Guide for Renters
In New York City, renters begin their search only 30 to 45 days before the intended move-in date. In Manhattan, unlike other cities or countries, availabilities come on the market only 1 or 2 months in advance.
Typically landlords require a tenant to earn between 40-50 times the monthly rent on an annual basis. Most people spend about 25 % of their monthly gross income (pre-taxes) on their rent.
Organizing + preparing the necessary information
Here is a CHECKLIST of the documents you should gather in preparation of renting an apartment in New York City:
Letter of employment and salary verification (including hiring date if not yet employed)
Bank letter and/or two months of bank statements (checking and savings), credit card numbers
Letter from current landlord stating length of occupancy and history of paying rent on time.
Names, addresses and telephone of accountant and attorney, if applicable
Names addresses and telephone of 2 personal and 2 business references (preferably 2 business and 2 personal letters of reference)
Tax returns (typically 2 years prior)
Pay stubs (copy of the most recent ones)
Proof of income separate from bonus (verification from employer)
Additional sources of income with verification
Copy of personal identification with photograph (driver’s license or passport)
Try to establish a New York bank account before coming as landlords will not accept personal or out-of-state checks. They will require certified funds.
Bring enough traveler’s checks to cover the cost of 2 month’s rent (which must be converted to “certified checks”: 1st month rent + 1 month security)
Bring funds to cover the “processing fee” of your lease application payable to the management company by personal check (a total of $500 to $1,000 according to the management companies)
Bring funds to cover the “credit report” (part of your application): $20 for each applicant (personal check).
Bring funds to cover the broker’s fees: typically 15% of the first year rent and one month’s rent for a short term lease of 3-6 months. These fees (payable by “certified check”) are due by the renter upon signing of the leases.