Renting an apartment in Manhattan can be a stressful and frustrating experience if you are not prepared. It can also be a painless experience with some know-how and preparation. Finding your ideal apartment is only half the equation – being able to get it is the other and more important half. With our experience and relationships with many landlords and management companies, we are here to assist you and guide you step by step of the way in searching for and landing your ideal apartment in the Big Apple.
The following are answers to common questions:
How much do I have to earn to be approved?
A tenant’s annual income typically must equal 40-50 times the monthly rent.
What do landlords commonly require?
Landlords require that you have a good credit rating and that you annually earn 40-50 times the amount of the monthly rent.
What paperwork will I need?
Please consult with your agent, as many landlords have different qualification procedures but the paperwork typically required includes:
* Application form: Once you find your ideal apartment, the first step is completing an application form – most management companies have their own forms that need to be used.
* Letter of employment: The letter must be on official company letterhead and state your position, length of employment or start date and your annual income. The letter must also be signed by a person authorized to verify the information provided. (A signed offer and acceptance letter is usually not sufficient.)
* Pay stubs: A copy of your three most recent pay stubs.
* Bank statements: Your three most recent statements from your checking account, savings account or any financial institution should do.
* Bank account numbers: Have them ready just in case you need them as they are often required on application forms.
* Tax return: Some management companies require a copy of your most recent federal tax return. If you are self-employed or have multiple sources of income, a tax return is usually required.
* Letters of references: A reference letter from your recent landlord is often required and can also be very helpful in the process. If you are unable to get a letter, have the name, address and phone numbers of your landlord ready. Also think of other people that could be useful references and have their information handy. For instance, if you have an accountant or attorney you might need their numbers to put down as a reference.
* Identification: Many landlords require a copy of a photo ID at lease signing.
* Credit reports: A major part of the approval process is based on your credit report. Credit reports are always run on every applicant and guarantor – unfortunately credit reports obtained on your own are not accepted. The prices of credit reports / application fees range from $25-$100 depending on the management.
If you think your credit report is not good (e.g. say a high revolving balance, past due payments, delinquencies or a public record), be sure to advise your agent of this. Your agent can then properly prepare you for the process. Different landlords have different ways of dealing with credit issues – some allow you to just increase the security deposit or use a guarantor. Others may reject the application altogether. We will guide you through this process that will save you time, money and a lot of anxiety.
What is a Guarantor?
Aguarantor, also called a co-signor, is someone who is willing to guarantee your lease. In other words, the guarantor is responsible for all terms of your lease and guaranties not only your share of the rent but the entire lease (if in a share situation).
A guarantor does not have to be a relative. Many landlords, though, require the guarantor to live in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey or Connecticut). A guarantor needs to fill out an application form and provide the required document, which include a credit report showing good credit and tax returns showing double the income requirements of an applicant. For instance, if you are required to show an annual income of 40-50 times the monthly rent, your guarantor is required to show an annual income of 80-100 times the monthly rent. Guarantors usually do not have to be present at lease signing.
Do I need a Guarantor?
If you do not meet the financial or credit requirements, a guarantor might be your solution. Students or young individuals who do not meet the income requirements will usually need a guarantor.
When bad credit is the reason, allowing a guarantor will depend on how bad the credit is and on how strict the management. Sometimes a combination of guarantor and extra security deposit is needed. If you think you might need a guarantor, be sure to let your agent know so that together you can prepare yourself efficiently and act quickly.
What is a security deposit?
A deposit is usually one month’s rent, though it can vary in each building. The money is used in the event that damages are incurred to the apartment. The deposit money may not be used to pay the last month’s rent.
How long will it take for my application to get approved? The length of time varies. A rental application can take as little as one hour, or as long as one week to be approved. A co-op sublet can take several weeks, depending on when the board meets.
What are the lease terms?
Typical lease terms are one or two years.
Will the apartment be cleaned and painted before I move in? Most of the time, apartments are cleaned and painted prior to a new tenant’s occupancy, but you should always ask for confirmation.
Can I paint the walls a different color than the original? Yes, but they must be restored to the original color before you vacate.
Can I put up a wall?
This depends on each building’s policy. Many landlords allow tenants to construct pressurized walls, not permanent ones. Bear in mind that many landlords require that upon vacating the apartment it must be restored to its original condition, otherwise you may be penalized.
When can I move in?
Typically, buildings allow tenant moves during Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm and moves are not allowed on weekends or holidays. Notify your management company in advance to schedule your move. This can avoid elevator usage conflict.
Check with your management company to find out which moving companies have current Certificates of Insurance on file with the building. If you decide to go outside, have your moving company send in their Certificate of Insurance to the management prior to your move.
If you end up not using a moving company and are moving your possessions by yourself, many buildings will hold you responsible for any damage during your move and either charge it back to your account or retain from your security deposit.
Corporate Relocation Services
Relocating can be stressful so we offer an array of services all designed to make the relocation experience as painless as possible. We have multi-lingual relocation specialists who are available 24/7 to provide transferees with the customized services they may need. We take care of everything for them from initial intake to settling in so you don’t have to.We have deep and trusted partnerships with short term housing vendors throughout the city and have strong relationships with these landlords so that you and your transferees get the highest quality at a reasonable price.
In addition, our database offers your transferees full access to all the vacancies in the city.
Our services include:
* Housing Needs Assessment
* Paperwork and Financial Preparation
* Area Orientation Tours
* Housing Orientation Tours
* Visa and International Paperwork Assistance
* Housing Services
* Long Term Rental Home Search
* Short Term Furnished Housing
* Home Purchase
* Group Move
* Settling-In Services
* Essential Domestic Services