Guarantor on my lease? ______ please.

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Topic: Guarantor on my lease? ______ please.

General Discussion June 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Guarantor on my lease? ______ please.

So, here’s the situation: I recently switched from a very underpaid post grad-school fellowship, where I was for the last 9 months, to a full-time job with a good salary. I have been living in a very small room in a group house, but am am now currently shopping around for new digs. I recently found a great 2-bedroom house which I would share with a roommate. Everything has been going smoothly in the application process until I got a message from the landlord asking if I would be able to have a guarantor. I find this kind of insulting since I’m now 29 and have 2 degrees and a good job, and I haven’t had to sign a lease with a guarantor since maybe college… if at all. THere was no application fee, so I’m assuming the landlord hasn’t pulled my credit report, which is excellent for someone my age.

So, this brings me to 2 questions: 1) Is this a red flag for about dealing with my soon-to-be landlord or more than they should be able to ask for? 2) Is there any other kind of financial assurance I can offer them; e.g., guaranteeing with property or something?

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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.

Are you taking on the entire lease yourself and then hoping to find a roommate? Even if your credit is great if your income isn’t enough to cover the rent without eating up about 50% of your net income then that is why they are asking. If your income can’t pay the entire rent then asking for a guarantor is a reasonable thing. If you can find a roommate and then both of you are on the lease then it shouldn’t be a problem. Your LL may also be use to renting to students and automatically assume a guarantor is needed. Talk to LL on why they need this and that could solve the problem.

Typically landlords want to see that your annual income is 40 x the monthly rent. For example, if the rent is $2000 per month the recommended income would be $80,000. Different landlords have different income standards but in my experiences this is the general rule.
Depending on your income alternatives include providing actual bank statements (if you have a strong savings account – with the actual numbers whited out), a letter from your employer listing your income, a copy of your credit report – if they haven’t run your credit then I would provide this yourself.

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