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Rental Guide


In A New York Minute
There is a great demand for property in Manhattan.  Apartments that are available today are likely to be gone tomorrow or, at times, even sooner. While your real estate agent will keep an eye on the market for you, you need to be ready to act quickly in order to secure your new home. 

Renting an apartment in New York City can be overwhelming.  To avoid confusion and frustration, it's a good idea to be familiar with the application process.  You should also be aware of the various types of buildings and real estate terms in common use, as well as the different neighborhoods.  

Income Requirement
Landlords typically require an applicant to earn annually 40-50 times the monthly rent, so if you’re looking at a $2000 per month apartment, you’ll need to be earning at least $80,000 per year. 

The Role of the Guarantor
If your salary isn’t high enough to qualify on your own, most landlords will allow you to use a guarantor.  A guarantor is someone who promises to pay the rent if you cannot.  If you’re a student, don’t earn the required salary, or have shaky credit, you might need a guarantor.  The guarantor will need to provide the same paperwork as an applicant, and required income is typically 70-100 times the monthly rent.  Many landlords will accept additional security deposits and/or rent paid in advance instead of a guarantor.  

Credit Verification
All tenants (whether students, employees, or self employed) and guarantors must go through a credit and/or background check. It is recommended that you check your credit report prior to this process to find out if there are any items that might prevent a successful completion of your application. If your credit score is low, it is often possible to work with a landlord, either through a guarantor and/or additional securities.   


Typical Rental Expenses:

Credit/Background Check

from $25-$175

Application Fee

If there is one, from $100-$500

Good Faith Deposit (GFD)

Minimum $500, up to one month’s rent

Security Deposit

Typically one month’s rent

First Check to Landlord Prior to Move-In

First month’s rent, and, in some cases, last month’s rent

Commission Check for Broker

This is usually 15% of 1 year’s rent

Most landlords will require certified funds, i.e., cashier’s check (bank check) or money order.  After the initial payment, you will be able to pay your rent with a personal check.