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Why is it so hard to rent an apartment in New York?

It's notoriously hard to lock down a lease without U.S. credit or a steady paycheck, so how exactly can a student from a foreign country go about landing an apartment?

If you were not born in the United States (or have no U.S. credit) you can forget trying to rent your own apartment,  unless you’re able to put up at least 6 months of security or live as a roommate in someone else’s apartment, but who wants to do that!
So what can you do?


For starters, "You'll need a copy of your visa, your passport, a few months' worth of bank statements, and a letter of enrollment or class schedule from school," explains J.Miller, an NYC broker. Landlords want proof that you have consistent funds—rather than a bank account with temporary cash deposited by parent, as well as some sort of proof that you’re either studying or working in the city.  
And this is just the tip of the iceberg because most landlords require, at minimum, that you have a steady income of at least 40 times the monthly rent, not just that you have that much money in savings. Finally they will want to see that you have a credit score of around 700 or higher.  But since you'll be a student (and presumably not earning a full-time income) and don't have any credit history in the U.S., you'll almost certainly be required to bring a  guarantor, or someone who will agree to be responsible for your rent if you default. Unfortunately, many landlords require that the guarantor be a US citizen, earn a salary of 80 times the monthly rent, and reside in the New York tri-state area.




One way around this is to sign up for HelloRented, a service that will act as a guarantor instead of a US friend or relative. Dr. Jeremy Esekow, CEO of HelloRented, tells us that “the vast majority of international students can qualify for an HelloRented guarantee by having their parents act as responsible parties with HelloRented who will be the actual co-signer and guarantor on the lease."
There is a small fee to use the service, but the cost is quite small compared to having to deposit 6 months additional security deposit and far cheaper than broker fees in NYC and Boston. In the end the HelloRented guarantor service gives you the freedom to choose the apartment you actually want to live in without having to put down a ton of cash or live somewhere with less strict requirements.
Alternately, you can see if the the landlord is willing to accept a bigger security deposit up front—generally three to six times a month's rent, instead of the usual one month's rent, says J.Miller seek out a sublet or roommate share so you don't have to deal with getting on a lease at all.


In the end you want to make sure you have a comfortable place to live so that you can focus on your studies without the hassle or inconvenience of a difficult living situation.



HelloRented is a rental finance solution which makes renting an apartment easy.  They offer a guarantor service to help students get approved for the apartment of their choice without having to bring an outside guarantor.  They can also get the security deposit waived as well so that the student or tenant doesn't have to hand over a large cash payment their lease.  HelloRented wants to make renting an apartment quick and easy for students. For more information go to http://try.hellorented.com/gradtrain/.


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