The past 40 years has been an incredible time for New York's economical growth and popularity. As more financiers, artists, bankers, diplomats and celebrities continue to flood the city, neighborhoods and areas that were once considered unlivable or dangerous, are becoming the "up-and-coming" places to live. As a matter of fact, there aren’t really any more undesirable neighborhoods in New York City. From the Financial District to Alphabet City to Hell's Kitchen and even Harlem, landlords offer quality living as great as anywhere else in the city.

We will listen to your wish list, review all the options with you, and then show you the best of what is out there to fit your needs. We will prepare you in advance for all possibilities and make sure that you don't miss out on any opportunity to rent the perfect home.

What do I need?

  • Proof of income
  • Employer verification letter - On company letterhead, signed by supervisor or HR stating:
    • Salary
    • Guaranteed bonus
    • Title
    • Start date
    • Housing allowance, if any
  • Most recent pay stubs
  • Last 2 Year's tax returns
  • Copy of driver's license or passport
  • Credit application information showing names, phone numbers, addresses of
    • Employer
    • Banker
    • Accountant
    • Previous Landlords
    • Guarantor
  • Most recent bank statement or stock portfolio
    • First month's rent
    • Security deposit
    • Application fees ($25 - $100)
    • Brokerage fee (15% of the annual rent or less, which includes NO FEE apts)

Rent & security are due, usually in the form of two certified checks at lease signing. If you do not have an account established here, you may choose to bring travelers checks or arrange to have funds wired to an appropriate account here in Manhattan.

Financial Qualification

Most landlords require that you make 40-50 times the amount of monthly rent. Outstanding loans, assets liquidation, credit and rent history are also taken into consideration.


If you do not meet the financial requirements of the landlord, you may be required to obtain a lease guarantor. The guarantor must be financially able and qualified to pay your rent as well as comfortably carry his or her financial responsibilities in case you default on the lease. This means that your guarantor will need to make 80-100 time the amount of monthly rent.

Many landlords require a Tri-state guarantor and prefer a relative. If you are being relocated by your company and need a guarantor, you should check with human resources to see if the company will provide one., they usually do.

Credit Check

An application fee ranges between $25-100 and will cover the cost of your credit check. A good credit rating should have no delinquent or collection accounts, over 60% available credit and no substantial amount of debt. Some landlords are more flexible than others when it comes to credit.


If you are a first time renter in New York and do not have a credit history in the U.S., landlords might require an extra security deposit, a guarantor or additional rent paid up front.

Consult one of our expert PRIME agents for additional advice. Procedures and requirements may vary from one building to another. We'll make sure to guide you through the entire process informatively.

Board Approval

If you are subleasing a co-op or leasing a condominium, board approval will be required. Condominiums are very easy and almost never reject renters. Co-ops are stricter and may require a personal interview. Some co-op boards may only meet once a month or even once every two months. Your interview date may depend on it so keep that in mind before making your decision based on your move in date.

Standard Fund Requirements:

  • Approximate costs of Application Process: (credit reports/application fee) - Both applicants and guarantors are required to submit credit reports, no exceptions.
  • Credit reports and application fees range from $25 to $100 depending on landlord/management company.
  • Lease signing requirements: Once all completed application materials have been submitted, Prime NY Inc can usually get our clients approved for their apartment or rental property that same day.
  • Almost all applications are approved within 1-2 business days.
  • Renter must have completed all application materials. This includes reference letters and supporting documentation.
  • Approved clients are expected to sign lease immediately and provide necessary funds. Lease signings take place within 24 hours of application approval.
  • Renters sign their lease and provide necessary funds regardless of when the lease starts.
    • Funds: Renters generally provide 1st month's rent and equivalent of 1 month's rent as a security deposit.
    • This money is fully refundable in case a client gets rejected.
    • When paying the deposit ask for a receipt that states, the money will be refunded if you are rejected.
    • When signing a lease, renters should have funds for rent, security and broker fee (if any).
    • Money should be in a certified form Bank Checks: Certified checks or Money orders.
    • Personal checks are not accepted.
  • Miscellaneous 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.
    • Some landlords/management companies require renters insurance.
    • When renting in a condominium or in a co-op, renters should expect processing fees, move in fees and other miscellaneous fees sometimes in total of $250 - $1100 in non-refundable fees.
  • Be sure to ask your Prime NY Inc broker if there are additional fees; especially if renting a Condo or Co-Op. Fees for pets or for temporary walls are also common.

The Budget: For obvious reasons, a budget is an important factor in determining what apartment or rental property a renter can afford. The price of a property depends on a variety of factors - size, location, condition, features, neighborhood amenities, schools among others. It is key to determine a budget at the beginning of the application process to have an understanding of what you can afford.

  • A general price guideline for apartments:
    • Studios range from $1,800 to $2,500 per month
    • One bedrooms range from $2,200 to $3,700 per month
    • Two bedrooms range from $3,500 to $6,500 per month
    • Three bedrooms range from $4,500 to $10,000 per month.

General Approval Requirements

Approval Requirements differ depending on the landlord/management company and/or on the building. The following are general guidelines that apply in most instances:

  • Renters need to show income of at least 40-50 times monthly rent.
  • Rent should be 25% of renters' annual income. Ex: annual income = $100,000, rent $25,000 per year.
  • Renters must show a secure and stable employment history.
  • Renters needs to have good credit history. A major component of the approval process is based on the credit report.
  • What makes a credit report bad?
    • A couple old late payments are usually ok.
    • High revolving balances are not good.
    • Past due payments that are outstanding are bad.
    • Delinquencies and collections are very bad.
    • A public record (a day in court) is bad
    • A Landlord-Tenant record is very bad.

If you think your credit report is bad, advise your Prime NY Inc broker so they can prepare you for the application process. Landlords/management companies have different ways of dealing with credit problems.

Some landlords/management companies allow renters to increase security deposit while others require a guarantor. Some may simply reject the application. Your Prime NY Inc broker will advise you in order to save you time, money and frustration.

  • Renters must show a good rental history.
  • Rental, credit and employment information is generally referenced and submitted in form of a letter or sometimes by a phone call.
  • Renters need to have a social security number. If you do not have a social security number or are not applying for one you must have a guarantor co-signing your lease.
  • Bank Statements: In most cases landlords/management companies require copies of a renters' 3 most recent bank statements from a checking, savings, stock account or any other financial institution.
  • Renter should have backup detail sheets available upon request.
  • Most rent application forms require listing bank account information.
  • Letter of Employment: Renter should get a Letter of Employment on their company's letterhead, with the following:
    • Position
    • Length of employment
    • Annual income In majority of cases an offer or an acceptance letter for a new position is not sufficient to show employment.
  • Letter of Landlord Reference: Letter of reference from a previous landlord is one of the most important reference letters a renter can submit to a landlord/management company who is processing their application.
  • Pay Stubs: copies of renters' 3 most recent pay stubs are usually required.
  • Students need to have a guarantor co-sign their lease.
  • Certain buildings won't accept students. This is legal in NY State and not challengeable in a court or law.
  • Tax Returns: Some landlords and some management companies require potential renters to include a copy of their most recent Federal Tax Return (1040).
  • Renters should have their tax return available just in case it is required.
  • 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 almost always required to submit a tax return.
  • If renters do not meet the above mentioned criteria there are usually two possible solutions:
  • Renters can get a co-signer or guarantor to co-sign the lease for you.
  • Some owners will allow tenants to prepay 6 months to 12 months rent up front.
  • Guarantor or co-signer: A guarantor or co-signer is a person who guarantees the entire rent for the entire lease term and lease renewals should a renter default on their rent payments. A guarantor can be anyone who agrees to sign on behalf of a renter and who is willing qualified to act as a guarantor.
  • Qualifications of a guarantor or co-signer: documents required from a guarantor are similar to applicant(s):
    • Application Form: Same form as the applicant fills out.
    • Credit Report: A guarantor's credit report must be in good standing.
    • Federal Tax Returns: A guarantor is required to submit federal tax returns as proof of income.
    • Guarantor must show annual income of 80-100 times monthly rent.
    • A Guarantor is not required to be present at lease signing.
    • In some cases, landlords/management companies require a guarantor to reside in the tri- state area (New York, New Jersey or Connecticut).