Rustin Low

What do you need to rent in NYC?

Rustin Low
What do you need to rent in NYC?
I thought you only sold really high end stuff, I didn’t know you did rentals!
— Every single one of my friends, after they bitch to me about how shitty their rental agent was and I ask them why they didn’t come to me. 

So the license to work in real estate in New York is the same across the board. I could do commercial leases in Albany if my heart desired (I would sooner die, but legally speaking I could.) I market myself as a sales agent because I prefer working in sales, but that doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t do rentals. I’m happy to help clients with rentals so long as they are prepared, realistic, and ready to move quickly when they see something they like. The rental market moves at the speed of light so if you’re not prepared to sign the lease, you’re not prepared to be looking quite yet. 

Let’s say you’re thinking about moving and now that you know I do rentals, you’re thinking about contacting me, but you want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. I can help there. Below you’ll find a list of the things you should have prepared to sign a lease in NYC - if any of these items are particularly challenging or impossible for you, shoot me an email and I’ll see if there are exceptions for your situation. 

You’ll need: 

  • Proof of employment (including your start date, the position you hold, base salary, preferable on letterhead, and signed by a supervisor)
  • 2 most recent pay stubs
  • 2 most recent bank statements
  • the first two pages of the last two years of tax returns
  • legal identification with photo
  • anything else that makes you a strong suitor for a landlord (bonuses, stocks/bonds, trusts, etc.)

If you’re planning on using a guarantor, you’ll need all of these things from them as well. 

Alright, Rustin. I’ve got all of that! How much is it going to cost me?

Right off the bat, let me clarify that as a tenant’s agent, I do not set the fee. My firm receives half of the fee charged by the landlord’s agent, and the rest of these numbers are just New York City standard practice.

For this example let’s say you’ve found a place you love that is listed at $5,000 per month - here’s the most likely breakdown of charges you’ll face to get your name on that shiny new lease.

  • $100 application fee (per person)
  • $5,000 First Month’s Rent
  • $5,000 Last Month’s Rent
  • $5,000 Security Deposit
  • $9,000 Rental Fee (15% of annual rent)

There you have it. That’s not an exact promise for every deal, but it’s a breakdown of most common practice that hopefully has shed a little light on the process of renting.  

I’m here to help. It’s literally my job, so if you have questions or concerns or a unique situation, please allow me to assist. I’m happy to help, but I can’t help with what you don’t share.