Rental Apartment Guarantor in NYC- Everything You Need to Know

By: ROS Team November 15, 2021

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Buying or renting in New York City can be an overwhelming process.  It is often difficult to do it on your own. However, the process can go smoother if you have sufficient money saved and good credit history. If you’re looking for a place to rent, it is common to seek the help of a guarantor to secure a lease. Most of the time, a guarantor is a family member or a close friend, but now third-party guarantor companies are appearing on the scene to offer services.

After discovering the perfect NYC apartment, it’s time to prove you can afford it. Many NYC newcomers and even natives can’t meet landlords’ rigorous conditions, such as having good credit or earning 40-45 times the monthly rent. Here come the guarantors.

A guarantor is a co-signer who guarantees lease payment if the tenant cannot. But this is a separate process, from choosing a suitable candidate to compiling the required papers. In this post, you’ll get to know about using a guarantor, including some exclusive tips on how to get one.

What is a Guarantor?

A guarantor is a person or a company who co-signs on your lease when you do not meet the minimum financial criteria for renting an apartment on your own. Having a guarantor gives landlords assurance that there are sufficient funds to cover your rent for the duration of your lease. It also provides some assurance that there will be someone the landlord can hold responsible if something goes wrong. In other words, you’ll need a guarantor to cover your rental expenses if you’re unable to do so consistently.

You should be clear that a guarantor is not a co-signer on the lease.  In addition, they are not allowed to inhabit the apartment. Guarantors only come into play after all other attempts to collect rent have been exhausted.  When that happens, the guarantor becomes liable for any debts incurred on the apartment.

NYC Guarantor Requirements

When it comes to NYC guarantor requirements, your guarantor must have two things:

  • The guarantor must have an excellent credit score, which means that their credit score should be 750 or higher; and
  • To be a guarantor in NYC, he or she must earn 80 times the monthly rent annually. For example, if you are applying for a home that costs $1,000 in rent per month, your guarantor should be earning nearly $80,000 per year.

With that being said, some landlords may even ask that guarantors earn more than 80 times the rent amount annually. It boils down to factors such as the monthly rent amount, the lease terms, and your financial status. It also depends on the demand for the apartment. If the apartment is in high demand, landlords can be more demanding with their guarantor requirements.

When Do You Need A Guarantor?

Understanding what the landlord expects from tenants can help you determine whether or not you need a guarantor. A guarantor’s signature may be acceptable if you don’t meet their specific conditions, including making enough money or having a good credit score.

As a result, they will be held responsible if you’re unable to pay your rent. Most landlords demand that renters have a monthly income of 40 to 45 times that of the rent. You’ll likely need between $60,000 and $75,000 a year in revenue to afford a $1,500/month studio apartment in New York City. A minimum credit score of 700 out of 850 may be required as well.

Who Signs as a Guarantor?

A guarantor on a lease is typically someone who signs it. It’s never an easy thing to ask someone to be your guarantor. Guarantors are someone you trust enough to have signed a contract on your behalf. If you intend to live with others, be sure to check with your landlord to see if more than one guarantor is acceptable. The guarantors should sign a contract to specify the protocol if one of the roommates misses a rent payment. You and your roommates’ financial well-being should be taken into consideration while choosing a guarantor.

Signs as a Guarantor

For example, a renter is required to make 40-45 times the amount of monthly rent. If they are unable to do so, a landlord may ask you for a guarantor who can be liable to pay on their behalf if they fail to do so. A guarantor is also required for a first-time renter, as a landlord has no idea what kind of renter an applicant is. Generally, students renting for the first time may bring their parents as their guarantors.

A guarantor is also required if you have a poor reputation as a renter alongside low income and poor credit history. Likewise, your credit score can prompt a landlord to ask you for someone who can sign as a guarantor.

What Are The Qualifications For A Guarantor?

In NYC, landlords only accept guarantors that reside in the city or the suburbs. Students and low-income individuals may require the use of institutional guarantors or financial institutions. Such institutions need lower incomes and credit scores to be your guarantor.

Besides, guarantors should make 80-100 times more than the rent of your apartment. They need to submit documents like pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and a letter of employment. For a self-employed or freelancer, it can be a statement approved by a certified public accountant. A guarantor will be liable for any missed rent once they sign a lease.

How Do You Find A Guarantor?

In addition to begging on your knees, there are different ways to seek financial assistance from friends or family members. Remind them of how competitive the market is and how many candidates they have to choose from. Therefore most landlords have extremely stringent standards. As an alternative, you can propose to draft a separate contract with the guarantor, in which you promise to reimburse them if you fail to pay the rental on time.

What to Do If You Fail to Bring a Guarantor?

Well, not all renters successfully find a guarantor, even in their family or among their friends. You can convince your landlords. Offer them to pay a considerable security deposit to make them accept your application. Or you can look for apartments with less strict requirements. For example, you can approach an individual landlord as they are less particular about credit history.

Are Co-Signer and Guarantor the Same?

Well, these terms are used interchangeably. Legally, they are two different terms. A co-signer takes equal responsibility for monthly rents, while a guarantor looks for payment only when a renter fails to pay the rent. A co-signer has a more risky business as they are liable to pay immediately to a landlord. On the other hand, a guarantor is responsible only until the landlord uses legal methods for incurring payment from the renters.

What Should You Do if You Don’t Have Any Guarantor?

Be reminded that lacking a co-signer or guarantor for your lease is not the end of the world. It only takes a little ingenuity to figure out a way to get past the rules and secure your dream apartment.

Some firms, such as Insurent Lease Guaranty, will act as a co-signer or guarantee for your lease agreement. They may not have as stringent income and employment criteria.

These businesses typically charge up to 85% of the monthly rent as a fee. Ask your landlord whether you can pay a higher monthly rent to make up for the risk of you missing a payment in the future.

You may also find roommates who require you to sign a lease or hunt for a sublease. You might also look for a more accommodating and understanding landlord by comparing different options.

Who Can Act as a Guarantor on Lease?

Convincing someone to be your guarantor is never easy. Typically, your family members or friends act as guarantors on apartment leases because they feel comfortable signing a contract for you. Suppose you plan to move in with a roommate. It’s better to ask your landlord beforehand if they require more than one guarantor.

If the landlord asks for more than one guarantor, draft an agreement among the guarantors that documents what will happen if one of the roommates misses their rent payment. It is much less complicated to have only one guarantor for all inhabitants of the apartment.

Guarantor on Lease

What Documents Does a Guarantor Need to Provide?

Whether your family member is stepping up as a guarantor or you are working with a third party, they will need to provide the following documents:

  • A copy of a government-issued ID;
  • Copies of their two most recent tax returns;
  • An application form signed by the guarantor;
  • Copies of their two most recent bank statements; and
  • Copies of their two most recent pay stubs.

In addition to these documents, guarantors are also supposed to pay the application fee. The fee may vary depending on the brokerage company or landlord, but the fee typically ranges between $25 and $200.

What If You Fail to Convince Someone to be Your Guarantor?

If you fail to convince your family members or friends to become a guarantor, don’t lose hope – there are other ways to get an apartment. In the State of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo made reforms in rent legislation in 2019 that made it illegal for management companies and owners to ask for multiple months of rent as a substitute for poor credit, insufficient rental history, or a security deposit. As a tenant, you are only required to pay one month’s rent and one month’s security deposit.

Many start-up companies rise to demand and provide a guarantee and co-sign a lease like TheGuarantors. They provide guarantees to people with credit scores as low as 630 and who earn as little as 27 times the monthly rent. They charge anywhere between 5% and 10% of the annual rent as a guarantor fee.

How Do I Ask Someone to be the Guarantor?

Convincing someone to sign as your guarantor is a challenging task since it involves financial obligations. So, instead of begging someone to become your guarantor, you may explore other ways to ask your relatives and friends for your help. Talk and explain to them how competitive the market is and how slim are your chances since most landlords have a large pool of applicants. Offer them a separate contract with the guarantor that says you’ll repay them on the off chance if you miss on any payment.

Can Your Guarantor Be from Another State or Country?

NYC is a city where people from all over the world come to live. So, one considerable confusion arising from this fact is whether a guarantor is from another state or country? There is no issue in it as landlords accept out-of-country guarantors and accept guarantors located anywhere in the U.S.

Can You Combine Guarantors?

Another question that boggles the minds of tenants is whether you can combine guarantors. The simple answer is yes, you can. There can be a situation where one guarantor’s income is not good enough to make you eligible for a particular rental property. You can ask another guarantor to join like your friend and brother. Or, if one guarantor’s income is not good enough, share the account statements if your parents have significant savings with your landlord.

What About Paying Extra Money to Convince the Landlord?

The landlord wants to make money out of investment in real estate. If you cannot find a guarantor, you may offer extra money to the landlord for considering your application. It could be an additional security deposit upfront to get approved for an apartment or slightly higher monthly rent than what the landlord is asking for.

Though, the recent development of New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (“HSTPA”) restricts landlords from collecting future rents in advance, which used to be a common practice in the past, especially from people with bad credit scores. So, in such a case, a more feasible option is to look for institutional guarantors who offer services for some extra fee.

Conclusion:

Are you interested in living in the city of your dreams but lack the means to get an apartment? Start putting in the groundwork as early as possible and establish trust with your family and friends. Make an effort to amass a sizable emergency fund to cover your rent in the event of an unexpected financial setback.

This is an option, but it may not be the best fit for everyone. Avoiding huge apartment complexes would be an excellent place to start, as would asking to pay in advance to show the landlord you are a reliable tenant. As long as your income is low, you may be eligible for government-sponsored housing programs such as Section 8 Housing.

It is often challenging to find a guarantor because it is a substantial financial commitment. It also involves a lot of paperwork and can result in hefty fees. But above all else, there must be mutual trust between you and the person who you’ve designated as your guarantor. Having said all that, having a guarantor is an excellent way to qualify for an apartment, even if you fall short in meeting some of the minimum requirements.

Bear in mind that if you fail to make any rent payments or make a late payment, it can result in substantial financial repercussions for your guarantor. So you’ll need to be very conscious of your obligations if you are looking for a guarantor.