8 Steps to Renting New York City Apartments
Start: Renting New York City Apartments
Strong demand, low inventory and high prices define the Manhattan rental market. It therefore pays to have a real estate broker on your side during the process.
To rent in New York City landlords require tenants to earn 40 to 50 times the monthly rent of the apartment as their annual salary. This generally refers to guaranteed income and does not include bonuses (i.e.: If the property is $3000.00 a month, you must earn $120,000.00 to $150,000.00 a year in order to qualify to rent the apartment). Please consult your agent or contact us if you are a foreinger seeking an apartment.
Before you begin your search, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the search process and marketplace. Let the following Elika rental guide assist you in finding home.
What follows is a quick guide that will help you in your search for the perfect NYC apartment rental.
Useful Rental Links:
Step 1: Getting Organized
The New York City rental market moves fast. Properties that come to market can be rented within 24hrs and there are thousands of people looking for a rental on any given day. Be prepared before you begin your search.
Funds you will need
- Identification - You will be asked to provide copies of your driver's license or passport
- Letter from employer stating position, length of employment as well as salary
- Tax returns from the last two years
- Last two pay stubs
- Guarantor (If salary does not qualify for 45x monthly rent)
- Verification of assets such as equities, real estate etc
- Bank statements from the last two months
- Two business reference letters
- Two personal reference letters
- Photo identification (passport or driver's license)
- Landlord Reference letter that should include length of time at address, current rent and payment history
- Broker's Fee equal to 15% of the annual rent
- Security Deposit (equivalent to a month's rent)
- First Month's Rent (and increasingly, an amount equal to last month's rent)
- Cost Of Credit Report ($25-$100)
- Possible Application Fee ($100-$400, not for every building, may/may not be refundable)
Step 2: Needs & Wants
No matter the budget, we all would like more than we want to pay. However, in Manhattan budget often dictates what is feasible or not. A compromise is often required when seeking an apartment for rent. The checklist below will help you finalize your wish list to begin your search.
Prioritize your Preferences
- What is your desired move in date -- are you flexible?
- Do you need a furnished or un-furnished apartment?
- Do you require your apartment to be close to transportation?
- Do you need a pet friendly building?
- Would you consider a walk up or is a doorman, elevator building essential?
- How many square feet would be ideal?
- Would you compromise on amenities, views or other luxuries for a larger apartment?
- Which 3 neighborhoods would you prefer?
- Would you like to live in a small intimate building or a larger new development with gym and amenities?
Step 3: Fee vs No-Fee
If you can afford to pay a broker's fee, searching with a broker is highly recommended for convenience. It is also the most common way of finding an apartment that will best suit your needs. Brokers have access to all of the rental apartments currenlty available that can help you find a home faster.
By industry standard brokers charge a commission for services. In Manhattan, expect to pay between 12-15% of the year's rent (typically 15%) of the year's rent as a commission. That means if your rent is $2,000 a month, the broker's fee would be equal to $2,000 x 12 x 15%, or $3,600. Fees outside of Manhattan are usually less, ranging from one month's rent to 12% of the year's rent. The fee is payable at the time of lease siging.
If you are unable to pay a fee, perhaps then No-Fee options are for you. Although limited, there are No-Fee rental buildings in New York City and we are able to assist you in locating those. In this case commision is collected from the landlord, thus listed as OP for owner pays.
Although OP may sound like a better solution becuase you do not need pay a fee, most OP properties have higher rents or are located in less desirable locations. So when all is said and done, there is usually a fee reagrdless of whether it is paid up front or throughout the duration of the lease in the form of higher rent.
Rental Term Commission Fewer than 2 months Â½ month's rent 2 months and up to 6 months 1 month's rent 6 months up to 1 year 15% of the first annual rent 1 year or more 15% of the first annual rent
Step 4: Find an Agent
Find an agent who works for you – the tenant. Real estate agents make sure that renting a home is an efficient process and hassle free experience. Experienced agents are familiar with desirable properties and sort through the clutter when trying to find you the ideal home. Find a local, knowledgable rental agent that is an advocate for your best interests.
Learn about Elika: Renters Representation
NOTE: Once deciding on an agent it is customary to be asked that you sign a fee agreement when enlisting the services of a broker. This agreement simply states that you agree to pay a fee to the broker if they help you obtain a lease on a particular apartment. You do not have to pay a brokerage fee if you are unable to secure a lease through a broker.
Step 5: Apartment Search
How do you find your new apartment? Once you have organized your documentation, reviewed your finances and estimated your budget, you can begin to search for the perfect rental apartment. Looking on your own can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. Your personal rental agent can pinpoint the apartments that best match your needs and preferences.
How to Search for the Perfect Rental Apartment
- Choose your preferred neighborhood(s)
- Prioritize the facilities and services you would like in your neighborhood, (schools, transportation, fitness center, etc)
- How much space would you like and need in your new home?
- Is your priority the neighborhood or size of home?
- Which features and amenities (essential and luxury) would you expect in your home or building?
Quick Search Links:
- Register - Gain access to the entire database of New York City apartments for rent in realtime, Updated Daily!
- Custom Search - Request a Rental Broker assisted search of the best available options that meet your specifc needs.
With Elika you will be able to search through thousands of currenlty available rental listings by accessing our database. Or you can request a custom search in which one of our rental associates will sort through listings to provide you with only those that are best suited for your specifc needs. When searching classifieds on Craigslist or in The New York Times be wary of bait and switch listings.
Step 6: Application
When finding the ideal apartment, be prepared to complete your application immediately or risk losing the apartment you want. In the current economy climate the rental market is very active with thousands of renters daily competing against you.
Aside from the necessary documentation you will need the monies below to submit your applciation.
- Credit Check - Depending on the company you are working with, you will need to submit with your application a credit check fee between $75 - $100.
- Application Fees — Application fees are typically required when you submit your application and range in price from $50–$100 (per application) for a rental building and anywhere from $250–$1,000 for a co–op or condo building.
When submitting an application to a condo or coop board be prepared to also include:
- Required Certified Monies — One month’s rent and one month’s security is generally due when you sign your lease. Landlords generally require this payment in the form of two separate certified checks or money orders. These payments can be obtained at a Manhattan bank for $10–$15. Landlords do not accept personal checks or cash, but some will allow the tenant to pay with a credit card (often with surcharges of 2-3% added to the rent and security payments). If you lack a US credit history or have bad credit, landlords will often ask for additional security.
- Brokerage Fees — The brokerage fee in Manhattan can be up to 15 percent of the annual rent. This is usually required when you sign your lease.
Step 7: Lease Signing
Leases are essential for clarifying the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant relationship. Without a lease a landlord would be able to raise your rent without notice and potentially cause many other problems. The type of lease you will be asked to sign can vary depending on the building type, management company, etc. Any amendments to the standard lease are usually included in a separate lease rider. Leases are normally for one or two years and generally begin on the 1st or the 15th of the month.
Although not required, if a lease is other than a standard boiler plate Blumberg lease, we recommend you have your broker or attorney review the language and make sure you are comfortable with all the terms and conditions prior to signing.
Step 8: Moving In
Your new home awaits you. Congratulations! You can now move into your new apartment.
Renting a home is a step-by-step process but we know you found it much easier with the help of our professional team. Your real estate agent is here to help you – even after moving.
An Elika agent helps you move into your home and move forward as a new renter.
|26 Broadway. Suite 1608. New York. NY. 10004 T: 212.590.0540 F: 212.590.0549||
New York City Real Estate