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Renting 2 BR by myself THEN finding a roommate

Posted by Danielle on November 01, 1998 at 02:48:37:

I'm faced with a situation where I must find an apartment immediately. Though I can afford about $900 rent (not peanuts, by any means) for a Manhattan share, I haven't been successful finding anything so far. This is most likely due to the fact that I have a cat. I was thinking of looking for a 2 BR apartment in Queens so I could get a nicer place than a 1 BR and finding a roommate after I had rented it. This way, I could set the terms (I need a quiet space to study where I can have my cat).

However, I have a feeling that the 2 BR deal is going to cost about $300 more than I was originally willing to spend. I have a full-time job, good credit, and can afford the extra rent until I find a roommate (at least 5-6 months). I have a feeling though that a potential landlord might not think I can afford it and not want to rent to me.

A broker told me recently that they figure that a tenant can afford to spend 1/40 of their annual income as monthly rent. Is that a rule of thumb? By this, I can afford $950, but I know I can pay the extra money if I am frugal.

So my questions are:
1 What can I do to show that I can afford the extra money?
2 Should I even bother mentioning that I plan to find a roommate after I rent the apartment?
3 Can a landlord decide, based on my income, what I can and cannot afford if I am confident that I CAN afford it?
4 This will be the first lease I'd be signing where I don't need it to be co-signed. My first and only lease was co-signed by my and my roommate's parents when I was in college. Would my mother's co-signing the lease be enough to show that I can afford any money above and beyond the 1/40th rule?

Thanks a lot.


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