Many buildings in the New Jersey market have instituted requirements for the use of a guarantor service for applicants without a US credit history.
The requirements to secure an apartment rental in New Jersey, as in neighboring New York, have significantly changed in recent years, based on market conditions, legislation, and changes in building ownership dynamics. Many buildings in the New Jersey market, especially newer developments, are owned by national corporations/property management firms who have instituted requirements for the use of a guarantor service for applicants without a US credit history. The terms directly impact foreign nationals on assignment or transferred to the area. Securing rentals in sought after neighborhoods in New Jersey will be most successful with professional guidance to the expectations, requirements, and terms of individual landlords. These interactions are typically managed by knowledgeable brokers, such as the global relocation specialists at Station Cities.
Helping Tenants Get Financially Prepared for Landlord Approval
- Landlords have the legal right to mitigate their risk. Demonstration of financial resources and ability to make lease payments are common practice, and tenants should expect that many landlords will have this requirement.
- Prior to making a property choice, renters should stay flexible and consider all neighborhoods, buildings, and apartments that could satisfy most of their demands – and not lock in without doing the research
- For properties the tenant is interested in, the tenant’s agent should ask the landlord what the financial qualification requirements are
- The tenant’s agent will discuss options for providing the requested assurance with the landlord/landlord’s agent. If the landlord specifically requires a Guarantor service , the tenant’s agent will advise the prospective tenant and make referrals to reliable Guarantors
- If a Guarantor is required, the tenant should:
- Secure written, documented pre-approval from a third-party Guarantor and be prepared to bring the qualification certificate when they visit apartments
- Open a US-based bank account as soon as possible and have funds equal to a minimum of 2 to 6 months’ rent in that account
- Through their agent, communicate their exact financial situation to the landlord in advance.
- Expect information required by the landlord to include proof of total compensation, US bank account, type of Visa, employment status, and employer details.
- Note: Not all landlords accept third party Guarantors, and they are not required to do so. The key is to stay open to options
What Is a Guarantor and How Do You Find One?
- Guarantors will guarantee the payment of rent in the event of default by the tenant. Effectively, this is an insurance program to ensure rent is paid
- Some Guarantors known to New Jersey landlords include: theguarantors.com, insurent.com and sayrhino.com
- Each program is slightly different but standard requirements to secure approval are a Foreign or US Government Issued Photo ID, Visa, and Letter of Employment on company letterhead
- The nonrefundable cost to a tenant with no US credit history is approximately 60% to 110% of one month’s rent (lower cost for US nationals with credit history)
- Employers may cover/reimburse the cost of the Guarantor as an employee benefit
- The Guarantor fee is non-refundable even if the payment service is never used; there is no refund at lease termination or move out
Station Cities Support and Alternatives to Guarantor Services
- Our Station Cities agents are experts in the New Jersey market. They will ask each landlord about their expectations for assurance of payment and recommend alternative solutions to guarantor services if agreed
- Station Cities agents will always present a professional, “above and beyond” summary of tenant qualifications
- Station Cities agents have deep histories and positive reputations and will identify landlord relationships where renters without US credit history have been accepted as tenants
- Our agents can present buildings (typically owned by private landlords vs. large property managers) where landlords do not always require a Guarantor
- Station Cities agents will articulate to smaller/private landlords a “total picture” of the tenant, with proof of overseas asset accounts, landlord reference letters and overseas tax returns, etc.
- If a landlord requires a Guarantor service, our agents will walk tenant applicants through the process step by step.
- Station Cities agents will advocate for qualified tenants who meet all the landlord’s terms, but the agent cannot ask the landlord to waive their legal right to a Guarantor