Renting in New York

It's no secret that renting in Manhattan (and even Brooklyn now) can be a nightmare. That's why model apartments are so appealing.  Blogger Erin Boyle breaks down what apartment hunting takes in NYC:

Erin Boyle, Reading My Tea Leaves

Erin Boyle, Reading My Tea Leaves

Here's what's in our 'rental portfolio' (copies of everything for both me and James):

  • Pay stubs: our last two 
  • Bank statements: from the last 2 months
  • Tax returns: first two pages which lists our total income
  • Letter of Employment: a signed letter affirming that we're employed and our yearly salary
  • Copies of Photo ID: James and I both have amazing hat hair in our NY State licenses. Couples that go to the DMV together, stay together
  • Credit reports: brokers and landlords sometimes insist on running these reports themselves (and they charge anywhere from $30 - $75 for each report. We pulled our own reports on freecreditreport.com ($1.00 to save as PDF) and that's sometimes been enough.

Beyond this list of documents, it's typical that brokers and landlords expect that your yearly salary equals 40 times your monthly rent. (All I have to say about that is thank goodness James and I have each other otherwise we'd both be living in closets somewhere.)

Most landlords also expect the first month's rent on signing, plus a security deposit of the same amount. Real sticklers also ask for the last month's rent. If you work with a broker, you can expect to pay 12 - 15% of your yearly rent for their fee. 

If you just did a mental calculation of how much it might cost to move into a modestly priced apartment and nearly choked, then you feel my pain. It's a small fortune, no matter how you look it. But at least now you're prepared. Happy portfolio making, fellow renters, and GODSPEED.

Do you rent in New York? Do you stay at a model apartment? Leave your advice and/or rants in the comments!