Realty Bites

What documents does a guarantor need to show to a NYC landlord?

By Austin Havens-Bowen  |
September 8, 2021 - 1:30PM

Your guarantor will fill out an application and provide similar documents to a landlord as you, including photo ID and recent bank statements. 


What documents does my guarantor need to provide a landlord? Do they differ for personal and institutional guarantors?

If you don’t meet the financial requirements for a New York City rental apartment, the most common workaround is to use a personal guarantor—someone who agrees to pay your rent if you default.  

Personal guarantors must meet stringent financial requirements: They should earn 75 to 90 times your monthly rent, have good credit, and often live in the tri-state area. The idea is that if you can’t pay your rent, they’re able to pay it without falling behind on their own obligations.

[Editor's Note: Realty Bites tackles your NYC rental questions. Have a query for our experts? Drop us an email. We respect all requests for anonymity.]

To be approved, personal guarantors are expected to submit pretty much the same documents as you, says Arik Lifshitz, CEO of DSA Property Group. 

Here’s what documents personal guarantors typically need to provide New York City landlords according to our sources: 

  • Photo ID

  • Tax returns (from two years)

  • Two recent bank statements 

  • Proof of income (pay stubs or letter of employment)

  • Credit check (score needs to be 700 or higher)

Your guarantor will also have to pay a $20 application fee, says Sarah Minton, a broker at Warburg Realty. This is in addition to your $20 application fee, she says. 

However, depending on the situation, some personal guarantors might have to provide more information. For example, Mihal Gartenberg, a broker at Warburg Realty, says she once had a condo building ask a guarantor to provide the number of shares they owned for all of their stocks, which made their application over 100 pages, she says. 

If you use an institutional guarantor like Insurent (a Brick Underground sponsor), the company will provide information to your landlord. For example, Insurent provides a guarantee for each lease under the master policy issued to landlords who accept Insurent as their institutional guarantor, says Jeffrey Geller, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Insurent. 

You still need to provide your personal documents like ID and pay stubs to the landlord, he says. 

So if you think you’re going to need a guarantor to qualify for a place within your budget, they need to get their documents ready to go so you don’t lose out on the apartment.


Austin Havens-Bowen

Staff Writer

Staff writer Austin Havens-Bowen covers the rental market and answers renters' questions in a column called Realty Bites. He previously reported on local news for the Queens Ledger and The Hunts Point Express in the Bronx. He graduated from Hunter College with a BA in media studies. He rents a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria with his boyfriend and their two cats.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.