Renting in NYC is very common. About 68% of the city's population are renters. However, the city is also unbelievably expensive. Year after year, rents in New York City are climbing to historic rates. According to a StreetEasy Manhattan Rent Index report, the average cost of an apartment in Manhattan has reached an all-time high of $3,217 a month.
Rent is paid one calendar month in advance and a deposit (often equal to first and last months' rent) will be required. Rent is often inclusive of utilities and landlords are required to supply heat and water. Sometimes it also includes internet and tv, other times you will have to add on expenses like electricity, telephone, internet, etc. Get a receipt of this deposit and any existing damage when signing your contract.
Note that to rent an apartment in New York City, most landlords require you to earn an annual salary of at least 40 to 45 times the monthly rent. If your salary is below that, or you are an international applicant, a guarantor may be required.
A rental contract is only valid in written form and should have two copies: one for the tenant, and one for the landlord. The contract should specify:
Upon moving in, it is recommended to sign an inventory document listing the furniture, condition of the apartment and the technical condition of the electronic equipment, the readings of the meters for water, electricity, gas etc. This document should be prepared in two copies and signed by the tenant and the landlord.
Unless specified in the rental contract, a contract can be terminated with one month's notice. The landlord can terminate the contract only in a limited number of cases, most notably, if the tenant has damaged the rental property, or uses the property for purposes not specified in the contract.
Be aware of your rights and your obligations as a tenant and your landlord's rights and obligations.
NYC.org is a government site that offers a full guide to Tenant Rights.
Before you sign a rental contract, it is recommended that you visit the apartment you are interested in. Call as soon as possible because good apartments go fast. If you reach an answering machine, leave a clear, concise message; say that you are calling about the apartment and how you found out about it.
Give your name and telephone number and ask the person to call you back at his/her earliest convenience to schedule an appointment.
In order to make a good impression when looking at apartments: Arrive on time, dress neatly and be on your best behaviour. If you are interested, let the person showing you the apartment know by asking relevant questions.
As you are looking at the apartment, confirm that everything is in working order. Be prepared to offer your documents immediately. These usually include:
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