What Paperwork Is Needed to Rent an Apartment in NYC?

As if finding a rental apartment in Manhattan is not challenging enough, it sometimes sends people over the edge with frustration when they learn what paperwork is required by most landlords. The reason why landlords require so much paperwork is really for two main reasons.  First off, they rarely get to meet the prospective tenant in person so they need more paperwork in order to fully qualify someone. Second, the laws in New York City tend to favor tenants, and judges have a history of siding with the tenants against landlords. Evicting a tenant can be a nightmare in Manhattan for landlords and very costly.  Most landlords who have gone through the process will tell you it can take at least 4 to 6 months to evict someone.  Therefore,  landlords want to make extra sure that they have a qualified tenant who will hopefully pay their rent and pay it on time.

While different landlords require different paperwork in order to rent an apartment, if you have the below paperwork with you, you should be able to apply for more than 85% of apartments in New York City.  Also, bear in mind that the standard rule of thumb is that you earn 40X the monthly rent, and if you have a guarantor, they would usually need to earn 80X the monthly rent.  Some of the tougher landlords require 50X the rent for tenants and 100X the monthly rent for guarantors.

Documentation often requested by landlords to rent an apartment in New York City:

  1. Copy of photo ID

  2. Copy of first two pages of last year’s tax return

  3. Copy of two most recent pay stubs

  4. Landlord Reference Letter

  5. Letter of Employment

  6. Copy of most recent bank statement

Generally speaking, if you have the above documentation with you when you are ready to rent an apartment you will be in good shape. Happy hunting!!!

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