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Renters Guide


Guarantor Services

When should I begin my rental search?


Potential renters should begin their search 4-6 weeks prior to an anticipated moving date. Apartments are not usually ready more than 6 weeks ahead of a lease starting date since that is the time that most tenants give their move out notice.


• Rentals Buildings are owned by a landlord, moderated by state law, and include stabilized and non-stabilized apartments. Based on your credit check and financial status, the process takes about a week. One month’s rent and security deposit is expected. 


• Condominium Buildings are privately owned, and can be used, sold, mortgaged, and rented by the owners as he/she pleases Following the buildings management requirements. Owner has right to set requirements, rent amount, and lease length. Process can take anywhere from a week to 1 month. Application and move-in fees likely required, along with one month’s rent for security fee. 


• Co-operatives (Coop Buildings) Are Several individuals owning shares of the corporation (depending on the size and value of their apartment), not a specific unit in the building. Many restrictions and move-in and processing fees apply. The application process includes extensive financial screening and personal interviews with the board. Co-op boards are composed of shareholders who establish the building regulations and screen applicants. The timing of the application process depends on your financial screening. Many co-ops do not allow lease renewals. This means more apartment hunting after the first term of your lease. Because of the inflexibility and arbitrary rules, New York Living Solutions is selective about co-op buildings. In many cases in a roommate scenario, the landlord may require a guarantor. 



What are rent stabilized buildings and/or apartments?


Rent stabilized buildings and/or apartments are buildings whose rent is regulated by the City of New York and State of New York. Rent increases are only about 2-4% annually. Once a renter secures a rent-stabilized apartment, they have a right to renew a lease agreement indefinitely. Many brownstones, townhouses with more than 4 units and older tenement/elevator buildings in NYC fall into this category. Small to medium size landlords/management companies own and operate these types of buildings.Types of BuildingsThere are three building categories to consider: rentals, condominiums and co-operatives. It is important for you to familiarize yourself with each, so that you may better understand the application process and timeline for renting. 


Financial Requirements


What are the financial requirements to consider before renting?


The majority of Landlords expect tenants to earn anywhere from  40-45 times the monthly rent and require proof. 


• Credit Report

All applicants will have to provide a credit report/application to the landlord. Landlords use credit reports as an indicator of the likely hood of you owning the terms of the lease. Application fees in New York are capped at $20. If landlords address a “bad credit” situation they'll usually  require a GUARANTOR (co-signer), others will simply reject the application. If you suspect/know your credit is not good standing, it is imperative that you share this with your broker during your initial consultation meeting.


What is a guarantor, and how do I know if I need one? 


If you do not meet the requirements set by the landlord, then you may have to provide a guarantor (also known as a co-signer). The guarantor is someone who is able and willing to guarantee the lease. Although not obligatory, most landlords prefer guarantors who are family members living in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. Guarantors must have good credit history, and earn about twice the income of the applicant. To demonstrate the eligibility of the guarantor, applicants and guarantors should prepare themselves for a sometimes-arduous process, involving tax returns and credit reports.


What other miscellaneous fees should I consider?


• Application Fees. Rental application fees are capped at $20. When renting in a condominium or co-op, renters should expect processing fees, move in fees and other miscellaneous non-refundable fees, sometimes totaling anywhere from $250 - $1200 +/-


• Security Deposit. The equivalent of one month’s rent in the form of certified check or money order (no personal checks) are due to the landlord the day after you sign your lease. 


• Move-in Fees Sometimes landlords/management companies require new tenants to pay a move in deposit. This fee can range from $250-$600 +/-. Move-in fees are usually refundable, as long as there is no damage done to a building while moving.


• Brokerage Fees Brokerage fees are usually vary from the equivalent of one month's rent to no more than 15% of the annual rent (for one year lease or more), and usually half month's rent (1/2) to one month’s (1) rent for short term leases from 3-6 months (three to six months). You will be responsible for the payment of brokerage fees not covered by your employer, which is due when you provide your security deposit and first month’s rent. 


• Owner Paid Fees (OP) Sometimes the owner/landlord will cover brokerage fees, in which case you or your employer will be notified, in accordance to state law.


• Renter’s Insurance. The majority of landlords/management companies require renters insurance. 


Documentation  needed 

You should be prepared to bring the following documents:


• Employer Verification Letter. Updated letter should be typed on official company letterhead, indicate your title and salary, the start date (length) of employment and be signed by your supervisor.


• Identification.  A copy of your driver’s license, passport or any other form of photo identification. 


• Pay stubs.  A copy of your last two-three pay stubs


• Tax returns.  A copy of your most recent federal tax return for Self-employed renters: if income comes from different sources, you will be required to submit tax returns and a letter from a CPA stating the nature of your business, as well as, projected future income. Business owners looking to rent are usually required to submit a tax return.


• Bank Statements Your two or three most recent bank statements, for any savings or checking accounts. 


• Landlord Letter of Reference Letter from your last landlord. If you cannot obtain a letter, be prepared to provide landlord’s contact information (name, address and phone number). 


• Guarantor. A guarantor is a crucial requirement by many landlords, sometimes this requirement can't be fulfilled by many renters such as: students, college or university graduates, non U.S. citizens who come to live in New York City for the first time and many more examples. For such circumstances, there is a special service called institutional guarantor which was created to aid NYC apartment's renters, property owners and Real Estate agents by presenting an institutional guarantor for renting apartments within NYC. Rather than trying to find a personal guarantor. The future tenant has the option to hire a third party guarantor service who can represent them as their guarantor. Ask your broker to refer you with the right one which has been approved by the building. 


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