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HowToRentinNYC's Rental Q&A Expert is here! How far in advance do I look? What paperwork is needed if my roommate isn't coming?

July 07, 2011

How To Rent in Rental Expert, send us your question!


QUESTION: Hi! I am hoping to rent in Sunset Park with 3 roommates. We are looking for a 3br, as two of them will be sharing a room. However, only two of us will be coming to the city to look at and hopefully secure an apartment. The other two roommates will be out of town. Will we need to show all of their documents (ID, proof of employment, bank statements, etc) to the broker/management company as well? Or can we secure the apartment with only documents for the two of us (the two of us that are visiting will have guarantors)? Thank you for your help!

ANSWER: Yes! You will need to gather everyone’s documentation if they are going to be on the lease. Standard documentation needed is a copy of the license, 2 bank statements, employment letter stating length of work and salary, first two pages of last years tax return and you will need them to fill in that management companies application and fax it back to you. I would also have their portion of the rent and security deposit ready to go in your bank account for a cashiers check. Apartments move quickly in NYC and even quicker in July! If however you and the other person are with are the only people going on the lease it might be worked out where the management company that you don’t need their documentation. (Unlikely if you are getting a three bedroom they will want to know who is living in the 3rd.)


QUESTION: How far in advance would you recommend an out of town renter come to the city in order to secure an apartment? Need to move in before Sep 6th. Live in Brooklyn. Can afford a broker.
ANSWER: If you are looking for a September 1st move in I would suggest making preparations to come to the city first week of August. If you come in July you will have access to some inventory that goes quickly but many people don’t let their landlords know they are moving out untl the month of so you could be missing out on a larger lot if you come too early.

Come to the city for no less than 4 days. Preparations includes setting up meetings with 3 different brokers from 3 different brokerage houses so they don’t show you all the same inventory. I would also give yourself 1.5 days before meeting with these brokers to set up your own appointments directly with any management companies that give their listings directly to the public. You can search our current availabilities here! Why pay a broker fee unless you have too?

As I said in the above question have all of your monies and documentation ready to go with you on your person. Be able to cut first month and 1 month security deposit from a bank in NYC, if your bank isn’t located in NYC assume you will be putting down a cash deposit to hold the apartment, probably for $500. Paperwork includes: copy of license, 2 bank statements, first 2 pages of last years tax returns, employment letter stating length of work and salary and a reference letter from your last landlord doesn’t hurt!