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Why can’t someone from out of state co-sign on a rental apartment in New York City? What do I do if I need a co-signer but don't have anyone in state who can help?
New York City landlords aren't crazy about having a co-signer on your lease who lives out of state, so if you need a guarantor in order to qualify to rent an apartment here, you may need to consider other avenues, our experts say.
"New York landlords don't like out of state co-signers for legal reasons," explains Jeffrey Geller, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Insurent (a Brick sponsor). "It is more difficult to serve out of state co-signers, and they also need to hire new attorneys in other states."
Landlords who will only accept co-signers from New York or the tri-state area can pose a significant challenge to renters who need a guarantor to qualify for a rental and whose family lives elsewhere.
If you don't meet the income qualifications to rent (usually 40 times the monthly rent) and don't have any family or friends living in-state who could serve as a guarantor, you have a few other options.
"The most common reason landlords require a guarantor is because of insufficient income," says Dennis Hughes, a broker with Corcoran. "If this is the case, prospective tenants should, if possible, offer additional security, or offer prepaid rent of several months or more—even up to a year."
For renters who don't have that amount of cash handy, they or their would-be co-signers can opt to use a service like Insurent, which will act as their guarantor for a fee calculated as a percentage of a month's rent.
"The co-signer can use the Insurent Lease Guaranty Program to solve their problem for their son or daughter, and we will solely add the individual out-of-state co-signer to our agreement as an additional signatory," Geller explains.
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