In the old days, renting apartment spaces was largely an issue of having the monthly rent to send to the landlord. These days, issues around a rental agreement will be much more likely to revolve around how the tenant can “qualify” for a rental space.
Today’s landlords want to protect their rental income. Part of this usually involves setting standards for how much of the tenant’s salary can go toward rent, or in other words, how high the tenant’s salary is relative to the cost of rental. A common rule is that landlords often require the tenant to earn a gross salary that is three times the monthly rent.
For many who are unemployed or underemployed, this income requirement is a real burden on their efforts to secure a place to live, especially in a big city, where rental costs tend to be higher. Some renters have found ways to get around the income requirement system. Here are some popular ways to try to work around strict qualifications for rental agreements.
1. Maintain Good Credit
Along with income requirements, landlords and rental agencies take a good look at a consumer’s credit rating. Having an excellent credit rating can make up for some lack of income in some kinds of agreements.
2. Consider a Lease Guarantor
A lease guarantor for a rental space is just like a cosigner for a mortgage or car loan. The lease guarantor signs on to provide more security for the lender, in this case, the landlord. However, like a cosigner agreement, the lease guarantor will be held responsible for unpaid rent and other financial responsibilities not met by the tenant.
3. Provide Bank Statements
Those who cannot show current income may be able to rent some spaces by showing a landlord or rental agency that they have large amounts of savings or considerable assets. This lowers the risk to the lender, because they know that these assets can be accessed in cases of nonpayment.
Some renters go a step further than showing bank account information and provide larger deposits for rental spaces. This is relatively uncommon and a little bit dangerous in terms of legal complexity, but it’s most useful if the renters only need to secure qualification for a couple of months before a new job kicks in and provides income qualification.
5. Look for Rentals by Owner
When it comes to the type of rentals unemployed or underemployed tenants should look for, rental agencies are not likely to give any leeway, even in most of the above cases. Finding a rental space for sale by owner and talking to that owner frankly about a situation can sometimes lead to successful alternate negotiations that help the tenant get around income requirements.
6. Show Unusual Income
Another way to help with lack of employment income is to show them towards or rental agencies proof of other income such as alimony, child support, legal awards, tax refunds, or any other kind of money that will be coming into the renter’s possession. This may be way to smooth over some minor income qualification problems.
Any and all of the above tactics can help renters secure their desired living spaces when lack of employment income threatens to sink their plans for renting in a particular area.