Leasing Guide

Renting in New York City:

Renting an apartment in New York City can be one of the most strenuous tasks an individual takes on. At Metropolitan Property Group we try to make this seamless and as stress free as possible.

The most important thing to remember as a renter is the rental process is a fast one. Being prepared is only going to help you when you find the apartment you wish to move forward with. When speaking with our agents, be sure to give them as much information as possible regarding your search including what you have already seen, you wants and your needs, whether or not you have pets, price range, desired space and location. The more information you give to our agents, the better they will be able to customize your search and find you your new home.

Keep these pointers in mind and apartment searching in New York City will be an easy one!

Wants vs. Needs

Prioritize your wants and your needs. Talk to your agent and figure out what is most important to you and what you cannot live without. Space, location and price are typically the biggest points discussed, but go into your search as open minded as possible. You might be surprised with what you like!

Starting Your Search

In New York City, rental apartments are typically released 15-30 days before they are ready to be rented out. Many times the apartments you view will be vacant and landlords will want to fill their vacancies quickly. If you begin your search too early, you will risk seeing apartments you fall in love with but the availability date will not match with your own. If you start looking too late, the best inventory will be absorbed and you will be stuck settling on a place that may not be the best fit for you. The best rule of thumb is to begin your rental search 30-45 days before you are ready to move your furniture in. This way you will see the inventory that fits your needs as it hits the market and will be able to jump on the apartment that calls out to you.

Get Your Finances in Order

As mentioned before, the rental process is typically a very quick one. Before starting your search, work out your budget and make sure you have the funds ready to go. Once you see an apartment you like, it is likely that you will have to act fast and submit an application. The longer you wait the higher risk you take that the apartment you love will be gone. Getting your finances in order will help prevent this from happening and will ease some of the stress.

Many landlords in New York City require perspective renters to make between 40 and 50 times the monthly rent. If your salary does not meet those requirements and you have a roommate or a partner, many times your salaries can be combined to meet the requirements. In the event a guarantor is needed, for whatever reason, the salary required for the guarantor is 80 times the monthly rent. In the event a guarantor cannot be obtained, or there are some flaws with your application, you may be asked to pay additional monies up front either in the form of additional security or up front rent payments. Your agent will communicate with you and the landlord to try to achieve the best option for all parties involved.

Applicant Salary Requirements Math:

            Monthly Rent: $2,000 x 40 = $80,000: what you need to earn

            Monthly Rent: $2,000 x 50 = $100,000: what you need to earn

Guarantor Salary Requirements Math:

            Monthly Rent: $2,000 x 80 = $160,000: what your guarantor needs to earn


Gather Your Paperwork

Each landlord in New York City has their own list of required documents. However, if you go on your appointments with the following paperwork handy, you will be in a good position to begin an application regardless of what the landlord requires. It’s better to have some, or most, of your paperwork ready and supplement later as opposed to having nothing ready and risk losing an apartment while waiting for documents to be prepared.

Here is a general list of required documents you should prepare:

  1. Letter of Employment – this letter should be on company letterhead and should state your position, length of employment, salary (and bonus) and should be signed by human resources or your supervisor.
  1. Pay Stubs – most landlords require at least your 2 most recent pay stubs.
  2. Tax Returns – first 2 pages of your most recent tax return
  3. W-2 – most recent W-2
  4. Bank Statements – copies of your last 2 months bank statements (checking, saving, investment accounts)
  5. Verification of Additional Assets – if applicable
  6. Photo ID

*Please note, these documents are also required by your guarantor / co-signer should you need one.

Always remember nothing is set in stone. If you do not have some of the documents for whatever reason, we can make something work. The more you have the better, but you should never avoid looking for apartments if you do not have a certain document.


Your Metropolitan Property Group agent is on your side and wants to find you the best apartment that fits your needs. Communicate with your agent and work with them to find you your next home!

Fifth Avenue Office


184 Fifth Avenue
Third Floor
New York, NY 10010

West 36th Street Office


255 West 36th Street
Suite 406
New York, NY 10018