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Everything You Need To Know About Rental Applications in NYC | Lofts and Flats

Everything You Need To Know About Rental Applications in NYC

In comparison to the rest of the country, the New York City rental market is extremely competitive. There are often a number of potential renters vying for an apartment, making the process of submitting a rental application in NYC quite intense. 

Rental applications can be costly, require a ton of documentation, and may result in a denial. While this may seem discouraging for hopeful renters, preparing and working with an experienced brokerage, like Lofts and Flats, greatly increases the chances of a landlord approving your rental application. This guide will cover everything you need to know about getting a rental application approved in New York City. 

What is a rental application?

A rental application is a way of landlords and property owners to collect information on potential renters of their property. This information is used to screen applicants and determine if they would make a good fit for the rental. In New York City, where there are often multiple applicants for one rental, the rental application is a means of choosing which applicant would make be the best candidate for the property.

Most often, your broker helps you submit your rental application in NYC. Your broker may have multiple applicants submitting a rental application. As a result, you’ll want to make sure your broker has your best interests in mind. Further, a knowledgeable agent will be extremely helpful when putting together the required documentation for the application. At Lofts and Flats, we train our agents to help clients with the process of submitting a rental application in New York City.

NYC Rental Application Requirements

The required documents for a rental application in New York City depend on the landlord you are working with. Some landlords will require more documentation than others. However, most rental applications in NYC require a number of supporting documents such as these:

  • Valid Photo ID (Drivers License, Passport, etc.)
  • Contact Information (Personal, Past Landlords, Guarantor, etc.)
  • Letter of Employment
  • Resume of your rental/employment history
  • Copies of last two pay stubs
  • Last two tax returns
  • Copies of last two W-2 forms
  • Copies of last three bank statements
  • Asset documents (value of assets, stocks, real estate, etc.)

In addition to these documents, you may want to include a cover letter and recommendation letter(s) from a prior landlord with your rental application in NYC. As earlier mentioned, the NYC rental market is extremely competitive, so anything that will prove you are a great candidate for the property is helpful. 

NYC Landlord Credit Check

Rental applications in NYC are also a way for the landlord to run a credit check. A rental application credit check is helpful for landlords in determining the risk of having you as a tenant. At Lofts and Flats, our clients can visit our site and begin the application process, which will conduct your credit check through a secure third-party site. 

Each landlord will determine what they deem a good credit score, but typically they are looking for a score of 700 or higher. The landlord will take all the documentation you provided into account, which may improve your chances of being approved if your score if below 700. 

Be aware that the credit score the landlord comes up with may be different than your credit score determined by a credit bureau, like CreditKarma. Landlords typically take your credit score from the top three credit reporting agencies and selects the median score to determine if they’ll accept your rental application in NYC. 

How much is a rental application fee in NYC?

In the past, landlords and brokers essentially had the freedom to make the rental application fee whatever they want. However, in June of this year, New York State passed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protections Act of 2019. This made it illegal for landlords to charge more than $20 for a rental application in NYC. 

Be aware that some brokerages in NYC have ignored these new laws and are changing applicants up to $500 for a rental application fee. At Lofts and Flats, we never charge clients more than 20$ for a rental application.

Are rental application fees refundable in NYC?

In NYC, rental application fees are not refundable. This is the case even if your rental application is rejected, or you decide not to move into the apartment, rental application fees in NYC are final.

Good Faith Deposit

In addition to a rental application fee, many NYC landlords will also ask for a good faith deposit. A good faith deposit is a way of letting the landlord know you are serious about renting the apartment and may improve the chances of your NYC rental application being approved. If your rental application is approved, the deposit will go towards your first month’s rent. If you are denied, you will get your good faith deposit back. 

Tips for Rental Application Approval in NYC

The best practice for improving the chances of your NYC rental application being approved is having all your documentation ready. Because landlords vary in the documentation they ask for, be sure to work with a real estate agent that has experience dealing with rental applications in NYC. If you are looking for a real estate agent trained to help clients with submitting rental applications in NYC, reach out to us at Lofts and Flats.

As earlier mentioned, it is also wise to include a cover letter, as well as recommendation letters from previous landlords. This is a great way of making your NYC rental application stand out, as many applicants do not include these documents.

How long does it take for a rental application in NYC to be approved?

The amount of time it takes to hear whether or not a landlord approved your rental application varies. It can take as little as two days, or as long as a week.

Conclusion

While the process of submitting a rental application is frustrating, it is possible for your NYC rental application to be approved. In addition to including all required documentation, it is important to work with a knowledgeable and experienced agent.

Lofts and Flats agents have been working in the Brooklyn real estate market for decades, and are extremely familiar with the process of submitting a rental application in NYC. If you are looking for a real estate agent to help you find a rental in NYC, be sure to reach out to us at Lofts and Flats.

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