Renter's guide

Preparations for renting a home in New York

Your preferences

Take your time to find out your preferences. Important things to think about:  Locations that you like. What are your spare time interests? What school do your children need to go to? If you aim for public schools, be aware of the zones. Communications -how will you get to work?
 Building standard and amenities. American construction standard is very different from for instance Nordic standard. Which level of standard is important to you? What kind of amenities do you prefer? Is doorman important? Gym? Pool? Decide this beforehand. The supply is ample in any case. If you choose a doorman building, remember that the building staff will expect a holiday bonus or an ongoing tip from you. 

Budget. How much are you willing to spend on your home? Know this before you start looking. Landlords usually ask for a gross annual income of 40 times the monthly rent. Ask us for the latest price statistics.

Building types

In New York City there are four types of properties: condos, co-ops, rentals and houses.

-       Rental. This means a rental unit within a building or complex and this is the most common form of housing in New York City. It can be rented within a few days from the time you see it until the contract is signed. Rejections of prospective tenants are common, but you will get to know quickly after your application is submitted

-       Co-op. The second most common housing form in the city. It consists of a corporation that owns a building. The residents own shares and the right to live in their respective apartments. You can buy a unit (shares) or you can sublet from the owner. In either case, you need approval from the managing agent and the co-op board, which is a process that usually takes between one and three months, plus around a month for preparation of the board application. Board rejections are very common why this sort of housing is not necessarily recommended for someone in a job transfer.

-       Condo. This is a privately owned unit within a larger building or complex. It can be bought or sublet from its owner. In both cases, you need approval from the managing agent and the board of managers. The process usually takes about a month all in all, but rejections are rare. In case of a rejection, the condominium only has a right of first refusal.

-       House. You can rent a house from its owner, usually with a few days from viewing to contract signing. You can also buy a house, where the contract process would take a few weeks.

Required Documents

Below is a list of documents to prepare before you get ready to rent or buy a home in New York City. The more complete your documentation is, the better your negotiating position will be and the lower your security deposit will be.

- Letter of employment on company letterhead stating: salary, position and length of employment here in the US. Gross annual salary is by most landlords required to be 40 times the monthly rent.

- Current bank statements. Print them out from your internet bank right before you arrive so that they are as current as possible. If you have American accounts it is a plus.

- American credit report, if possible. This is a big plus.

- Copy of Passport- Copy of VISA
- Landlord reference letter

-  Personal reference letters (for co-ops and condos)

- Professional reference letters (for co-ops and condos)

If you need an American Guarantor to qualify for a home, the Guarantor needs to present the following:

A copy of the first page and signature page of your last two years federal tax return signed. 
Copy of photo ID.
Corporate guarantors are generally not accepted in New York. Personal guarantors are accepted by most landlords.

Once you are here

Your utilities and insurance can be ordered on short notice. We are happy to help if you need recommendations.


Renter's Services

Room Real Estate provides an elite team of agents who will make sure that your renting experience is a pleasant one.

We work for you as an advisor, rather than a sales agent. You make an informed choice from the market research and knowledge we provide. You are in control and informed at all times. Whether you are a US resident or foreign renter we are able to cater to your specific needs.
We represent only you, the renter, in the negotiations. When you work with Room Real Estate, your interests are protected.
Listing Search. We have database access to every property listed for rent in the city. We do automated searches that fit your criteria.
Comparable sales analysis. We help you understand what other similar properties in the area are renting for before you make your offer.

Among our frequent corporate clients are Swedish banks Nordea and Handelsbanken.