We all have basic needs to survive or as Abraham Maslow defines, “our physiological needs.” With shelter being on this list, housing is an important factor with all. As work continues to evolve, our American housing system has remained somewhat stagnant. If you don’t have a typical 9-5, finding housing to rent can prove difficult. Individuals who are a part of the gig economy or engage in contract work can find it harder to secure an apartment. It can also be difficult if you are an international student, a full time student, someone with short work history, if you’ve been evicted in the past, bankruptcy, or have inconsistent income.
Many buildings require at least 40 times the rent in income, good credit, stable employment, and a good rental history. These buildings often want renters to have a full time job and 1099’s or inconsistent income can be an unfortunate turn off for landlords. This can make it difficult, particularly during a pandemic when many people are between jobs or taking on new forms of work. Nevertheless, these are still ways you can successfully rent an apartment. Keep reading for four ways:
Rent A Room
These situations happen all the time: one person is moving out and the other(s) want to stay in the super cool space. Instead of leaving, renters will look for a replacement. You can rent a room in an apartment and it doesn’t require signing a lease. Often you pay one to two month’s rent upfront as first and last and a security deposit. Especially now, you can negotiate this. Offer to pay first and a security foregoing a third month payment for a more affordable option.
Roommates aren’t your thing? Look for a sublet. Fellow renters sometimes want to leave their apartment for as short as a week and as long as two years. Whether they are traveling the world or simply going elsewhere for work, if they know they are returning, the person might not want to give up their apartment. In this situation, they can negotiate with their landlord for a sublease. A sublease is basically you lending the apartment from the renter who is leasing it from the landlord or management company for a specific period of time. There’s often paperwork involved to confirm the agreement and similar requirements to renting an apartment (first, last, and a security deposit).
If there is a specific management building you want to live in and they aren’t feeling your freelance lifestyle, consider having a guarantor. A guarantor is an individual that is in the financial position, with a full time job, that can co-sign on your rental agreement with you. They normally have to make 80 times the rent and have a credit score of at least 700. Landlords and management companies feel more comfortable because if you default on your rent, the company can collect the payment from your co-signer. You can ask a family member or close friend or anyone that you really trust and has your best interest at heart.
If you don’t have a friend or family member that can co-sign on your rental agreement with you; you are not out of luck. You can work with a co-signing company. This is a company that serves as a guarantor for a fee (typically one month rent). The fee can vary depending on the lease service. These are great options for international students, college students who are just graduating with minimal work or credit score history as well as people with inconsistent income or past history of evictions. You can use a service like Rhino
or One App Guarantee
along with several others. Each has different requirements and some only work with specific buildings, potentially limiting your options.