First Time Renter, No Guarantor, and Still Out of the Country!

AptStar Case Study #6

It's the first time I rent, I do not have a guarantor, and I am still out of the country!

A Dartmouth Master's Degree graduate with a job waiting for her in New York City, wanted to avoid a bad rental experience and didn't want her first rental to be misguided by her lack of experience. She knew landlords would require her to have a guarantor and she did not have one. Her goal was to be able to rent an apartment on her own without many of the stumbling blocks she'd heard from friends who had rented with traditional brokers. 

The first hurdle to overcome was that she was in another country with a very large time difference between us. And so via email, in order that she could save time when she finally arrived in New York City, I asked her some pertinent questions and guided her into preparing her documents in such a way that any landlord would rent to her without the need for a guarantor. 

By the time she arrived in Manhattan I had sorted through dozens of apartments trying to find a place where she would be safe (as it was her first time living alone in a large city like New York) and where the usual guarantor requirements would be waived. It felt more like trying to help my kid sister get a good apartment and the absolute most for her money. 

I selected about 4 to 6 apartments for her to see because I wanted her to get a feel for different neighborhoods and slightly different price points. She liked the first apartment, applied for it, but I knew there was a better fit for her in one of the other apartments I'd selected. I encouraged her to apply as a back-up in the event either required a guarantor (which, again, she could not supply, nor get). 

She loved the other option which was on a higher floor in a doorman building (fulfilling my desire to keep her safe) and so she applied for this one as well. The first place responded to her right away and offered her a lease without the need for a guarantor. I guided her in what to say so that we could delay the lease signing while she waited to hear back from the second apartment which was more desirable. 

It took more than the normal one day for the owner/management company of the second apartment to approve her. But they did and she was able to sign a lease by giving them a slightly higher security deposit but without having to provide a guarantor. Again I walked her through how to negotiate getting this additional security deposit back before the end of the lease term. 

As of this writing she has moved into her new apartment, has started her new job, and is shopping for furniture for her place which she "loves."