Guarantors may be the most glaring omission in the glitzy city lifestyle captured by popular sitcoms.
Surely, Hannah Horvath would have needed far more indulgent parents — or someone else willing to supply her with supplemental income — to keep up with a Greenpoint lease while scrapping together money serving coffee, freelancing for news outlets and substitute teaching.
On the show, the “Girls” protagonist earns far from what is needed to rent a room in North Brooklyn, and even if she earned an average salary for a writer in New York in 2017, she’d still have to find a different neighborhood.
Many landlords require that renters’ annual salary amount be at least 40 times the monthly rent — or that someone with significantly more money agrees to guarantee that regular rent payments are made.
“Girls” is not the only sitcom broadcasting an unrealistic standard of living.
Few iconic city characters would earn enough to surpass the threshold of renting guarantor-free in their fictional neighborhoods, according to Roomi, a website designed to help renters find roommates. Using average New York City salary data from the career website Glassdoor.com, Roomi assessed whether characters could afford the average room rental rate.
As shown below, most sitcoms seem to glamorize their leading characters’ lifestyles, which explains why so many protagonists — Jerry Seinfeld, Carrie Bradshaw, Will Truman and Monica Geller — live in rent-controlled apartments:
Writer, earning $49,483
Could not afford living in Greenpoint, where average rent per room is $1,315. She’s $3,117 short of avoiding a guarantor.
“Will & Grace”
Attorney, earning $187,676
Could afford living on the Upper West Side where average rent per room is $1,454.
Comedian, earning $35,310
Could not afford living on the Upper West Side where average rent per room is $1,454. He’s $22,850 short of avoiding a guarantor.
“Sex and the City”
Writer, earning $50,593
Could not afford living on the Upper East Side, where average rent per room is $1,397. She’s $5,287 short of avoiding a guarantor.
“How I Met Your Mother”
Architect, earning $68,480
Could afford living on the Upper West Side, where average rent per room is $1,454.
Chef, earning $56,319
Could not afford living in the Village, where average rent per room is $1,750. She’s $13,681 short of avoiding a guarantor.