How to Rent an Apartment in NYC

Congratulations, you’ve decided to move to the Big Apple!

But before you pop the champagne or go furniture shopping, you’ll need a place to live. Unfortunately, getting an apartment in NYC is no easy matter. You’ll need to navigate a complex maze of credit checks, apartment viewings, applications, lease signings, fees, and countless other things.

Nevertheless, while these complexities are unavoidable, applying for an apartment does not have to be an anxiety producing process.

Knowing what you will need beforehand is key.

In general most landlords will require the following seven things.

1.  A letter from your employer stating your position, salary, length of employment and opportunities for bonuses

Landlords want to know that you’re employed, and they prefer, although don’t require, applicants who have been in the same job for at least four months.

Be sure that your letter is dated within the last 30 days.

If this is a new job, your letter should say so.

2.  Your last two pay stubs

Again, the new landlord will want to make sure you are getting a regular paycheck and that the paychecks reflect your yearly salary. If your paychecks include bonuses and therefore show different amounts each pay period, you will need to explain this in a letter to the landlord.

3.  Your last two years of tax returns

Usually, only the first two pages of your tax returns are needed. The landlord wants to know what kind of salary you have been making for the last few years.

If you are a recent graduate, you will not need to submit tax returns, unless you had an income while in school. Even then, you still may not need to submit these if your income was from a part-time job.

4.  Your last two months’ bank statements

The landlord wants to make sure you have enough money in the bank to support the rent. He or she will also want to know that you can pay the rent if you lose your job.

A bank account with enough funds to cover a couple months of rent should be enough.

5.  Contact information for previous landlords

Again, this is only applicable if you are moving from another apartment. If you were living at home with your parents, you can ignore this.

6.  Verification of other assets, if any

If you have any other assets that strengthen your application, you should include a list of those with your application.

For instance, if you have an investment account with significant funds, you should include this.

7.  Photo ID (Driver’s License, Passport, etc.)

Just make sure the ID is clear and hasn’t expired.

If you are working with a broker, he or she will help you assemble all of these documents and present them to the landlord. Don’t worry if the landlord asks for additional documents. This is normal.

Applying for an apartment in NYC can be a cumbersome process, but once you’re approved you’ll have a home in the greatest city in the world.

Welcome to NYC!

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