A guarantor, also called a co-signer, is someone who is willing to guarantee your lease. The guarantor is responsible for all terms of a lease in its entirety; the guarantee cannot be limited to the interest of a single applicant in a share situation.

If you do not meet the landlords financial or credit requirements, a guarantor may be your solution. Students or individuals with no income or credit history, or anyone who does not meet the standard income requirements, will usually need a guarantor. When bad credit is the issue, whether or not a guarantor is allowed will depend on how bad the credit report is, and on how strict the management company or landlord may be. Sometimes a combination of guarantor and extra security is needed. If you are using the AptStar Program you will be advised on how to proceed in a way that will be most effective for you.

A guarantor does not have to be a relative. Many landlords in New York require a guarantor to live in the Tri-State area: New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. Prepare your potential guarantor by speaking with them and advising them of what they will be asked for. You might have to act quickly, and their cooperation may be critical for your approval. A guarantor needs to fill out an application form and provide the required documents.

The requirements are usually good credit and double the income requirements of an applicant. If an applicant is required to show an annual income of 40-50 times the monthly rent, a guarantor is required to show an annual income of 80-100 times the monthly rent. The documents required are similar, although usually all that is needed are proof of income (usually by providing tax returns) and a credit report. Guarantors also have to sign the lease.

Upon execution of the lease you will be expected to pay the following fees with bank or certified checks.

  • Payment to landlord of first month's rent and security deposit
  • Application fees, including any credit check fees
  • Building fees: these usually include move-in fees and deposits (typically only applicable to co-ops or condos).

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