When I first moved to DC, it seemed like just about everyone asked for a guarantor. Most required 5 years employment history. When I searched for my last place, no one even mentioned it. I am guessing it is easier now than 15-20 years ago to get someone’s credit history so most LLs rely on that. Possibly your LL has been doing it this way for many years and hasn’t changed at all. Or the LL may have been burned by someone who left town in the middle of the night with no way to track them and is just trying to cover all the bases. Why don’t you just talk to the LL and offer your credit history, salary, etc. Find out the concerns and see if there is someway to resolve them without a guarantor if this is a place you really would like to rent.