A Renter's Guide to NYC

The real estate market in Manhattan is one of the most competitive real estate markets in the world. The overwhelming demand for real estate in Manhattan means many apartments can be taken off the market any given second. You should be prepared to make quick decisions about what properties to rent.

Finding an apartment to rent anywhere, let alone Manhattan, can be a stressful endeavor. Being familiar with the entire process can ease confusion and frustration. There are many important factors to consider in choosing property including budget, size, type of property, and location.

Income Requirements:

Landlords typically require applicants to earn annually 40-50 times the monthly rent, so if you are looking at a $2,000 per month apartment, you will need to be earning at least $80,000 per year.

The Role of the Guarantor:

If your income is not high enough for you to qualify for renting an apartment, most landlords will allow you to use a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay the rent on your behalf if you are unable to do so. If you are a student, do not make the required income, or have inadequate credit, you may need a guarantor. The guarantor is required to provide the same paperwork as an applicant, and the 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 are required to undergo a credit and/or background check. We recommend 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.

Required Paperwork:

We recommend that you complete and assemble all of your paperwork as early as possible. This will allow you to complete the process promptly once you find your new home. If you have the paperwork with you while viewing apartments, you can file the application right away.

For Students:

In most cases, students will need to be supported by a guarantor and usually require the following documents:

  • A copy of your tuition bill or class schedule from your school.
  • A copy of your student ID card. Enlarge it to at least 150% of the original size.
  • Either your 3 most recent bank statements or a letter from your financial institution stating when your account was opened and the current account balance.
  • Some companies may require a landlord reference letter.