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Renting A Home in New York City

Renting an Apartment in Manhattan, NYC

Everyone wants their first New York City rental experience to be a positive one. As a current or future Manhattanite, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of renting in order to make your experience as hassle and worry-free as possible.

Although many leases contain predominantly boilerplate language, in many instances clauses may be added to the lease contract that supersedes or alter the lease agreement in some way. Such additions are called riders.

Also, the type of lease may vary. A Standard Form of Lease, for instance, may differ greatly from a Rent Stabilized Lease Agreement or a Cooperative Sublease Agreement. Take the time to read and digest the language of any documentation presented to you, and always ask questions should it contain something you don't fully understand.

Make a checklist of information to bring with you in order to finalize your lease agreement. You will most likely need all or some of the following:

1.     A letter of employment and salary verification
2.     Bank account numbers (checking and savings), as well as any credit card numbers
3.     Current bank statements
4.     Contact information (names, addresses, phone numbers) of previous landlords
5.     Contact information of your personal accountant or attorney, if applicable
6.     Contact information of any personal or professional references
7.     Tax returns from the last two years
8.     Recent (current) pay stubs, typically from the last two pay periods
9.     Personal identification (driver’s license, passport, etc)
10.   40x the monthly rent in annual income is often required.

If you are relocating from outside of New York, prepare your funds ahead of time. Many landlords will not accept personal out-of-state checks. Bring traveler’s checks or certified bank checks in amounts sufficient to cover 1st month's rent, a 1-month security deposit, and a $20 credit check fee. 

There may be additional fees in coop and condo sub leases such as a move-in/move-out fee or building application fee. A broker's fee can only apply if you hire a tenant's broker to find an apartment and represent you.

Once your personal and financial documentation is in order, you will then be prepared to view and select prospective apartments. 

When you have selected a suitable apartment, you must then fill out a rental application, or other applicable documents.  If you hire a tenant's agent they can negotiate lease terms for you. 

Upon final confirmation, you will be asked to sign a lease.

In Manhattan and Brooklyn residential real estate is made up of rental buildings,  condos, condops, coops, and townhouses. All can make fine homes and all are available for rent. The maximum fee in a rental building is $20.

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