Q: When should I begin my search?
A: A little planning can go a long way. We
generally recommend that our clients start looking for an apartment 30 to 45
days before their desired move-in date – though we have certainly helped many
folks find an apartment in 1 day or 1 week. Most landlords find out about their
upcoming vacancies only within a month or two (and sometimes days) of the
leases expiring for the current tenants, hence the suggested time frame. For
example, if you are looking for a May 1st lease, it may make sense to beginning
looking at the end of March and beginning of April. And, if an apartment is
already vacant, the owner will likely want to rent the apartment sooner than
later. If your travels bring you to NYC earlier, we would be happy to show you
places to give you a preliminary sense for various apartment sizes and prices
Not currently in NYC? No problem. We can
certainly discuss your needs, send you pictures, floorplans and descriptions,
and stay in touch until you arrive. Or, we can even help you rent an apartment
sight unseen. Ask us how.
Q: What paperwork do I need to bring?
A: Paperwork preparedness can help expedite
the rental of an apartment. When applying for an apartment, landlords will
typically ask each applicant to furnish the following supporting documents:
> Employment verification letter on company
letterhead stating position, salary and bonus, if any.
If you are starting a new job, bring your offer letter.
> Most recent pay stubs, if applicable
> Copy of your most recent bank statement
> Photo identification (i.e. driver’s license or passport)
If you are self-employed, landlords may want
to see a CPA letter and prior year tax returns. For guarantors, landlords may
also require prior year tax returns. You can potentially strengthen your
application by providing documentation for any other verifiable sources of
income and additional assets (i.e. brokerage account, money market fund).
Q: What is a guarantor?
A: A guarantor, or "co-signer", is an
individual who guarantees payment of the rent. It is very common to have a guarantor
– especially for first-time renters, clients moving to NYC or for prospective
tenants who are starting a new job. Guarantors typically need to earn 75 to 90
times the monthly rent in income. Depending on the landlord, multiple
guarantors can be used. Guarantors are often parents, but can be siblings,
friends or co-workers – as long as they live in the U.S. We would be happy to
coordinate with your guarantor.
Q: What is the first step to securing an apartment I want to rent?
A: The first step is to submit a completed
rental application, along with an application fee (typically $50-$100 per
applicant). We can provide you with the appropriate, building-specific form.
The application fee, which differs from landlord to landlord, pays for running
your credit and processing your application. In many cases, submitting the
application and fee will put the apartment "on hold" for you. However, some
landlords will require all paperwork up front and may take multiple
applications. Good credit is an important requirement for most New York
landlords, but we can certainly pursue several options should your credit be
Q: What are the financial requirements for renting an apartment?
A: Landlords review credit, income and assets
in evaluating a prospective tenant. Most landlords require applicants to
demonstrate income of approximately 40 to 50 times the monthly rent. Combined
incomes are almost always considered for roommates and couples. If an applicant
is shy of the income requirement, or has unsatisfactory credit, a guarantor may
often be used. The guarantor must have good credit and earn income of
approximately 75 to 90 times the monthly rent.
Q: How long does it take to get approved?
A: In short, it depends. Some buildings can
approve you on the spot, while others may take a day or two – or upwards of a
week. Having your paperwork at the ready will surely help. Keep in mind that
renting a condo or a co-op will often involve a longer time frame because the
paperwork must be submitted for board approval.
Q: What monies are due and when?
A: At a minimum, landlords typically require 1
month rent and 1 month security. Some owners may want additional security
and/or pre-paid rent after reviewing an applicant’s supporting paperwork and
credit report. All monies, including the brokerage commission, are due at lease
signing in the form of separate certified checks.
Do you have a question not addressed here? Call us! We’re at your service.