We had a good agent, so things worked out for us in the end. But I feel it’s important to warn everyone of some issues with Bohemia. My hope in writing this is that Bohemia reads this as well and makes some changes. First of all, they overcharge for credit checks ($125 a person. insane).
Firstly, according to the contract, guarantors are liable for anything in the apartment with no cap on the cost. Second, their guarantor form demands far too much from a guarantor. The lease is far more detailed in terms of the landlords’ insurance etc.… Bohemia needs to rewrite this form, so it is more detailed.
Secondly, the guarantor form states that the guarantor will remain on the lease despite any changes to the lease. So, let’s say your dad is a guarantor for you and your roommates. You get a new job and move…when the lease is renewed, you request to be off of it. According to Bohemia’s Guarantor Form, your dad could technically still be kept there as a guarantor without his knowledge! How many leases in NYC have someone else’s dad on them as a guarantor, I wonder.
In my case, my dad was signing on as our guarantor. He brought all these issues to my attention, and we tried to speak with Bohemia about them. My dad’s supervisor spoke to Bohemia, was inflexible, and pressured my dad to sign right then despite his discomfort. He said if he didn’t sign the form as is, I’d lose my deposit.
Ultimately, my dad was able to sign this form because we went around Bohemia and its crooked form. We did some googling, called the management company directly, and worked out what the guarantor form was actually holding my dad responsible for.
Thirdly, we had Bohemia try and change the lease after we had already moved in. We had been given a Rent Stabilized lease, and they wanted to switch it to a Free Market Lease. They got in contact, said they messed up, gave us the wrong lease, and asked us to resign. , We said no…but again, it seemed like a situation where they were trying to take advantage of us.
It’s tough. It’s NYC. Housing is so competitive. And if you’re an artist (like me) with less than amazing credit, people make you feel like you have to play exactly by their rules even if it makes you uncomfortable or doesn’t make sense…that’s bullying! I think Bohemia needs to change its guarantor form to be more reasonable. Stop backing people into corners, overcharging for credit checks, and using fear to take advantage.
CHANGE YOUR GUARANTOR FORM, BOHEMIA! And WHY are credit checks that much!?