Apartment hunting in New York is no easy task. With high rents, and a competitive rental market, securing and qualifying for an apartment may seem impossible. New and old New Yorkers alike can struggle to keep up with all the changing requirements. At openigloo, we receive tons of questions about the NYC application process. Such as; What is the 40x rule? Do you really need US credit to get an apartment? Can I use my parents as guarantors if they don’t live in the US? What if I’m a student and don’t have credit or income – how can I get an apartment!?
One way to make the whole process a little easier is to know exactly what landlords are looking for, so you don’t waste time applying to spaces where you’ll be rejected. Here are 2 things every NYC renter needs to qualify for an apartment:
1. 40x the rent and proof of income!
NYC landlords want to see that you make 40x the rent. That means, if the apartment you’re considering is $2,000, your gross household annual income needs to be $80,000 ($2,000 x 40 = $80,000). If you’re applying with other people, your combined total household income needs to be 40x the rent. So before you start hunting, take the income you’re working with, divide it by 40 and that’s the rent you can “afford” in NYC. And of course, landlords are going to want to see straightforward proof of income; tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements etc.
2. 700+ credit score.
NYC landlords want to see that you have high credit – typically 700 and above. Qualifying for an apartment with low credit will be very challenging. If you’re on the cusp of 700, do what you can ahead of time to try and boost your score. Some credit bureaus allow you to submit things like your cell phone bill history or utility payment history. These things are not always included on your report, but can help boost your score if you make timely payments.
Obviously there are a million situations where a renter may not meet the two requirements listed above. You may be tempted to apply anyways, and hope to explain your situation to the broker or landlord. For example; “I have a lot of savings, I’m just in between jobs right now”, or “I’m a student, so I don’t have any credit history. But I just graduated and will be starting a new job in a few months”. Or, “I just moved to the US and don’t have credit, but I have a great job”. Or, “I am self-employed, so all my income is technically registered under my company”.
Let us save you the heartache – even the most logical explanation may not get you the apartment. The holy grail of getting an apartment if you don’t meet the requirements in a straightforward and provable way is to have a guarantor. Period.
What is a guarantor and how do I get one?
A guarantor is essentially someone who is going to guarantee your lease. It gives comfort to the landlord, that if you stop paying your rent, they can go to your guarantor. In New York City, guarantors need to be US residents (ideally tri-state residents), make 80x the rent, and have very high credit (800+). If you don’t know anyone that can guarantee a lease for you, there are third-party insurance providers that can guarantee. You pay them, and they guarantee the lease.
If you’re apartment-hunting, be sure to check out available openigloo listings. We’ll tell you ahead of time which apartments you qualify for so you can save some time and stress. Get started here.