Landlords require significant paperwork before providing approval. To be the best candidate for your apartment, be prepared. High demand and low supply mean you need to act quickly. Here’s what you need to have:
- Verification of Employer: On company letterhead from your employer, you need a letter indicating your start date, length of employment, salary, and any other necessary information that you feel is appropriate to share.
- Pay Stub copies from your currrent job.
- Tax Returns and W-2 Forms from the past 2-3 years.
- 3 recent bank statements and/or a letter from the bank indicating how long you have held an account there. Make sure to confirm the status, balance, and history of your accounts.
- Letter from current landlord: On company letterhead from your landlord, they should speak to your time as a tenant. For example, how long did you reside at that address, was your rent paid on time and in full, and the amount of rent you had been paying.
- Credit Verification: The landlord and/or agent will perform a routine credit check. If you are not sure what your credit looks like, you may want to find out your history prior to beginning your apartment search. If you have any outstanding balances that would negatively affect you, be ready to explain why and make sure your report is cleaned up. Some landlords will accept tenants who can provide a guarantor or person who will be a co-signer. This person must be ready to accept responsibility if you default on your payments. Usually, the guarantor is required to provide all the same financial information. If a guarantor is necessary, it is critical to speak with this person first and advise them as to his/her responsibilities.
- Driver’s License or Passport photo copies: Photo copies of your identification.
If you have this package ready to send, the prospective landlord will see how serious you are about renting the apartment.
Landlords are looking for a tenant with an annual salary 45 times his or her monthly rent. This isn’t always the case, but it helps you understand the nature of the NYC real estate market and whether or not you might need someone to assist you as a co-signer.
When renting a New York City apartment, landlords typically like to see a substantial cash reserve to cover initial costs. In addition to the broker fee, you will need to pay a security deposit (equivalent to one or two month’s rent), first month’s rent, and sometimes the last month’s rent. The landlord or agent will charge you for the cost of the credit report ($25-100) and may also charge an application fee ranging from $100 to $500. Be sure to find out if the application fee is refundable (most are not). Also check whether personal checks are accepted (they usually are not) or if you will need to make these payments in the form of a cashier’s check.
Even though the market is fast-paced, ALWAYS read through your lease! If you have any questions, be sure to get them answered. Do not move forward with verbal assurances. Any changes made to the lease should be in writing and attached as a “lease rider.”