Renter’s Guide

New York City is the best and most exciting city in the world, so it’s no wonder the vacancy rates tend to be very low. Although the process of finding a new home to rent in the city can be somewhat frustrating, RES will strive to make the process enjoyable yet thorough. Our seasoned agents will listen to your needs and requirement, research all properties that meat your criteria, organize efficient viewing schedules, help with negotiating your lease price and terms, and will help prepare and submit all necessary paperwork for your approval. Below is a general guide to financial requirements, fees and documents you will need when renting in New York City.

Typical Requirements

  • Annual income is at least 40-50 times the monthly rent and that you have good credit. For example, if the monthly rent were $4,000 month, you would need to show a guaranteed annual income of at least $160,000 per year. ($4,000 x 40 = $160,000).
  • A bonus may be included if the bonus is guaranteed, or if a documented history of bonuses can be provided.
  • Discuss your financials and potential credit problems with your agent in advance.
  • If your guaranteed yearly income falls below the landlord’s requirement, there are other factors that may be taken into consideration, such as assets, income from other sources, housing allowances, or the use of a ‘guarantor’ (below).
  • Landlords may accept roommates’ combined incomes to determine financial qualification for an apartment. If the landlord does not allow for combined incomes, or if the combined total is not enough, they will require a ‘Guarantor’ or ‘Lease Co-signer’, which is a person who accepts financial liability in the event you or your roommates fail to pay the rent.
  • Guarantors typically must make between 75 to 100 times the monthly rent in annual income.
  • Most landlords prefer that you use a guarantor from the ‘Tri-State’ area, i.e. New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.
  • The guarantor will be required to produce the similar paperwork as the potential tenants, but is not required to physically come to New York.

Typical Fees:

  • Rental Building Application: $ 0 – $ 100.
  • Condominium Application: $ 300 – $ 1,000.
  • Cooperative Application: $ 600 – $ 1,500.
  • Broker Fee: 15% of the Annual Rent. For example, if the monthly rent were $4,000/month, the brokerage commission due would be $7,200 ($4,000 x 12 x 15% = $7,200).
  • Guarantors typically must make between 75 to 100 times the monthly rent in annual income.
  • Most landlords prefer that you use a guarantor from the ‘Tri-State’ area, i.e. New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.
  • The guarantor will be required to produce the similar paperwork as the potential tenants, but is not required to physically come to New York.

Typical Documentation Needed

  • Completed Application: RES has a standard application that your agent will have you complete when you begin the process. In addition, some landlords may have their own application, which would have to be completed as well.
  • Letter of Employment issued within 30 days from your application. Letter should be on official company letterhead and contain: job title, duration of employment, annual guaranteed income, signed by a supervisor or HR representative.
  • If self employed, the letter should be from your CPA, stating nature of your business and verification of your last 2 years of income.
  • Two most recent pay stubs.
  • 2-3 months of bank statements.
  • Verification of any additional sources of income.
  • 2 years tax returns
  • Credit report: A credit check will be run by your RES agent, prospective landlord or the management company of the building. Discuss any potential credit problems with your agent in advance.
  • Landlord references: Although they are not always required, they certainly can be helpful if provided. If you do not have a letter, make sure to at least have your previous landlord name and number readily available, as they are often required on applications.
  • Misc. other documentation depending on management company or landlord (i.e., reference letters, asset verification, etc..)