How to Get the Apartment You Want, Part 3: Preparing Your Paperwork

The number 1 thing you can do to ensure you get the apartment you want is to have your finances and paperwork in order before you start looking. Unlike most cities, in NY you are not just renting an apartment–you are also applying to rent an apartment and just like applying for a job or college admission, you want to present yourself in the best possible light . Being organized and prepared makes you look like a way better potential tenant than all those other people scrambling to find their 2006 tax returns or who can’t even remember their last landlord’s full name. At the very least, you should have the following documents at the ready for yourself and anyone who will be applying for the apartment with you (roommates, spouses, partners, guarantors):

*Two months worth of pay stubs

*A letter from your employer stating your position, salary and how long you have worked at this company. This should be on official letterhead and include the contact information of someone who will verify this information

*If you are self-employed, you will need a letter from a CPA, on letterhead and with official stamp, stating your assets, what type of business you are in and your yearly income

*Two years federal tax returns

*A bank statement that shows assets–can be a brokerage account, 401K, anything that shows you aren’t totally broke

*The contact information for your previous landlord, including a phone number

This list represents the bare minimum you should have, and if you apply for a co-op or a condo rental there may be other documentation required including personal, professional and landlord references and an interview. It’s a good idea to prepare copies of all these documents in a binder, ready to submit or as pdf’s, so when you find your dream apartment all you have to do is fill out the application, drop off the binder or press “send” on an email. I guarantee with all this paperwork organized and ready you will feel 100% less stressed out and will be 200% more likely to get the apartment you love!

Previously:

How to Get the Apartment You Want, Part 2: Questions of Timing

How to Get the Apartment You Want, Part 1: What Happens When I Use a Broker?

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1 Response to “How to Get the Apartment You Want, Part 3: Preparing Your Paperwork”



  1. 1 What You Need to Know Before you Rent via the NY Times « NYC Rentopia Trackback on October 3, 2008 at 6:09 pm

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About Me

Michelle Erfer is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in New York City.
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