Renter’s Guide


The Renter's Guide

It is a very competitive rental market in New York City, and it moves extremely quickly. There are many questions renters may have about finding an apartment that is addressed in the InRealEstate Renters' Guide. See sections on Standard Requirements, General Approval Requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions.




Cost of Application Process (Credit Report/Application Fees) - Applicants and guarantors must submit credit reports without exception. In most cases, credit reports and application fees range from $25 to $100, depending on the owner or management company. Lease Signing Requirements: InRealEstate can generally approve our clients for their apartment or rental property on the same day once they have submitted all their application documents. Most applications are approved within 1-2 business days. The tenant must complete all application documents. Reference letters and other supporting materials are required. The lease is expected to be signed immediately and the funds must be provided. Once the request has been approved, the lease is expected to be signed within 24 hours. 


A tenant must sign and provide funds for their lease regardless of the date of commencement. 

Funds: Typically, tenants provide one month's rent as well as a security deposit equal to one month's rent. In case of rejection, the deposit is fully refundable. Ask for a receipt that indicates that if your application is declined, the down payment will be refunded. The tenant is expected to provide funds for rent, security, and brokerage fees (if applicable) at the beginning of the lease. Payment must be in a certified format Bank check: Money orders or certified checks. Checks made out to an individual are not accepted.

Miscellaneous Fees

New tenants are sometimes required to pay a deposit to landlords or management companies. Typically, moving expenses range from $250 to $600. Expenses associated with moving are reimbursed to the extent that no damage is caused to the building during the move. Landlords and managers may require tenants to carry insurance. There are usually non-refundable fees associated with renting a condo or co-op, including processing costs, moving expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses, usually $250 to $1,100. It is a good idea to ask your InRealEstate broker if there are any additional fees, especially if you are renting a condominium or apartment. Additional fees for animals and temporary walls are also common.


The budget

It's obvious that a tenant's budget plays an important role in determining which apartments or rentals they can afford. In addition to size, location, condition, and characteristics, a property's price is often determined by the neighborhood amenities, schools, and more. 


To understand how much, you can afford, you will need to define your budget early in the application process. 


A general price line of the apartments:

Studios cost between $3,000 and $4,000 each month.

A bedroom costs between $4,000 and $5,000 monthly.

Two bedrooms are between $5,000 and $6,500 per month.

Three bedrooms cost between $6,500 and $10,000 monthly.




The approval requirements change based on the owner/manager of the building as well as the building itself. 


In most cases, the following general guidelines apply:

It is recommended that tenants earn between 40 and 50 times their monthly rent.

The rent is expected to amount to 25% of the annual income of the tenant.

Example: annual income = $100K, rent $25K/year.

An employment history that is stable and secure is required for tenants.

A strong credit record is required for tenants. The credit report plays a significant role in the underwriting process.

How does a credit report damage your credit score?

It's generally not a problem to pay some past due bills. 

The high point of a turn is not a good time.

The consequences of delinquent payments are severe

There are extremely high delinquencies and collections.

There is nothing worse than a public file (one day in court).

It is bad to have a landlord-tenant relationship.


Please inform your InRealEstate broker if you believe your credit history is poor so that they can prepare you for the application process. 

There is a difference between how a landlord and a management company handle credit issues.

·Some landlords or managers allow tenants to raise their security deposit, while others require a guarantor. Other landlords or managers can simply refuse to raise the deposit. 

When you hire an InRealEstate broker, you'll save time, money, and hassle. 

A good rental history is required of tenants.

A letter or sometimes a telephone call is usually used to mention rental, credit, and employment information.

Social security numbers must be provided by tenants. If you do not have or do not request a social security number, a guarantor must sign your lease on your behalf.


Bank statements: In most cases, landlords/management companies require copies of a tenant's three most recent bank statements from a check, savings, stock account, or other financial institution.

The tenant should be provided with backup detail sheets available upon request.

Most applications for rent require information about the bank account.


Letter of Employment

The tenant must obtain a letter of employment on their company letterhead, which includes:

Some old late payments are generally.

High revolving balances are not good.

There are bad delinquencies.

In most cases, a job advertisement or acceptance letter for a new position is not enough.

Letter of Landlord Reference

A former landlord's letter of recommendation is one of the most important letters a tenant can submit to a landlord or management company that processes their request.

Pay statements: Copies of the three most recent tenant pay statements are normally required.

Students must have their rental agreement signed by a guarantor.

Some buildings can't take students. This is legal in the state of NY and cannot be contested in a court of law.


Tax returns:

Some landlords and collectives require prospective tenants to include a copy of their latest federal tax return (1040).

Tenants should have their tax returns available just in case they need them.

Independent tenants: if revenue is from different sources, you will need to submit tax returns and a letter from the CPA identifying the nature of your business, as well as projected future income

Business owners who wish to rent almost always have to file an income tax return.

If tenants do not meet the aforementioned criteria, there are usually two possible solutions: 

Tenants may ask a co-signor or guarantor to co-sign the lease on your behalf.

Some homeowners will allow tenants to pay rent 6 to 12 months in advance.


Guarantor or co-signer:

A guarantor is a person who guarantees the full amount of the rent throughout the term of the lease and leases renewals in the event of default of the rent. A guarantor may be any person who accepts to sign on behalf of a lessee and is willing to act as a guarantor.

Referee/Co-signor Qualifications: A referee's documentation requirements are similar to those of applicants:

Application Form: The same form used by the applicant.

.Credit Report: 

The creditworthiness report of the guarantor shall be in good standing.

 Federal Tax Returns: 

A guarantor must file a federal tax return for proof of income.

Guarantors must have an annual income between 80 and 100 times their monthly rent.

 It is not necessary that a guarantor be present at the time the lease is signed.

In some cases, owners/management companies require that a guarantor resides in the three-state region (New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut).




What is the cost of InRealEstate brokerage charges?

InRealEstate does not charge for information provided on the website, or for the display of apartments or rental properties through our brokers. Clients pay brokerage fees ONLY if they are leasing a property through InRealEstate. If the property is FREE of charge, you will not incur any brokerage fees. Unfurnished apartments: With a 1- to 2-year lease, InRealEstate usually collects 15% of the yearly rent.


When does a prospective tenant need to start looking for an apartment or renting property?

Prospective tenants are expected to start their search four to six weeks in advance of the planned move date. Apartments are generally not prepared more than 6 weeks in advance of a lease commencement date.


What are Rent Stabilized apartments?

Stabilized rental buildings and/or apartments are buildings for which rent is regulated by the City of New York and the State of New York. Rent increases are only approximately 2 to 4 percent per year. Once a tenant obtains an apartment whose rent is stabilized, he is entitled to renew a lease indefinitely. Many brownstones, townhouses with more than 4 units, and older apartment/elevator buildings in New York fall into this category. These types of properties are owned and operated by small and medium-sized owners/management firms.


Why should I work with InRealEstate to find a rental?

Potential tenants are searching for InRealEstate for two reasons:

First, our customers want to find the best deals when it comes to the highest value they can afford. They understand that InRealEstate will save them a significant amount of money in the long term. They understand that we provide a variety of services, covering every aspect of their own search. Our customers understand that while they may be able to find "free" apartments, our brokers work extremely hard to negotiate the lowest possible monthly rent. 

This is equivalent to long-term savings that tenants who do not use InRealEstate would likely not obtain.

Second, our customers want to save time and energy when trying to find and close home in the dynamic New York real estate market. The process can be very frustrating with no great outcome. Our customers come to us to leverage the advice, knowledge, and experience of our authorized brokers. Our leadership team brings more than 50 years of property excellence to New York City. Our customers take advantage of this by saving money, time, and effort.


What does "no fee" refer to?

Many of the potential tenants of apartments consider that they are "free of charge" via the Internet or that they are advertised in newspapers using a flat-rate agency. Prospective tenants may not obtain information on these properties without first paying a package to these agencies. The fee is expected to allow the tenant to access the agency's database. Fees can range from $50 to $250, although these organizations do not have the legal authority to charge more than $15 for their services. Very few agencies rent their apartments as a result. Many of these agencies offer virtually no client support services at all. They have little or no staff and they operate primarily as information organizations on the Internet. Consequently, they cannot provide expertise from an authorized broker. Be wary of information obtained this way, as the information tends to be unreliable and out of date.


Is it possible to get an apartment free of charge?

Sometimes landlords/management companies or brokers offer rental properties or apartments free of charge (i.e. no broker or rental application fees). These "offers" tend to be among the highest-priced apartments on the market. Most ‘no cost' apartments are located in high-rises, doorman buildings, or newly constructed buildings. As a general rule, there are no fees due to the size of the building. These apartments are at a fair price and not good deals, but they are not bad either.

In some cases, InRealEstate represents certain owners/management companies or properties that offer apartments free of charge. These tend to be in luxury/doorman buildings and are priced at $2,000 per month and above. In that case, the costs are the responsibility of the lessor/management company. In this case, InRealEstate transfers the savings to the customers and offers you all our services free of charge. Not all free properties are in doorman buildings. Sometimes owners or managers of elevators or buildings without elevators advertise apartments as "free of charge" on the web or in newspapers. In general, these apartments are not bargains because homeowners avoid extra costs and charge the tenant higher monthly payments. Properties that have a fair price and brokerage fees would probably cost LESS than an apartment at no cost in an elevator or building without an elevator.


Does the fact of having a pet make it harder to find an apartment?

Having a dog reduces the selection of properties to 15 percent of what is currently available in the marketplace. Cats tend to be less problematic. Customers inform your broker about companion animals to save time and money.


What other types of residential buildings do you have in New York?

There are rental buildings, cooperatives, and condominiums.

Rental Properties: Typically full-service, modern, doorman-style buildings; rents are generally high, but market level. Annual rent increases can be significant, subject to market conditions. These buildings are run by large companies looking to maximize their profits. We have access to most of the rental advertisements in the New York region.

Cooperative and Condominium Buildings: These are typically full-service buildings. The units are owned by individual owners who have little knowledge of market conditions. It is possible to obtain bargains in cooperatives or condominium buildings. The disadvantage is that new tenants may be required to meet with the co-op or condominium board. This process can take more than a month and requires that the applicant be rigorously selected. Many cooperatives do not allow the renewal of leases. This means more apartment searches after the initial period of your rental agreement.