Saturday, July 01, 2006


We leave next week to find an apartment, and I'm doing my best to be prepared to present an excellent application when we do indeed locate the elusive perfect Manhattan apartment (Steve called it "obsessive" today...Semantics, really). I'm discovering that you need much, much paperwork in order to rent in NYC; I believe that landlords can have high standards for tenants because the demand for apartments is so very high.

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy seeing the requirements from one average real estate management company:

1st step- Applying:
1) The most important step is to get your completed application to us ASAP. All roommates and guarantors must fill out and sign a separate application. The application must be brought directly to our office or sent via facsimile. The application can be downloaded from our website, picked up at our office, or requested via fax.
2) A $50 application fee per applicant must be delivered to our office before we process your application. The fee must be paid in the form of certified check, money order or cash and is non-refundable. This approval process can take 15-30 minutes after all applications and fees are received.
2nd step- Signing a lease:
1) After you are approved, you should make an appointment to sign the lease ASAP. Due to the quick rental market, the only way to secure an apartment is to sign the lease and put down a $500 minimum deposit. If you are quick to act, leases can usually be signed the same day you apply.
2) We accept several applications on an apartment until a lease is signed. Our policy is that the first person to sign the lease is the person who will get the apartment, regardless who had their applications in first.
3) At the lease signing we only accept Good Money such as certified check, bank check, postal check, money order and/ or cash. After you become our tenant, personal checks are accepted as rent payment.
3rd step- Verification & Completion:
A) We must receive full money for the apartment within two business days of the lease signing.
B) Here is a full list of the required items that must be faxed or dropped off at our office with in two business days of signing the lease:
1) A valid photo ID (driver's license, passport or other US Government issued ID).
2) A copy of the first two pages of last year's tax return or W2 form.
3) A copy of your last two pay stubs.
4) A copy of your last two bank statements.
5) A letter from your employer stating your salary, position and length of employment. (If you are seeking employment, you must provide an updated copy of your resume.)
6) A copy of your school registration, dated student ID, or a bursar's receipt if you are a student, or were a student last year.
7) A copy of your real estate tax or water/ sewer bill if you are a homeowner.
C) We verify all the information on your application such as your employment and tenant history, so please make sure we have proper contact numbers. We must receive all the required paper work, contact phone numbers (with adequate time to verify), and full funds before you are given keys to your new apartment.

And all that, assuming they even have an apartment you want in the first place. We have set our budget for an apartment at $2500/month, and we've been told for that amount we should expect around 700 square feet on the 3rd or 4th floor of a walkup building. One New Yorker told me that I shouldn't even expect much help from real estate brokers (who charge 15% of the annual rent as commission), because "your budget is SO LOW, they won't make much off of you."

See a need, fill a need, right?

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