Renting an apartment in NYC can be a complicated task especially if you are not familiar with the details. Assuming you are new to the process, you might want to know about the documents needed to rent an apartment in NYC. A lot of people who are not acquainted with the fast pace of the real estate market in NYC can easily overlook the importance of having everything prepared ahead of time, therefore; they usually miss on the opportunity to secure their favorite apartment and only learn from their bad experience. Do not be like those people and get your documents needed to rent an apartment ahead of time. This will guarantee you a smooth and worry free transition. In this post I will try to get you acquainted with the process of renting your favorite apartment step by step.
Before you start looking for an apartment in NYC
It does not matter whether you are moving from out of state, or from your current apartment to another one. The set of the documents needed to rent an apartment in NYC is the same. First you will need to make sure that you can provide a letter of employment. Landlords in NYC are very particular, and they want to know that you are an employed professional with a steady income who can afford to pay the monthly expenses. The next supporting document to provide is a bank statement. You do not need to have thousands of dollars in the bank account but make sure that the account is in a good standing and carries a positive balance. In some instances, depending on the apartment which you apply for, the landlord might need to see a bank statement with a lot of liquid assets (we will touch on this later). Most landlords would also require you to show your most recent pay stubs. In rare occasions, the landlord would also require a copy of your last tax return.
List with the documents needed to rent an apartment in NYC
Letter of employment stating your salary, bonuses and starting date
Current bank statement with a positive balance
Copy of your most recent tax returns
Financial requirements to rent an apartment in NYC
Before you start looking for an apartment, you need to know what you can afford. It will be waste of your time to look at vacant apartments that are more expensive than what you can allow. Landlords prefer to be safe and make sure that you are a suitable tenant who spends only 1/3 of his monthly income on rent expenses. In order to pass the financial requirements to rent an apartment in NYC, your annual income has to be equal to, or greater than 40 x the monthly rent. For instance, if an apartment costs $2000 a month, in order to qualify you need to make at least 80K annual salary. Therefore, the landlord will be looking for that number on your letter of employment.
Another important prerequisite to get approved for an apartment is to have a good credit. The landlord will run a credit check and will obtain and view your credit history. If you are aware of specific problems that might show on your report, talk to your broker or the landlord in advance. This will save you time and resources. Typically, landlords want to make sure that you have a credit score of at least 650 and reasonable spending habits with no delinquent accounts. There are some owners who do not check your credit score and you might be a suitable tenant in their buildings in case you have no or bad credit history.
Documents Required to Rent an Apartment in NYC if Self-employed
If you are self-employed you can still qualify to get an apartment. You will need to reach out to your accountant to write you a CPA letter which specifies your projected gross income for the current year. In case you are applying for an apartment as a self-employed applicant, you will also need to have a copy of your tax returns from the past two years.
How to rent an apartment in NYC if I do not have income?
If you are in a process of finding a job and have no proof of income, or you are an international student you can still rent an apartment as long as you have a guarantor. This is a physical entity that co-signs the lease and promises that in case you cannot make the monthly payments, he will take responsibility. The use of a guarantor when renting an apartment in NYC is very common. A lot of young professionals who move to the city to start their first jobs can’t pass the financial requirements and they resort to the option to have their parents guarantee the lease. Some landlords would only accept tri-state guarantors- New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. If you have a Californian guarantor and want to rent an apartment in NYC, you might be required to pay anywhere between 3-6 months in security. Using a guarantor might be the way to go in case you have bad credit. There are landlords in the city that do not check your credit history and you can easily get an apartment in one of their buildings. Rudin management is one of them. In case you do not have a personal guarantor, there is a company called Insurent. They will serve as your personal guarantor for a small fee.
Documents Needed to Rent an Apartment in NYC- Coop or a Condo
If you are new to the Big Apple, and this is only your first apartment, I would suggest you to steer away from renting an apartment in a co-op, or condo, unless you have a seasoned real estate professional to help you out with the transaction. Sometimes renting in a co-op as a process might require you to put effort equal to, or greater than when you would actually purchase an apartment. However, if you do not want to stick to the rental buildings and your favorite apartment happens to be in a co-op, or condo then get ready for an approval process that might last for a month before you get the final approval. Co-ops and condos usually require the applicant to submit a board package.
The board package consists of an application and a set of documents which go with it. The set of documents required are different depending on the building requirements. Most likely if you are applying for an apartment in a co-op, you will have to provide income verification documents, bank statements, tax returns, personal and business letters of references, landlord letter of reference and more. For the specific number and type of documents needed to rent an apartment in a co-op, you will need to talk to the building’s managing agent. They can walk you through the process. After the package is executed in accordance to the requirements, you have to send it to the board. The co-op board meetings might be scheduled to take place only once a month and if you have missed the monthly meeting, you will need to wait until the next one. In case you are approved as an applicant, based on your paperwork, you might need to pass a co-op board interview. After the interview, the board members will discuss and review where they would either give you the final approval or reject you.
Hopefully by now you have a better idea of the set of documents needed to rent an apartment in NYC and depending on your personal situation you will find a way to work things out. Whether you will qualify on your own, or you will be using a guarantor, with bad credit or no income, it is good to know that you have options and can find your apartment in the Big apple.