How to Rent Easy and Fast

Apartment hunting in New York can be chalengeing at its best.  Forget the high prices of rent, median rent in Manhattan is $4,500 while just over the hudson its $2800 per month. So now you’re settled in on your budget and you start searching and wonder who is renting some of these  matchobox cubes they call rooms or those run top slanted units that they’re asking tenants to pay an arm and a leg for. But finally after a few oiutings to find a spae you come across the right spot like Gold locks and youv’e found the apartment that’s “just right”.  You say to your agent, I want to ap ply for this place and they tell you great just submit youir paper work along with a non-refundable application fee to apply.  You get back home and now yoiu’re scrambling to gather all of the paperwork requested , fill out the application, then submit it just to be told, “sorry, someone put in an application  with their paperwork while they were at the apartment and they got approved. And like that, you just lost your chance of living la vida loca in your sweet NYC pad. Yikes!

Don’t be one of the many renters who experience this.  Get ahead of the game!  Be prepared.

In fact, you should already have all of your paperwork together BEFORE you start looking for that spot.  You’ll save yourself some time and headach while being fully equipped to win in the NYC rental rat race. 

Here’s what you’ll need so get ready:

  • You’ll definitely need some form of photo ID: Either a driver’s license or a passport should work nicely.
  • A letter of employment on company letterhead. Make sure it has your salary and start date. If you’re going to college or grad school, get your letter of acceptance handy.
  • Copies of recent pay stubs and bank statements. Three months back is usually enough.
  • Landlord reference letter saying that you’re a dream tenant. (You are, right?)
  • Depending on how intense the building is, you might even need other letters of reference, but it’s not that common. Just in case, keep in mind people from both your personal and business life who could speak highly of your character.
  • Your most recent (or even the last two years) tax return(s): If you’re self employed, you’ll definitely need this, perhaps along with a letter from your accountant.
  • Though the management company will probably run a credit check on you as well, it can’t hurt to run one on yourself first to make sure there are no glaring problems on the horizon.

If for some reason you don’t have any of these financial documents, you better have a top-notch guarantor—i.e., someone (probably a parent or guardian) who will pay your rent if you mess up. Landlords generally want a renter who makes 40 times the rent, so your guarantor should make 80 times the rent (living in the tri-state area helps). If you can’t get someone to sign for you, there are companies that act as “surrogate” guarantors, though proceed with caution with those.

Once you’ve decided on a place, the management company or landlord will likely ask you to fill out an application; prepare to also have enough cash on hand to cover the first and last month’s rent and a security deposit (equal to one month’s rent). There is a possibility that you’ll be paying a broker’s fee, though that should have been agreed upon already. Before you write any checks (and really, before you apply) make sure you know if the management company is offering any concessions, like free month’s rent or a Vespa.

And finally: Get all your ducks in a row before you go rental hunting, because the last thing you want is to find the perfect apartment only to have someone else get a hold of it because they were better prepared.

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