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Things you need to know before renting an apartment in Manhattan

Things you need to know before renting an apartment in Manhattan

Paying a lot and getting less than anywhere else – this is what it means to rent in NYC. Especially if you have your eye on Manhattan. Choosing this part of New York for your new neighborhood comes with hurdles you should be ready to fly over. Otherwise, you will get run over by many other better-prepared competitors, because the offer is limited and contenders for the perfect Manhattan apartment are numerous. There are several things you need to know before renting an apartment in Manhattan and we’re here to list them. Ready, set, go!

What should you expect if you plan on renting an apartment in Manhattan?

Your search for an apartment will require thorough preparation. Most importantly, you will need to acquire the necessary paperwork. It is your entrance ticket for the apartments you prefer the most. But, how do you find those apartments, who can help you in this search, what should you look for and ask about? If you are intent on flying to NYC and renting an apartment in Manhattan, of all places, you need to get ready and also:

  • You need to be realistic about your budget.
  • Don’t take too much time looking around.
  • Have your paperwork ready to send to potential landlords.
  • Prepare the right questions for the landlord.
  • Consider getting a renter’s insurance.
  • You might need to get a roommate.

Having in mind how expensive the rents are and how desperate they make the renters it doesn’t surprise that rental scams have found fertile soil in NYC. Brokers are advising prospective tenants not to be naive and fall for limited time offers and unusually low rents. Your first experience with New York doesn’t have to be negative if you tread cautiously.

Know your financial limits

Knowing what you can and what you cannot afford is the first and foremost matter to focus on. If your annual income is less than forty times the monthly rent, you will need to look for one or more guarantors whose annual income is at least eighty times the monthly rent. Why so much? They are expected to be able to support their residence as well as yours. So, before you even consider hiring Heart Moving Manhattan, make sure you are not rent-burdened. It doesn’t make much sense to move to Manhattan only to end up paying more than thirty percent of your income for rent. Opportunities for living in this NYC borough don’t have to come at such high cost – including your happiness and long-term financial security.

Early bird gets an apartment in Manhattan

Don’t get choosy if you plan on renting in Manhattan. The worst thing you can do is to spend too much time looking for the perfect apartment that may not even exist. Get your expectations in order by looking at the apartments in the market. If you find an affordable place that is the closest to your desires – book it and move on – even if it’s not perfect. Always remember that leases in NYC can be time-limited, often between several months and two years. You can look for another apartment that suits your needs better during that time. If this is your first rental, you will have a positive rental history and an easier rental process every other time. Even if you’re preparing for your Manhattan move from a nearby neighborhood, you might need help from a real estate agent. Don’t underestimate their knowledge of the hot market such as this one. They can find the right property faster than you can do it on your own.

Don’t let one missing paper cost you your dream apartment

Acquire all the necessary documents and make them email-ready. Which documents you should have ready?

  • Take a photo of your government-issued photo ID.
  • Prepare your letter of employment or a similar document that declares your annual income.
  • Provide summary pages of the three most recent bank statements and pay stubs.
  • Get the first two pages of the two most recent tax returns.
  • If you’re not the first-time renter, get the reference letter from your current landlord.
  • Just in case, get the renter’s insurance as well.
  • Also, be ready to pay the non-refundable $20 application fee that covers the cost of a background (or credit) check, and one month rent as a refundable security deposit.

As soon as you are sure the apartment suits you, send your paperwork wrapped up as PDF to the landlord. Don’t get into the situation that you lose your apartment because your paperwork is incomplete.

Don’t underestimate the renter’s insurance

Whether it’s required or not, you should get it. It costs about $10 a month but its coverage is extensive and, quite likely, it is the most underrated protection a renter can find. It covers damage to everything you own in the apartment and even the costs of living elsewhere in case the apartment becomes unlivable. Should someone get hurt at your apartment, renter’s insurance will offer liability coverage.

No one shares the apartment like a New Yorker

If you are renting an apartment in Manhattan, you’re likely in one of three groups of tenants. Either you earn six-figure, guarantors get your back, or you’re a young professional or student living in NYC with a roommate. If you have set your heart on Manhattan but can’t entirely afford the rent, don’t worry. Living with a roommate who shares your financial concerns is the most ordinary thing here. However, make sure you know the person who will share your personal space. And even more importantly, make sure you can adjust to limited privacy that goes hand in hand with living in a small Manhattan apartment with another person.

Make an informed decision

Before you close the deal with the landlord, find out everything that matters to you, and can affect your lease. Know, in no uncertain terms, what is included in your rent. Ask if the building is pet-friendly and if the breed or size of your pet is allowed. If you don’t want to pay penalties, inquire if you’re allowed to repaint the apartment. Unless you have performed a thorough online search, make a list of all the important questions for your potential landlord and go to the meeting well prepared.

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