Renter's Guide to Getting Approved

While exceptions may apply, the typical minimum requirements for renting an apartment in New York City are as follows:

Good credit Bad credit is the most common reason applicants are declined by landlords. An occasional late payment is not usually a problem. However, if your credit report shows a pattern of late payments, charge-offs and/or judgments, you will have difficulty renting an apartment. To counteract bad credit, many landlords are willing to accept guarantors, extra security deposits, or rent up front. It is in your best interest to inform your rental agent immediately if you have any credit problems or concerns so they are able to show you properties where we know the owner is flexible and we have the ability to structure a rental agreement.

Minimum Income Landlords typically require that you earn at least 40 times the monthly rent. For example, if an apartment rents for $1000/month, your income must meet or exceed $40,000/year.

Guarantors Guarantors are usually required if your credit is problematic, your income is insufficient (less than 40 times the monthly rent), the length of your current employment is limited (less than one year), or your employer/occupation is deemed “questionable” (i.e., working for a small upstart company, working on a part time or freelance basis, etc.). Guarantors must meet the same minimum requirements as the applicant, but also make at least 70-80 times the amount of the monthly rent.

Necessary paper-work:

In addition to filling out an application, you must provide the following documents when applying for an apartment:

If you are working for a company:

  • Letter of employment stating your position, salary and length of employment
  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • A recent bank statement
  • A copy of your photo ID
  • Occasionally landlords ask for copies of canceled rent checks and/or a letter from you current landlord.

If you are self-employed: You must provide the aforementioned paperwork, but instead of a letter of employment and pay stubs, you will be required to provide a copy of the first two pages of your tax returns for the past two years.

These requirements apply not only to applicants but also to their guarantors, though guarantors are not required to provide any information on their current landlord.

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