Image via flickr user lotyloty

Image via flickr user lotyloty

So you found an apartment that you’re in love with and now you’re ready to apply. This is where all the fun begins. Gathering all of your paperwork prior to your search is the difference between getting the apartment and losing out.

New York apartment rentals are very fast paced. If you like an apartment but lag in providing the necessary paperwork, you might be passed over for another applicant who came after you but has their paperwork ready. Here’s what you need to make sure you don’t miss out:

  • Employment letter on company letterhead stating your job title, job functions, salary and length of employment
  • Three most recent Pay Stubs
  • Three most recent Bank Statements
  • Most Recent Income Tax W2 Form
  • First page and signature page of most recent Federal Tax Return
  • Copy of Photo Identification
  • Money for application/credit check fee (generally $75-$100)

The credit check fee is generally non-refundable whether your application is approved or denied. However, the amount may transferable to another apartment. Ask your broker (if you are using one) if you can transfer the fee if needed.

Many landlords require a deposit to take an apartment “off the market”. This may vary from a few hundred dollars to one months rent. Make sure you get a receipt when you leave a deposit, as it’s refundable if you’re not approved for the apartment. But be careful, you may lose this deposit if you’re approved but decide that you do not want the place. Make sure you understand the procedures before moving forward.

If you’re using a guarantor or plan on having roommates, they will need to provide the same paperwork. If the guarantor or occupant is self-employed, they’ll need to get a letter from their accountant stating their income.

These guidelines are standard for most rentals, but some landlords may require additional documentation, i.e., cancelled rent checks, a copy of your social security card or references from previous landlords. If you bring the standard paperwork up front, you should be okay as long as you get them the rest in a timely fashion. Some landlords require less than what is stated above, but it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Having your paperwork handy prior to your apartment search will look good on your part when you meet with the Broker or leasing agent and it’s a great start to the landlord/tenant relationship.