What To Expect: Renters Guide

RENTERS GUIDE

New York City is one of the most exciting and rewarding cities in the world. Renting an apartment here can be very stressful, frustrating and challenging. This can be especially difficult if you are not prepared and don’t have the right guidance. We will make this process as easy and enjoyable as possible. your needs.

WHEN SHOULD I START TO SEARCH FOR AN APARTMENT?

The vast majorities of all available apartments is either listed for an immediate occupancy or are listed a month prior to the lease start date. A good time to start the search will be 4- 5 weeks prior to your preferred moving date.

WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I PREPARE?

New York City is a very fast paced city and the apartments are getting rented even faster. That’s why having your documents ready will help you act quickly when you fall in love with the right apartment. Most landlords and management companies will review the applications in the order in which they are received, so submitting the application and financial documents quickly will greatly improve your chances for securing the apartment of your choice.

HERE IS THE LIST OF WHAT YOU SHOULD PREPARE:

  • Determine your financial state and credit score before your search; know what you can spend on a down payment as well as monthly expenditures like maintenance or common charges, real estate taxes, monthly mortgage, utilities etc.
  • Define your search parameters: Price range, preferred locations, size of property, type of ownership (co-op, condo, single or multi family house).
  • Prioritize your needs and “must have” in example: essential building amenities (doorman, elevator, gym, pet friendly, etc.), apartment essentials: views, light, layout, washer dryer, closet space, etc.
  • Get a mortgage pre-approval before your search, shop for the program and rates that works best for you.
  • Find a professional real estate attorney that specializes in NYC
  • Find a professional real estate broker/agent who specializes in NYC
  • Identify your timeline for moving, know that it may take up to 4 months to close after the contract is signed.

Most landlords require for the combined annual income to be equal or greater then 40-50 times the monthly rent. For example: an apartment with a monthly rent of $2,500.00 should have a combined yearly income of $100,000. Landlords also require tenants to have a high credit report score.

WHAT’S A GUARANTOR AND DO I NEED ONE?

If you do not meet the financial or credit requirements, a guarantor might be your next best solution. On occasion a combination of a guarantor and extra security is required. A guarantor is a 3rd party who is willing to guarantee the entire rent and other provisions in the lease, in case the tenants are unable to fulfill their obligation.

Most landlords would require the guarantor to have an annual income that is equal or greater then 80-90 times the monthly rent and to have good credit history. The guarantor will need to provide the same application & documentation as the applicant. Landlords often require that guarantors live in the tri-state area, but some will accept guarantors from a broader geographic range.

APPLYING AND ASSOCIATED FEES

You have found the apartment of your dreams in one of the greatest cities in the world and now all you have to do is simply apply. In order to apply for an apartment, you will need to complete an application, usually provided by the landlord. In addition to filling out the application you will need to provide the necessary documents and pay a nonrefundable application fee, usually $50-150, that covers the cost of processing the application and running a credit check. Your landlord or broker will also typically require an additional deposit, which is only refundable if the application is not approved. If you are approved, this deposit will be applied towards either your broker’s fee or first month’s rent.

Most landlords typically take 24-48 hours to review the application, run the credit and get back to an applicant with a decision.

SIGNING THE LEASE

Congratulations! You have been approved for your dream apartment and what’s left is just to sign the lease. Most landlords and management companies would require you to sign the lease within 24-48 hours once your application is approved. For the lease signing you will need to provide certified checks (Cashier’s checks) for the rent, security deposit and broker’s fee. Most landlords require at the lease signing the first month’s rent and a one month security deposit. In some other cases you might be required to pay the first and last month rent plus a one month security deposit.