Steps to Renting

NYC Homes and Properties for Rent

Although the big-ticket sales in Manhattan typically grab the headlines, the majority of New Yorkers are actually renters.

Renting an apartment in Manhattan is fairly straightforward, with some variations on the steps for each property class. 

The three primary types of rental homes in the city are as follows:

  1. Rental buildings, which are owned by commercial landlords
  2. Individually owned Condominiums and Co-ops
  3. Individually owned townhouses and small walk-up buildings


The standard income requirement for an apartment in New York City is 40 times the monthly rent. If your rent is $2,500 a month you would be expected to earn $100,000 minimum.  If you’re just starting out in the city and are shy of that number in income for yourself, you may be able to qualify for the apartment with a guarantor. Typically, landlords will want a guarantor to make 80 times the monthly rent and reside in the tri-state area. If your guarantor is out of state or country, you can still get approved with a 3rd party guarantor. We can connect you with qualified guarantors like Insurent, The Guarantors, etc…


Upfront money

When you sign a lease for an apartment you will be required to put down your 1st month’s rent & 1 month security in addition to any move in fees which are typically nonrefundable.
Brokers commissions can be anywhere from 0 to 15% of the 1st years annual rent. The 15% commission is usually applicable only when both the landlord and tenant have their own agents- which is the case for most condominiums and co-ops. The fee is split equally between the landlord’s agent and tenants’ agent.  Most fees are closer to 1 month however as many deals involve just 1 broker.  During covid, the market demand dropped significantly and landlords were covering brokers fees in an attempt to lease-up vacancies. Once Covid was over, the market swung back the other direction and has returned to a “normal” market where tenants are back to covering brokerage fees.



Most apartment leases are 1-2 years in length.

Types of Leases

Stabilized and Non-Stabilized AKA “Free Market” apartments take up 90% of the rental stock in New York City

Many landlords of modern buildings were given tax breaks when building in exchange for keeping a certain portion of their buildings as rent stabilized. If you apply for and get a rent stabilized apartment, you have the right to stay in the apartment year after year if you pay your rent. The rental increases are voted on by a commission annually and typical annual increases are from 1% -2%

In a free market apartment, the rent can be whatever the landlord and tenant agree to.

There is an addition class of protected apartments in the city called Rent Controlled, and these are typically grandfathered leases that have continued in one family for decades. These leases are highly restrictive in terms of subletting and occupancy requirements but are often a fraction of market rent and not available to most applicants

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