Member Support: Signing a lease with someone under the age of 18
Normally, you have to be 18 or over to sign a contract but there are exceptions when the contract is for a necessary service such as housing. If the applicant is 16 or 17 you can contract with them for housing if they have withdrawn from parental control. The contract will be fully binding.
Human rights legislation prevents you from discriminating against an applicant because of their age. In this case, it means that you can’t require any different or more onerous requirements of your applicant than you would of someone who is 18 or over. For example, you can’t require a guarantor or ask the applicant to pay by a different means than another tenant. Be careful as well about assumptions about an applicant based on their youth such as assuming that they will be noisier than other tenants or cause damage.
As with any tenant, it’s reasonable to go through the lease very thoroughly with them to ensure that they understand it completely and the consequences for not following the terms of their lease.