. The outstanding service and attention each member of his staff gave to me surpassed any and all expectations. Victor surrounds himself with a hardworking team that he leads. I felt it was money spent wisely. I will continue to recommend Victor and his associates.

- Stephanie

Mr. Rotolo has helped me numerous times in legal matters and has continued to support and help me through countless hardships. He is dedicated to providing the best service and is a true professional. I will continue to consult with him regarding any legal issues in the future. He is a respectable, hardworking, kind hearted man and I would recommend his legal services to anyone.

- Matthew

I am an attorney and have practiced law for 26 years. I hired Vic to handle a very difficult family matter because I do not handle family law. Vic was extremely competent and obtained a result far beyond my expectations. Without his counsel my son's and family's life would have been changed forever. Thank you Vic for your good lawyering. I very much appreciate the personal attention and time dedicated to this matter. I highly recommend Vic.

- Anthony

We recently had a situation where we needed to hire an attorney. We selected Kearns Rotolo Law and I can honestly say that we were above and beyond satisfied with Vic and his team. We would absolutely recommend this firm to anyone should the need arise. We blindly picked the firm out of the phone book because I liked his ad. Now I believe that God was pointing us in the right direction. Thank you Vic and Kearns Rotolo Law for being there for us in our time of need.

- Kim

Victor's expertise, due diligence, and empathy for his client made my first experience with the law (and last) a non-stressful one. Before the case, I did my research and looked over about 20 lawyers before choosing Victor. All my sources pointed to him as the best and they weren't off even a bit. Victor treated my case like it was his own and kept me up to date with all my appointments, breakthroughs in the case, and guided me step through step in a process that I never thought that I had to come to endure. If Victor's not available Susy will go out of her way to take care you. The productivity and efficiency in that office is second to none. Thank you Victor!

- Michael