Renting an apartment can be an overwhelming and frustrating endeavor, and it becomes more difficult when you lack regular income from a job. When a person cannot prove to a landlord that he receives regular payment from employment, one option is to use a cosigner, which oftentimes is a family member or friend. Cosigning is when an individual makes a written promise to pay money back to the lessor (the person or entity that rents out the apartment) if the primary tenant cannot. If a cosigner is not available to you, consider other ways to rent an apartment.
Look for a landlord who doesn't conduct credit checks or require proof of income. Many landlords use a casual approach when it comes to renting to tenants. If you're browsing through apartment classifieds (either online or through the newspaper), avoid ads that specify credit check fees and pay stubs. When you meet a landlord to look at an apartment, behave in a genuine and honest way. If a landlord likes you and feels comfortable with you, he might decide to lease the apartment to you.
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Talk candidly and openly to a lessor. If you want very much to rent a certain apartment but have no cosigner or proof of income, speak to the potential landlord honestly regarding your interest. If you are scheduled to begin a new job soon, ask the lessor whether he wants a letter from the new employer outlining your situation. If you do not have employment lined up, consider presenting the lessor with your past resume to demonstrate you work hard and are reliable and employable.
Offer references. You may not have a cosigner, but you may have strong relationships with people who can vouch for your sincerity and dependability. Present the landlord with phone numbers of former colleagues and bosses from work. Offer him contact information of your past landlords and roommates. The landlord can ask these people directly about how you behaved regarding work performance and making timely monthly payments.
Show the landlord proof of your savings. If you want to prove to a lessor you are capable of making reliable rent payments, show him your regular bank statements that indicate your balances. If you are serious about the apartment, give him permission to run a credit check on you, and offer to pay for it. For someone to check your credit, you need to provide your Social Security number, so be judicious when providing this information.
Inform the landlord of other monetary sources you have. Even if you do not have a job or cosigner, you may have other ways in which to receive money on a regular basis. Present proof of alimony, certificates of deposit (CDs), disability benefits, money market accounts, income tax refunds, child support or any other dependable money sources.
Pay in advance. If you have the financial wherewithal, tell the landlord that you can afford to pay several months of rent at the outset.
If you have trouble renting without income proof or a cosigner, consider finding a roommate. Many online classified ads offer specific sections dedicated to finding roommates for dividing the rent payments.