The rental process in New York is not standardized. The requirements will vary slightly from landlord to landlord. Follow the outline of the entire process and typical requirements to successfully rent an apartment.

THE BASIC STEPS

  1. Call one of our RealAgentz:
    • Discuss your housing needs (search criteria) and timing
    • Discuss the The market
    • Discuss the application process and requirements
    • Any additional items and questions specific to your move
    • Funding
  2. Your agent will search for properties based on your search criteria and budget
  3. Your agent will schedule viewings and accompany you to each apartment based on your availability
  4. Once you find an apartment, your agent will walk you through the entire application process and requirements

The Application Requirements

  1. Income of 35-50X the monthly rent, or other proof of source(s) of income or ability to pay rent
  2. Fully completed and signed application
  3. Proof of source(s) of income or ability to pay rent
  4. Bank account information (checking/savings)
  5. Letter or names, addresses and phone numbers of previous landlord. If applicable, include the same for your accountant
  6. Names, addresses and phone numbers of personal and business references
  7. Tax returns (first two pages)
  8. Personal identification with photograph – e.g., driver's license or passport

The requirements for your lease will be specified by the landlord at the time of application.

Upon receipt and review of the documents, the landlord will review the details and determine if the application will be accepted. Once it is accepted, they will outline the final payments due at lease signing. The approval process can vary from one (1) day to one (1) month.


Funding

It's important to prepare the necessary funds before coming to New York. Landlords will not accept personal or out-of-state checks. They require certified funds. With this in mind, you should:

  1. Try to establish a New York bank account before you begin your search. If this is not possible, landlords typically request that you have available funds with you as security in the U.S. equivalent to four (4) months' rent to cover rent and security.
  2. Bring funds to cover the other costs in leasing an apartment which can include:
    • Broker's fee can vary from one month’s rent to 12-15% of the first years rent (paid by the tenant)
    • Application fee
    • Credit check fee
    • Bring funds to cover possible move-in/move-out fees (See Co-op/Condo Funds needed).

Note: Renting a condominium or Co-op can mean higher application fees and possibly a board approval process.

If your salary-level available source(s) of income and total financial picture do not meet the landlord's requirements, you will need a co-signor, or guarantor, to guarantee the lease. Landlords prefer a Tri-State guarantor (NY, NJ, CT).


Guarantors - Typical Landlord Requirements (Subject to change based on each management company's requirement):

It's important to prepare the necessary funds before coming to New York. Landlords will not accept personal or out-of-state checks. They require certified funds. With this in mind, you should:

  1. Income of 75-95X the monthly rent, or other proof of source(s) of income or ability to pay rent
  2. Fully completed and signed application.
  3. Proof of source(s) of income or ability to pay rent
  4. Bank account information (checking/savings)
  5. Tax return (First 2 pages)
  6. Personal identification with photograph – e.g., driver's license or passport
  7. Names, addresses and phone numbers of previous landlord, or if applicable, accountant, or proof of ownership

There are many ways to prove your income; if you are working for a company, most landlords may require pay stubs, a letter of employment on company letter-head: salary, position, & length of employment. If you are self-employed, most landlords may request a CPA letter stating: type, length of business, & annual income. In addition, whether or not if you do hold an employment position, additional proof of source(s) income (i.e., state or federal governmental subsidies, trust funds, stocks, bonds etc.) may be used to demonstrate ability to pay rent.

WE RECOMMEND HAVING ALL OF THE ABOVE DOCUMENTS PREPARED PRIOR TO INITIATING YOUR SEARCH. When you have made your apartment selection, time is of the essence. You will be asked to fill out a rental application and provide the above mentioned documentation. Your RealAgent will negotiate price and lease terms for you.


Upon Acceptance, at lease signing you will need the following funds:

  1. First month’s rent
  2. Security deposit
  3. Brokers' commission.

Types of Rental Buildings

In addition to buildings that cater solely to the rental community, there are opportunities for you to rent co-operative and condominium apartments in the city. The conditions attached to the leasing of these units are determined by the building and vary considerably. Your RealAgent can guide you through that process and you can get further insights into these types of buildings by reading the buyer section of this guide.