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...Or does this whole co-signer thing neget the whole thing?



Pretty much.

I'm not a lawyer but the landlord will not care about any sort of side agreement you have with the other people they will still hold you accountable if you are a co-signer on the lease.

Where a side agreement would come into play is if you wanted to take one of the other tenants or their parents to small claims court to repay you what you had to pay the landlord.
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