During the past few years the market has changed in the way Brokers collect their commissions. In the past, broker's commissions were paid by the renters. Today many of the landlords offer commissions to brokers and we at Anchor Associates are committed to passing those savings on to you, hence the NO-FEE.
How much rent can I afford?
Well, as a guideline in NYC, you can expect to spend approximately 25% of your gross annual income on rent. If you earn $80,000 per year, plan to spend $20,000 on rent.
What do landlords commonly require?
The basic requirement is that you annually earn 40 to 50 times the amount of the monthly rent, and that you have a good credit rating. (See credit report paragraph below)
Letter of employment: Must be on official company letterhead. The letter must state your position, length of employment or start date, your annual income and the letter must be signed by a person authorized to verify the information provided. Please note that a signed offer and acceptance letter is usually not sufficient.
Pay stubs: A copy of your three most recent pay stubs.
Tax return: Some management companies require a copy of your most recent federal tax return. A tax return is usually required when a person is self employed or if you are basing your income on several different sources of income.
Landlord letter A reference: letter from your recent landlord can always help in the process and is often required. If you are unable to get a letter, have the name, address and phone numbers of your landlord ready.
Bank statements: Your three most recent statements from your checking account, savings account or any financial institution should do.
Bank account numbers: are often required on application forms. Have them ready just in case you need them.
References: If you have an Accountant or Attorney you might need their numbers to put down as a reference. Think of other people that could be references in case you need them and have their information handy. Not all landlords will require letters of reference.
Identification: Many landlords require a copy of a photo ID at lease signing.
Funds: When you sign leases you will need to have funds available in the amount of rent, security and broker fee (if any) all be in a certified form - Bank Checks, Certified checks or Money orders. Personal checks are not accepted.
"Other Fees": Some buildings / Owners require a move in deposit that can range from $250 - $600. This deposit is usually refundable as long as no damage was done to the building during the move. Some buildings require that you have renters insurance. If you are renting in a Condominium or in a Co-Op you should expect Processing fees move in fees and other fees that can add up to a total of $250-$1100 in non-refundable fees. Be sure to ask your Anchor Associates agent if there are any additional fees especially if renting a Condo or Co-Op. Additional deposits for pets or temporary walls are common.
Credit reports are always run on every applicant and guarantor. The prices of credit reports / application fees range from $25-$100 depending on the management. Unfortunately credit reports obtained on your own are not accepted. A major part of the approval process is based on your credit report. So what is bad? A few old late payments are usually ok. A high revolving balance is not good. Past due payments that are still outstanding are bad. Delinquencies and collections are very bad. A public record (your day in court) is bad and a Landlord-Tenant record is the worst! If you think your credit is not good; it probably isn't. Be sure to advise your agent of this. Doing so will allow your agent to properly prepare you for the process. Different landlords have different ways of dealing with "credit issues". Some will allow you to increase the security deposit or to use a guarantor. Others may reject the application completely. We will guide you in a way that will save you time money and a lot of frustration.
What is a Guarantor?
A guarantor, also called a co-signor, is someone who is willing to guarantee your lease. The guarantor is responsible for all terms of your lease and guaranties not only your share of the rent but the entire lease - if in a share situation.
Do I need a Guarantor?
If you do not meet the financial or credit requirements, a guarantor might be your solution. Students or young individuals who do not meet the income requirements will usually need a guarantor. When bad credit is the reason, allowing a guarantor will depend on how bad the credit is and on how strict the management. Sometimes a combination of guarantor and extra security is needed. If you think you might need a guarantor please advise your agent of this so that together you can prepare yourself most efficiently.
Who can be a Guarantor?
A guarantor does not have to be a relative. Many landlords require the guarantor to live in the Tri-State area; New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. Try to prepare your potential guarantor by speaking with them and advising them of what they will be asked for. You might have to act quickly and their cooperation may be critical for your approval. A guarantor needs to fill out an application form and provide the required documents. The requirements are usually good credit and double the income requirements of an applicant. If an applicant is required to show an annual income of 40-50 times the monthly rent, a guarantor is required to show annual income of 80-100 times the monthly rent. The documents required are similar though usually all that is needed are proof of income (usually by providing tax returns) and a credit report. Guarantors usually do not have to be present at lease signing.
Renting an apartment in Manhattan is an experience that can be stressful and frustrating if you are not properly prepared. Let us guide you through this process. Our experience and knowledge that has been established over the years, working side by side many of the landlords and management companies, will be an invaluable tool that will help make this experience as pleasant and painless as possible. You can help by being prepared with the necessary documents.
Please feel free to discuss your qualification concerns with yourAnchor Associates agent so that we can help guide you through this process successfully.
Remember, finding a great apartment is only half the job, being able to get it is the other and more important half. We at Anchor Associates are here to assist you.
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Call us at 212.319.2220, 212.826.3100 or 212.452.6100 or visit our corporate HQ at 950 Third Avenue, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10022, our Midtown office at 150 East 58th St. 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10155 or our Chelsea office at 37 West 20th street, New York, NY 10011.
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