NYC Rental Process


New York City's rental market is different from most other cities. The information and suggestions in the PDF below will help you become acquainted with the rental process and what you can do before you arrive to make your search for an apartment as easy as possible.

New York City Rental Process 


Most landlords require that your annual income be between 40 to 50 times the monthly rent. For example, if the monthly rent were $3000 per month, you would need to show income of at least $120,000 per year. 

If you do not meet this requirement, you may be able to qualify to rent if you can provide: 1) income from other sources, such as roommates or 2) a guarantor. A guarantor is usually a parent, relative or friend who will agree to pay the landlord in the event you fail to make any payments under the lease.

Landlords may accept roommates' combined incomes to determine financial qualification for an apartment. If the rent is $2500, the landlord would typically want to see a total income of $100,000. If both roommates earn at least $50,000 annually, they could "combine" their incomes in order to qualify for the apartment. If this is not permitted, you will be asked to provide a guarantor or lease co-signer, a person who accepts financial liability in the event you or your roommate fails to pay the rent.

Landlords require that guarantors earn between 75 to 100 times the monthly rent in annual income. This means that for a $3000 apartment, a guarantor must show income of at least $225,000. Most landlords require that the guarantor live in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey or Connecticut) and will ask for the same documentation listed above.


On average, apartments are available to view by prospective tenants thirty days prior to the expiration of the current tenant's lease. Except to become familiar with the market, there is no reason to start your search more than three to four weeks before your desired move-in date.


If you plan on keeping a pet in your apartment, your housing options will be limited. The majority of Manhattan landlords do not allow dogs and if they do you may be limited to only one. There also may be restrictions on the weight (no more than 20 pounds) and the breed and temperament of the dog.

Aerial View of Morningside Heights