NYC Renting Tips And Secrets

Lets face it,

finding an apartment in Manhattan without living in a closet for $3000 a month can be a game. Many new comers, and natives, in this lovely city full of mysteries cant solve the mystery of finding a place to live. I thought it would be great to write quick post about how to start your hunt, what you will need, and what to expect.

For starters, you should begin your search 1 month prior to your move in date. Manhattan’s rental market is a very volatile market, and things rent daily. Starting too soon will result in you seeing apartments which aren’t available for your move in date. Starting too late will result in majority of the good apartments for your move in date already being rented!

Here are some places to start begin your hunt, with StreetEasy being one of my favorite. StreetEasy only allows owners and brokers to list exclusive apartments, therefore you will not have several brokers advertising a generic listing. A QUICK TIP when searching rentals on StreetEasy, under your search preferences, select listings which were posted/updated within the last 14 to 30 daysThis will filter out brokers/owners who leave their listings up to get a phone call for a typical bait and switch.

When looking for apartments, watch out for these bait and switch techniques most brokers use in this city. Another QUICK TIP to find out which listing is real, and which isn’t. If the listing shows the exact apartment address with the unit number, it’s usually a real listing. No exact address, Red Flag

NyBits is another great source for anyone looking to learn more about which buildings are in a specific area. For anyone looking for a high-rise luxury building, i would say start here. QUICK TIP You can find out which buildings exist where, and if they allow walk ins (no broker needed). Most high-rise luxury buildings are open listings. Therefore, going to these buildings on your own will save you from having a broker take you there, in-turn being hit with a broker fee. Just doing a little bit of homework can save you thousands of quantitative easing dollars!

NakedApartments is also pretty good. Cant say i have much experience with this one myself, but give it a try!

So you’ve found your apartment, now comes the part to apply for it. Typically, most Manhattan apartments have specific requirements you must meet in order to get approved. Generally, the lease holders must have an income of 45x the monthly rent. If there is more than 1 lease holder, most management companies will allow you to combine the incomes. What if you have no income, or are a student? Well in that case you can use a guarantor, but keep in mind for a person to garment your apartment they will have to make ~75x the monthly rent.

– Application
– Copy of your 2 most recent pay stubs or if new employment, a signed employment contract
– 2 most recent personal bank statements, name and date must be listed
– If applicable: Copies of your 2 most recent rent checks or reference from your prior landlord
– A clear copy/photo of a Driver’s License or Passport

– Application
– Letter from your accountant verifying length of employment, type of business and annual income for past 2 years
– First 2 pages of your 1040 federal income tax return for the past 2 years
– 2 most recent personal bank statements, name and date must be listed
– If applicable: Copies of your 2 most recent rent checks or reference from your prior landlord
– A clear copy/photo of a Driver’s License or Passport

– Application
– Official school schedule, school registration or proof of recent completion
– A clear copy/photo of Driver’s License or Passport
– If no US Guarantor or employed Co-tenant, should be prepared to pay the full lease up front plus 2 months security

– Application
– Must have either a personal guarantor or tenant on the lease who will submit all documents from option A or B
– Corporate resolution for the specific property and any other supporting financial documentation from the company

So now you know how to find the apartment, and the process to apply, you should be able to rent an apartment right? Most native New Yorkers will ask, what about brokers and broker fees?

NYC brokerages will charge anywhere from 1 month to a 15% brokerage fee. However, if you do your homework and find open listings you can avoid this. On the other hand, If a broker has an exclusive rental listing, you will most likely be obligated to pay a brokerage fee should you decide to rent their unit. My personal recommendation is that you should use a broker, but make sure you find a good, smart broker. Sometimes i swear they give anyone with a pulse a real estate sales license. Make sure if you’re paying someone a large fee, he/she is isn’t just commission hungry. Make sure they’re actually putting the effort in to find you an apartment. Trust me, its better when someone can play the game for you and win.

Good Luck!


Posted on October 2, 2013 in Knowledge Base

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