FULL  ARTICLE

LANDLORDS in New York City can afford to be picky. With a vacancy rate in Manhattan of under 1 percent, apartments sometimes rent in hours, not days or weeks. Good tenants are not that hard to find. On top of that, evicting problem tenants can be expensive and time consuming.

So, most landlords here require a lot of information. They want to see a prospective tenant’s tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, proof of employment, photo identification, and sometimes, reference letters from previous landlords. Everyone will run a credit check (many Manhattan landlords look for a score above 700) and just about all, from big management firms to small-time landlords, want to know that your gross income is somewhere between 40 and 50 times the monthly rent.

Ms. Davar was able to secure a lease, at the new Frank Gehry building on Spruce Street, by using a company called Insurent that insures leases . For a fee (between 75 and 85 percent of a month’s rent and up to 110 percent of a month’s rent for foreigners) the company will cover your rent if you stop paying it, provided the landlord obtains a judgment against you. The company will then pursue you for reimbursement.

Insurent’s standards are much lower than those of most city landlords – it requires a gross income of only 27.5 times one month’s rent and will work with credit scores as low as 630.