The Application Process:
The application process for renting New York City apartments in the form of co-ops or condos is somewhat different than in many other cities. The process varies from building to building, of course, but it’s best to be over-prepared rather than caught off-guard with a lack of needed information and records.
Following are some general guidelines based on perhaps the strictest requirements you are likely to face.
- Proof of income, including 2 most recent pay stubs or a bank statement confirming direct deposit and last 2 years’ tax returns (must state gross income)
- Employer verification letter signed by your supervisor or HR on company letterhead, stating your start date, title, salary,any guaranteed bonus, and your housing allowance if applicable.
- Clear copy of driver’s license or passport.
- Information showing the names, phone numbers, and addresses of your employer, banker, previous landlords, and if applicable, your accountant and guarantor.
- Copies of most recent 3 months of statements for bank and investment accounts.
- First month’s rent, security deposit and application fee (which is usually $25-100).
NOTE: The rent and security deposit, usually in the form of cashier’s checks, are due at lease signing.
- Payment of standard brokerage fee of 15% of the annual rent.
- Credit report.
Most landlords require that tenants renting New York City apartments have annual gross income equaling 40 times the amount of the monthly rent. Also taken into consideration are outstanding loans, assets liquidation, credit and rent history, etc.
The landlord may require a lease guarantor if a tenant does not meet the landlord’s financial requirements. In the case of a renter defaulting on the lease, the guarantor must be financially qualified to pay the lessee’s rent as well as comfortably meet the guarantor’s own financial responsibilities. A guarantor is typically required to have an annual income 80 times the amount of the lessee’s monthly rent.
The credit check fee is in the range of $25-100. There should be no delinquent or collection accounts, over 60% available credit, and no substantial amount of debt. Landlords will have different standards and tolerance levels related to credit.
First-time renters in New York City who do not have a credit history in the United States are often required to post a supplemental security deposit, pay additional rent up-front, and/or provide a local guarantor. As it is with credit, these things vary according to the requirements of the landlord or board.
Subleasing a co-op, and in most cases leasing a condominium, will require board approval. Whereas condominiums are usually more lenient, co-ops are stricter and may require a personal interview. It should be noted that some co-op boards meet only once a month or every two months.